Loz's loving the ride

13 Feb 2017

PLAYING a key part in the development of SASI's young paracyclists is proving a buzz for mentor/coach Loz Shaw.

Loz retired from cycling in 2015 after about 15 years of competition in a mix of able bodied and para cycling. But his interest in taking the sport further was a gradual process.

Towards the end of his cycling days Loz met and mentored SASI paracyclist Darcy Thompson - an offer to join the SASI program soon after proved a winner for Loz.

"I was helping Darcy at the time as a 15 or 16 year old just doing a few things while I was still competing,'' he said. "When Darcy joined SASI he was coached by Jason Niblett but when Jason left and I joined SASI as the paracycling coach, Darcy came back to me.

"Darcy has been fantastic in the short time he has been involved in the sport to come from where he did.

"The sport is pretty brutal and quite mentally taxing. But he is a very tough kid having cerebral palsy.

"It is very much a learning curve for me, too, trying to work out different ways of improving Darcy - whether to try to put more weight on him or to try different positions on the bike. I work closely with Keren Faulkner (physiotherapist) and am lucky enough that Darcy will try anything and is prepared to have a go.''

The strength of the SASI paracycling program is shown with four riders, Darcy, Meg Lemon, Kieran Murphy and Lachlan Glasspool (pilot) among the 11-strong Australian team competing at the 2017 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Los Angeles between March 2 and 5.

While the training is solid there is always time to break that up with a laugh or two, said Loz.

"Everyone likes to have a good time and a laugh,'' Loz said. "I have had a lot of fun in the sport and am lucky to have athletes like Darcy and Meg and two on the bikes as part of it.

"The big kick is watching where they have come from - it is very special.''

Loz Shaw & Darcy Thompson