Jack Bobridge will start as the individual pursuit favourite at this week's UCI Track World Cup in Melbourne, Australia after posting an impressive time at the Oceania Championships over the weekend. Bobridge will be riding the individual pursuit and team pursuit at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Melbourne, held November 20-22 at Hisense Arena.
Bobridge laid down a time of 4:18.80 in the final of the 4000m race. The time would have been good enough to win the silver medal at the Beijing Olympic Games and was nearly one and a half seconds faster than the time ridden by Brad McGee to silver at the Athens Olympics.
Even Bobridge himself confessed to being a little surprised by his performance. "After the Olympics the only serious training I did was riding the Jayco Herald Sun Tour so I was quite shocked by the ride," said the young South Australian. "It was a great ride but I didn't have that time in mind."
The performance marks the arrival of the 19-year-old as the man most likely to fill the void left by the recent retirement of McGee, who has been Australia's leading individual pursuit rider for more than a decade. "I haven't previously thought of myself as an individual pursuit rider but it looks like I'll be doing some specific pursuit work now," he said.
Given his status as a newcomer to the senior individual pursuit ranks and the fact that Chris Boardman's 1996 world record of 4:11.114 has surely become a target in the minds of the Australian coaching staff, Bobridge is certainly an exciting prospect for the national team. "It's awesome compared to my last ride in the individual pursuit at the Australian Championships at the start of the year when I rode about a 4:28 so it looks like the Olympic training has served me well," said Bobridge.