It has been an exciting year for Southland cyclist Tom Sexton.
The 17-year-old represented the New Zealand elite track cycling team at the Hong Kong World Cup and now he debuts at the Junior World Track Cycling Championships in Switzerland.
He is looking forward to experiencing another culture after his previous overseas sojourns to Australia for the Oceania Champs and Hong Kong and is hoping that his previous international experience will help him ride well in a foreign environment.
"That gave me a bit of experience competing overseas at a high level, getting to know different cultures," he said.
"I think getting to know a different culture in Switzerland will be really cool."
There is one thing in Switzerland that will keep him on his toes at his first junior world champs.
The track in Aigle is smaller than the SIT Velodrome.
"Training and racing is fairly similar anywhere so I wouldn't think there's many changes there apart from a slightly smaller track," he said.
"The track is 200m instead of the usual tracks we race on which are 250m."
"With the smaller track it will make for some interesting racing in the madison with the number of riders on the track, which I'm really looking forward to."
The teenager will also ride in the team pursuit and 1km time trial as he tries to absorb as much experience as possible at the meet.
Sexton has been doing a lot of speed work and getting technically better within the team pursuit in the last month.
"A lot of the main work was done months ago when I was training by myself, but this build up has just been converting the strength, endurance and power into speed," he said.
The James Hargest College student has goals from his debut at the event.
"Our team has a time target that we would like to reach," he said.
"But for me it would be doing my job in the team to the best of my ability, if everyone does their individual roles in the team perfectly, the results will come after that."
Article and photo courtesy Stuff