Date: Friday, 30 January 2015
Posted by: Cycling Southland

Tom Scully Milford Mountain winnerNOTHERN EXPOSURE: Milford Mountain Classic winner Tom Scully is about to head back to Europe.

One of New Zealand's best chances of a track cycling medal in Rio won't be riding the boards at this week's national championships in Cambridge.

Southland's Tom Scully leaves early next month for a second season with English Continental road team Madison Genesis after skipping the summer track programme in favour of a proper offseason.

Scully won silver in the points race at last year's world championships, and backed that up with gold in the same event at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

While the points race doesn't feature on the Olympic programme in Rio, a change of format means it has arguably become the most important of the six events in the omnium, and that's where Cycling New Zealand would like to aim the rider who goes by the nickname Scud.

"We'll see how things go towards the end of this year, and if it's an avenue that I can pursue. For now, it's just go over there, have a good, solid road season - a couple of wins would be nice - and do a job for the team," Scully said.

"I'll grow for another year and be fitter and stronger when I come home."

Fellow Southland rider Cam Karwowski rode a very good omnium for New Zealand at the final round of the World Cup in Cali, threatening the podium before coming unstuck in the points race.

The next time Scully rides a velodrome could be when Invercargill hosts the Oceania championships in October.

"October and November will be my last chance to qualify for the World Cups, and that will lead to the world champs, which will lead to the Olympics."

Scully has spent the summer riding for enjoyment.

The mountainbike tracks at Invercargill's Sandy Point, nearby Bluff Hill, Cromwell and Queenstown have been regular haunts.

"The balance has been pretty key. I try and do as much mountainbiking as I can, that way I'm not really training, but I am. It's pretty good just to wake up, jump on the mountainbike and you are away for the day."

Back on skinny wheels, he came close to taking fastest time honours in the Gore to Invercargill classic and then rode a solo effort to win the 120 kilometre Milford Mountain Classic last weekend.

After dropping the field on the climb to the Homer Tunnel, he rode the next 100km by himself.

Scully will join his team for a non-compulsory preseason camp on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca and is yet to find out exactly what his race calendar will look like for 2015.

Article and photo courtesy The Southland Times

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