Sport

Canberra's Nathan Hart and Bec Wiasak picked for world championship track cycling team

A fist full of Euros provided the perfect motivation for Bec Wiasak, with the Canberra cyclist set to make her world championship debut at the age of 30.

Fellow Canberran Nathan Hart will join her as a debutant at the world titles in Paris, which run from February 18-22.

Wiasak tested herself at several sports – running, triathlon and then road cycling – but finally found a home on the track and has credited packing some Euro bills when she went to the nationals in Melbourne at the end of January as a motivating factor that helped get her across the line.

She has been heartbreakingly close to selection for track majors several times before. Wiasak was the last woman cut from the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and last year's worlds in Colombia, and she faced a similar fate when she was told last week it was between her and another rider for the final spot in the team.

But this time it was a different result and she's hoping to be part of the team pursuit, as well as ride in the individual pursuit – with the coaches to decide who of the five picked will fill which roles closer to the start of the competition.

"That little motivation [of packing Euros] definitely worked, they're going to come in handy [in Paris]," Wiasak said. "We got sat down, myself and one other girl, on Tuesday last week and told, 'It's out of you two, show us what you've got'. And then the final selection was Thursday, I just had to keep my head on and do everything right and luckily I was the one that got selected."

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Hart will join her on Tuesday's flight to Paris, with the 21-year-old's parents fittingly already over in France.

A broken wrist prevented his dad Braham from competing at a worlds in 1983, but now Hart will make the family dream come true when he rides as the first wheel in the team sprint.

While the team hasn't been finalised, it looks likely he'll team up with Shane Perkins and Matthew Glaetzer.

Hart said his training in Adelaide as part of the national track squad has been specifically tailored to ride a fast first lap leading his two teammates so at this stage he didn't have any thoughts of switching to any of the individual sprint events.

"[My father] was on track to go to an amateur world champs, but broke his wrist before going and wasn't able to compete," Hart said.

"He's very proud I think, especially in the years that I was in Canberra it was definitely a team effort ... he was the one keeping me on track and helping me along the way."

The pair hope it's a step towards competing at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro next year.

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