Cyclist in hot pursuit: Dan's on track for Rio

FLAXTON teenager Daniel Fitter is in form and geared for a crucial selection phase for the Olympic Games.

The 19-year-old is in among those in contention for a spot at Rio de Janeiro in August, when he hopes to compete on the track in the team pursuit.

Last month, he caused somewhat of a boilover to win the national Madison title, alongside Callum Scotson.

"It shows that I'm improving and that everything is getting better," he said.

"It was a bit of a surprise. We were really happy to actually pull it off.

"At least I know that I've got some pretty good speed out there and that I can beat a lot of the other guys.

"More than anything it's a confidence boost leading up to the (Olympic) selections."

Fitter last year won the men's individual pursuit and team pursuit titles at the Oceania Championships and in 2014 he was part of the Australian under-19 team unit which won team pursuit gold at the junior world championships.

More recently, he won the Burnie Criterium with relative ease.

Now, Fitter is intent on making the most of the crucial Track National Championships in Adelaide next month.

"Rio is the main goal this year, to see if I can get my way into the squad," he said.

HE expects six to eight riders to be short-listed following the championships, with five to then be picked from a Rio training camp. Fitter moved to Adelaide last month to train under national endurance track coach Tim Decker.

"There are not the facilities to do the training for track in Queensland and you need to be close to the rest of the team to properly get the support," he said.

Fitter will next week compete at the Road National Championships at Ballarat, where he hopes to win the under-23 road race over a 102km hilly course.

"It's a downhill-flat finish so if I can get there with a bunch I think I might have a pretty good shot in a sprint," he said.

Fitter finished sixth last year after being in the breakaway group.



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