GOING PLACES: The Sunshine Coast’s Daniel Fitter has underlined his potential at the UCI Junior Track World Championships.
GOING PLACES: The Sunshine Coast’s Daniel Fitter has underlined his potential at the UCI Junior Track World Championships. PHOTO CYCLING AUSTRALIAJOHN VEAGE

Fitter wins two medals at world championships

RESPECTED coach Warren McDonald believes Daniel Fitter is primed for big things in the velodrome and on the road after the Flaxton teenager's brace of medals at the UCI Junior Track World Championships in Korea.

The 18-year-old joined Sam Welsford, Callum Scotson and Alex Porter to win the team pursuit in a slick time of 4mins06.9secs, beating Colombia.

Fitter later claimed bronze in the individual pursuit when he pipped Scotson.

McDonald, Fitter's coach, said the meet was a great experience, but just a "stepping stone".

"The door is starting to open for him," McDonald said. "I think realistically the Commonwealth Games is the next big step for him (on the track), but he's also got great potential on the road and I think we'll be likely to see him racing in Europe in four to six years.

"He has the power but he also has the endurance, so there is an exciting future for him.

"You pin a number on him and he is a real competitor who gives 100% every time."

Fitter competed at the UCI Junior Road Racing World Championships in Italy last year but McDonald said the young gun was likely to focus more on the track in the short term.

He believed the 2018 Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast was a "realistic" prospect. "And there would be nothing better than performing pretty much in your own backyard," he said.

Fitter might even continue to focus more on the velodrome after that.

"I'd say he will eventually go to the road (full-time) but it might be after 2020 because I'm sure he'd love to race in an Olympic Games," McDonald said.

Fitter is already in the sights of senior track staff and has been invited to join the national squad for a camp before the Oceania Games.

His mother, Marion Lauder, said her son just loved riding.

He was initially put into a skills course as a nine-year-old to learn about bike riding, which he enjoyed, but when co-ordinator and coach Merv McDonald (Warren's father) asked him if he wanted to race, Fitter did not hesitate.

"In a microsecond he said 'I'll do that'," his mother said. "We just thought he'd learn to go up and down the street safely, and then we found ourselves going to all the Sunshine Coast Cycling Club weekend races.

"He really loved the opportunity to get on the bike and go fast."


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