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Kerby's world title: "I can't fathom how it happened"

BIG WIN: Jordan Kerby celebrates  winning the men's individual pursuit final at the World Track Cycling championships in Hong Kong, on Friday.
BIG WIN: Jordan Kerby celebrates winning the men's individual pursuit final at the World Track Cycling championships in Hong Kong, on Friday. Kin Cheung

IT IS August, 2016.

Jordan Kerby sits in his Brisbane home watching the Rio Olympic Games.

The man, who attended Xavier Catholic College as a teen before he moved to the Sunshine State's capital, is at a career crossroads.

An under-23 national title winner in both time trial and road racing, Kerby was set to lose his contract with road cycling outfit Drapac.

It was about that moment Kerby chose to return to the format that delivered a junior national title in 2010.

"It was good (road racing), but it had a lot of ups and downs," Kerby said. "You're racing 50 to 70 days per year so it toughens you up.

"When I came back to track I was at a different physical level."

Just six months into his return, Kerby stunned the Australian cycling scene as he won a national title in his home state.

His March victory granted Kerby entry to the UCI Track World Championships in Hong Kong.

Nobody expected Kerby to make history.

"I thought I'd get a top five," Kerby said. "I can't fathom how it happened."

He rode the third-fastest 4km individual pursuit time in history in qualifiers, then beat Italian and reigning world champion Filippo Ganna by four seconds in the final.

Kerby said he felt relieved when he crossed the line.

"I put a fair bit of pressure on myself leading into it, but it still hasn't sunk in," Kerby said.

"You have a lot of people behind you and I feel a lot of pressure to do well."

Kerby's next step is still up in the air.

The 4km individual pursuit is not an Olympic sport, which means it is not a priority event for Cycling Australia.

His options are to gain entry to the event at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018 and try to win a gold medal on home soil, or start working towards becoming a team pursuit specialist.

The men's 4000m team pursuit is an Olympic sport.

"That's the million dollar question," Kerby said.

"Cycling Australia's biggest focus is Olympic events. It's a good thing. The feeling of winning a medal would be awesome, but winning gold alongside mates would be better."

Topics:  commonwealth games commonwealth games 2018 cycling australia fcsport


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