Kerby's switch from road racing to track reignited career
JORDAN Kerby's career-defining call to return to the track 18 months ago has led to an unexpected Gold Coast Commonwealth Games berth.
In August, 2016, the former Fraser Coast cyclist sat at home watching the Rio Olympics with his career at a crossroads.
He had learned his contract with road racing outfit Drapac would not be renewed, and had a serious decision to make.
The former Xavier Catholic College student could continue pursuing road cycling contracts, or he could return to the track, in which he won a junior national title in 2010.
"That's when I started thinking about (the Commonwealth Games)," Kerby said.
He became Australia's individual pursuit champion in Brisbane just six months later, but that performance was just a glimpse of what was to come.
The 25-year-old expected to finish in the top five at the UCI World Track Championships at Hong Kong in April, 2017.
He instead produced the third fastest time in history during qualifying on his way to a shock world title.
Just under 12 months to the day of that world title, Kerby will represent Australia's cycling team at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
"It's pretty exciting," he told the Chronicle.
"It's been a long slog to get to this point."
Kerby has divided his time between Brisbane and Cycling Australia's High Performance Unit headquarters in Adelaide, where he had trained extensively with Australia's best team pursuit cyclists.
The Fraser Coast Cycling Club product had an eye on switching to the team pursuit, through which he could represent Australia at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
The team pursuit is his only avenue for an Olympic debut, as the individual pursuit has not been contested since 2008.
He never lost sight of his Commonwealth Games goal, and his performances on the track ensured selectors never lost sight of his ability.
Kerby dominated the individual pursuit at the Oceania Track Championships, and brought home gold in the team pursuit.
He was upstaged by Western Australian cyclist Sam Welsford at the Cycling Australia Track Nationals in February as his Games teammate clinched the individual pursuit title by 3.92 seconds, though both presented strong cases for selection.
Despite his status as world individual pursuit champion. Kerby said was still shocked to make the team.
"I hadn't anticipated it at all," he said.
"There were about 10 guys in the running, but it's good to have that confirmation."
Kerby said he was unsure whether he would compete in both pursuit events at the Anna Meares Velodrome in early April, but the Brisbane Continental Cycling Team member will spend the next six weeks training at Adelaide.
"It's going to be full gas every day until then," Kerby said.