Tim's on top deck

RAPT: Tim Decker is mobbed by Australia's gold medal-winning teams pursuit after their victory in Glasgow. Picture: GETTY
RAPT: Tim Decker is mobbed by Australia's gold medal-winning teams pursuit after their victory in Glasgow. Picture: GETTY

GLENN O'Shea has done it again - a Commonwealth Games gold medal to add to his three world championship gold medals and Olympic sliver medal.

It's an outstanding achievement from Eaglehawk's favorite son.

While O'Shea will be lauded - rightly so - we can't forget the man behind Glenn's success - Tim Decker.

Decker's progression from Bendigo-based cyclist and coach to the head of Australia's track cycling endurance team and head cycling coach of the South Australian Institute of Sport is a credit to him.

When Decker started his coaching program in Bendigo not everyone in Bendigo cycling agreed with his philosophies.

Some factions in Bendigo cycling were quite critical of Decker.

That did little to deter him.

Decker stuck to his guns and has gone on to prove his critics wrong.

His coaching style, in a way, mirrors his riding style.

Nothing flashy, just pure hard work.

Decker would be the first to admit he didn't have the riding talent of some of his rivals, but he got the best out of himself.

You don't win the Bendigo International Madison and Melbourne to Warrnambool road classic without having some ticker and talent.

O'Shea has publicly stated that he wouldn't have reached the heights he has without Decker's guidance.

Illness and a lack of drive threatened to derail O'Shea's career five years ago.

A move to Adelaide to join Decker's stable helped turn around his fortunes.

With Decker by his side, O'Shea put in the hard yards and he's now one of the world's best endurance track cyclists.

O'Shea's remarkable career includes gold in the omnium at the world championships, silver medal in the teams pursuit at the London Olympics, and dual Bendigo International Madison winner.

You only had to see the reaction of the Australian team pursuit squad after their gold medal ride in Glasgow to realise how highly Decker is regarded.

The four riders jumped straight off their bikes to embrace Decker and Jack Bobridge was quick to heap praise on the coach when questioned by journalists.

A-then teenage Bobridge contested his first Bendigo International Madison with Decker as his team-mate.

It's not just on the track that Decker has influenced Australian cycling.

In the lead up to the Tour de France, Bendigo's Zak Dempster said he wouldn't be riding in the great race without Decker's support.

Decker won't have a gold medal hanging around his neck a the end of the Commonwealth Games, but his influence has been extraordinary.

His next aim is to lead O'Shea and the team pursuit squad to gold at the Rio Olympics in two years.

History says Decker will succeed.


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