RACING at next year’s junior world track cycling titles is a goal Maiden Gully teenager Braeden Dean wants to achieve.
The 17-year-old marked his latest national championships campaign by winning silver in the under-19s 1km time trial and team sprint.
Dean’s medal tally from Australian track titles is now one gold, four silver and three bronze. He has earned at least one medal at every nationals campaign.
After focussing a lot more on sprints in the past year, Dean clocked fast times on the boards at Sydney’s Dunc Gray Velodrome, the venue for the 2000 Olympics and Paralympics cycling action.
In the 1km time trial, Dean and Victorian team-mate Zac Shaw, the reigning junior world champion, vied for gold.
Dean’s time was a personal best of 1:05.791, while Shaw raced to victory in 1:03.637.
They later joined forces with Jay Castles to be runner-up in the under-19s team sprint to the formidable South Australian trio.
As a bottom-age competitor in the under-19s, Dean said he had learnt a lot in the lead-up and during the championships.
“Sprinting is something I have worked a lot at improving in the past year,” Dean said at a track he knows well, Bendigo’s Tom Flood Sports Centre.
It’s not just on the track at Bendigo or Darebin where he has put in lots of hours training, but also lifting weights at Feelgood Fitness, which has fitness centres in Golden Square and Strathdale.
“My cycling coach, Hilton Clarke has given me a lot of help in the past year, as has Jarrod Butler and Matt Waugh at Feelgood Fitness.
“Training is at Darebin twice a week,” said Dean, who first started racing bikes when he was 13 and continued the family’s lengthy link to the sport.
Recovery from Tuesday’s nose surgery means Dean will not be on the track for a week or so.
The teen’s cycling pursuits are supported by parents Cameron and Linda, and by sisters Shakira, 10, who races, and Maliha, 4.
A busy year for Braeden includes year 12 studies at Bendigo Senior Secondary College.
Next major hit-out Dean’s sights are on is the Bendigo International Madison athletics-cycling carnival on March 7-10.
“It’s always exciting racing at Bendigo, especially before the big crowds on Madison weekend.”