Niblett wins cycling gold

SIX months of hard work has resulted in another gold medal win for former Horsham cyclist Jason Niblett.

The 2010 Commonwealth Games team sprint gold medallist retired earlier this year after a lengthy national career.

He returned to competition last week, and his partnership with seven-time Paralympian and five-time Paralympic gold medallist Kieran Modra is already starting to bear fruit.

Modra, 41, and pilot Niblett, 30, took out the men's tandem one-kilometre time trial at the Subaru 2014 Para-cycling Track National Championships in Melbourne on Thursday.

On a sweltering 40-degree day, the pair came within 0.014 seconds of breaking Modra's Australian record time of 63.12 seconds.

"It's been different, but a good experience a totally different dynamic," Niblett said.

"We've got to be in sync with what we do or it could be quite dangerous. It's taken a while to get used to."

Niblett has had to adjust quickly to tandem cycling with his new team-mate.

"Coming into the championships, we didn't know how we were going to go," Niblett said.

"I was coaching plus riding, and five minutes after coaching I was warming up for an event.

"It was pretty hectic, but it went well and we got good results."

Following his Austral Wheelrace victory and retirement in February this year, Niblett jumped straight into a coaching career, taking over as the South Australian Sports Institute SASI track sprint coach.

He has been working alongside another Horsham product, Tim Decker.

Decker is the SASI head cycling coach and also a member of Cycling Australia's high performance track endurance coaching unit.

"He's basically been a mentor to me," Niblett said.

"I get some good tips from Tim, he's at the elite level and I'm feeding off that as well. It's a real learning curve."

Modra and Niblett will now be pushing for the opportunity to compete at the Para-cycling Track World Championships in Mexico in April.

They will also target the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Next year's Commonwealth Games will be the first to feature tandem para-cycling events, in sprint and time trial.

While Niblett said coaching was his first priority, he would be looking to shake off a knee niggle and pick up the intensity to try and qualify with Modra.

"Now at the Commonwealth Games there are sprint events, so basically we're trying to qualify for that," he said.

"Hopefully we can have the same success, that's the ultimate goal."

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