A WORLD cycling champion in the omnium and silver medallist in the team pursuit at the London Olympics, Glenn O’Shea will soon be chasing more glory and riches in Europe.
The star from Eaglehawk will leave for Glasgow in mid-November to contest a World Cup leg and then head to Ghent and Zurich for the six-day classics.
O’Shea was back at the Tom Flood Sports Centre, where his cycling career began many years ago, for yesterday’s clinic with the AFL specialist sport squad from Bendigo Senior Secondary College.
Cycling will play a key part in the footballers building leg strength and endurance leading into next season.
Now based in Adelaide, O’Shea gave tips on bunch riding, bike set-up, his Olympic experience and more.
A second-year coach at the South Australia Sports Institute, O’Shea said he was always keen to help others learn and develop their cycling skills.
A student at BSSC in 2006 and ’07, O’Shea has since gone on to rack up many wins around the world.
The biggest was the omnium, a six-event contest at this year’s world track titles in Melbourne.
After racing in Scotland, O’Shea will have a day’s rest before he teams with Belgian star Iljo Keisse in the Ghent six-dayer.
“It’s the first time we will race together,” O’Shea said of joining forces with the Ghent great in what will be his third start in Belgium’s big race.
“Ghent is one of the longest-running six-day races and one of the most gruelling,” he said of contesting up to nine sessions a night.
O’Shea’s all-round skill will be tested in races ranging from the flying lap, elimination, scratch, and madisons.
After Ghent he will race in Zurich, which is now a shorter four-day format, with Silvan Dillier.
O’Shea and Dillier were runner-up last year.
There’s been a lot of racing and training in recent weeks, including last Saturday’s 262km Melbourne to Warrnambool.
Because of commitments on or off track, O’Shea will not race the Victorian Open Road Championships in Bendigo from November 9-11, or the Bendigo International Madison next March.
“The Cycling Australia awards night is on November 9 in Sydney, and racing with a Belgian road team next year means I won’t race in the Bendigo International Madison.”
O’Shea is a dual winner of the biggest race held in his hometown and was the bankmecu Bendigo Advertiser-WIN Television Sports Star of the Year in 2007-08 and 2008-09.
He is a nominee for the 2012-13 award.
Although he’s out of the running for the Bendigo Madison, O’Shea will be back in Melbourne in mid-December to race the omnium at the national track titles and team with Adelaide young gun Alex Edmonson in the Australian Madison.
The classics in Europe are a key build-up to February’s world titles in Minsk, Belarus.