Commonwealth Games 2014: Jason Niblett to ride for second gold medal

Jason Niblett celebrates his team's gold medal after winning the team sprint cycling at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Jason Niblett celebrates his team's gold medal after winning the team sprint cycling at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

FORMER Wimmera cyclist Jason Niblett will look to add to his Commonwealth Games medal tally on Saturday.

Commonwealth Games 2014 coverage

Niblett, 31, will pilot South Australian five-time Paralympic gold medallist Kieran Modra, 42, in two para-cycling events.

This year’s games are the first to feature para-cycling – with the pair to compete in the men’s one-kilometre time trial B2 tandem and the men’s sprint B2 tandem.

Niblett, a gold medallist at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, said he and Modra had hit peak form at a training camp in Newport, Wales, in the lead-up to the event.

“The form’s there. It’s just making sure we get the process right to put our best form into practice,” he said.

“I think our sprint form might be better than our time trial form.

“Either way, we are starting to go the best we have this year, so it’s starting to come together.”

“It’s such a good experience. You can’t help but be lifted by having a huge number of world-class athletes in the village.”

Niblett said he believed they were a good chance to claim a medal in both events.

“I’d like to think that we will bring home a medal. Just what colour I’m not quite sure,” he said. “We know we’re in the best form we can be.

“If we get a medal or not, as long as we put in our best performance, that’s all we can do.”

Niblett’s family will join him in Glasgow for the event.

He said it would add to his experience.

“My wife, my daughter and my mother are coming across,” he said.

“It’s a first. I not only get to experience it myself but get to share it with my family.

“It’s such a good experience. You can’t help but be lifted by having a huge number of world-class athletes in the village.”

Niblett and Modra will compete in the time trial at 1.11am on Saturday Australian Eastern Standard Time, before the sprint qualifiers at 8.24pm.

Both events will be at Glasgow’s Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.

Niblett said he expected some fast sprint times to be set.

He said the short recovery time between events would not have an effect.

“Everyone has to do it,” he said.

“At the national titles we had the same amount of recovery and had some really good times there.

“It might affect others quite a lot but I think, for myself and Kieran, it’s not going to affect us too much with our years of experience.”

“We’re going to have to bring our triple A-plus game to win, but I think we’d be a pretty good shot.”

The pair won silver in both events at the 2014 UCE Para-Cycling World Championships earlier this year.

Niblett said he and Modra would have to be at their best against competitors such as Scotland’s Neil Fachie – who won gold in both world championships events with Peter Mitchell – and pilot Craig MacLean.

Niblett described MacLean, an Olympic silver medallist, as a world-class cyclist.

“I’ve raced against him before in competition,” he said.

“I’m not sure if they are going to go better, but they’ll definitely be around the same mark or better.

“We’re going to have to bring our triple A-plus game to win, but I think we’d be a pretty good shot.”

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