Track cyclist Shane Archbold eyes the future
Olympic track rider Shane Archbold appears to be at the crossroads of his career.
The 24-year-old is heading to Belgium to link up with professional team An Post-Sean Kelly for a season solely on the road.
A frank Archbold said he wanted to really test himself and see if it led onto something bigger.
"I'm going to give myself a real flogging and see if I can get the results."
Archbold said the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh next year were still certainly on his radar but he admitted there were no guarantees of a ride.
"There are a lot of young talented cyclists coming from everywhere in New Zealand so they will take the best at the time."
With no omnium at the Commonwealth Games, Archbold was keen to concentrate on another Olympic event.
"I'd really like to ride the team pursuit, that would be great.
"I wouldn't mind the points or scratch race that I rode in Delhi last time but I wouldn't be training for that specifically."
With the New Zealand team base just 60km from where he was staying, Archbold said there maybe a couple of weekend training camps with the youngsters.
But his focus was the road for seven months.
"Marc (Ryan) is going with them and he will be mentoring the new blood, the young guys like Dylan (Kennett).
"It's a group of talented 19, 20 and 21-year-olds that will be put under some pressure, the same way they brought me through in 2009.
"In terms of keeping New Zealand cycling at the top it's got to be done."
Archbold said his pro road team included fellow Kiwi Aaron Gate and Australian Glen O'Shea, who was world omnium champion last year.
"I really looking forward to being a part of it, apart from the fact there is snow on the ground there right now.
"It is the longest summer I have spent at home.
"I've done plenty of training so I am really excited to start racing."
His pro team will ride events from the one-day semi-classics to 10 day tours.
"I'm going to test the body, put my hand up for everything and see if I can get some results. That could lead on to bigger things."
Archbold finished seventh in the omnium at the Olympics.
However, with BikeNZ financial restraints meant he has had little opportunity since then on the world stage in the event he favours, at either World Cup or World Championships.
Also because of the overall lack of depth in that event among the Commonwealth nations it was not on the programme for Glasgow, prompting Archbold's switch to the pursuit. His European sojourn this year is also self-funded.
While Archbold still receives a Sport New Zealand grant, his airfares and day-to-day living costs are paid by himself as he not part of the official New Zealand team.
Therefore he was delighted after giving a talk in Christchurc, businessman Casey Cantwell, unknown to Archbold, offered to pay for his flight to Belgium.
- © Fairfax NZ News