Scully relishes being back on the boards

NATHAN BURDON
Last updated 05:00 25/01/2014

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Southland cyclist Tom Scully isn't sure exactly how it's going to play out, but he's loving a successful return to track racing.

The 24-year-old made his comeback on the boards at the Tier One and Oceania Championship meets in Invercargill in November after a three-year hiatus following serious injury racing on the road in Ireland.

An impressive showing at the SIT Zero Fees Velodrome saw him included in the final round of the World Cup circuit in Mexico last weekend where he won silver in the scratch race and gold with Paddy Bevin in the madison.

He's now been included in the BikeNZ long list of 12 riders for next month's world championship in Colombia and, while he's likely to be one of the riders cut from the final team, the Commonwealth Games in July remain very much on the radar.

"It's been really good, I've enjoyed it," Scully said of his surprise return.

"I was happy with how it went [at the World Cup]. I knew I was capable of it from how I'd gone in the past, it was just a matter of putting the right buildup to the World Cup in place."

Scully now has a delicate balancing act ahead of him as he juggles the demands of the BikeNZ track programme with his commitments with British road team Madison-Genesis.

His road bosses are supportive of his international track ambitions and have been happy for him to race track during the European off-season.

Final quota spots for the world championships should be confirmed by the cycling world body, the UCI, next week.

BikeNZ could be allowed only nine places, with the focus going on New Zealand's strong Olympic prospects in the men's team pursuit and men's team sprint.

The high performance riders not selected for the World Championships, including the women's endurance and sprint riders, will be focussing on next month's elite national championships which will form the final trial for July's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Scully will miss the national championships because they clash with the start of the British road season.

He remains an option in the points race for the world championships, although it's not an Olympic event.

Scully could also contest the scratch race at the Commonwealth Games.

There is no madison in Glasgow, but Scully could potentially provide cover for the team pursuit, or even compete on the road if the likes of Hayden Roulston, Jack Bauer or Greg Henderson struggle to back up if they ride the Tour de France.

The BikeNZ long list squad includes omnium world champion Aaron Gate and Olympic medallists Marc Ryan and Simon van Velthooven, along with the bulk of the squad that has been involved in the World Cup programme and last year's development programme in Europe.

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- Fairfax Media

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