PAISLEY cyclist Jack Carlin insists he is ready to take the next step in his track career as he prepares to race in his first World Championships.
The 19-year-old is in the Great Britain team for the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Hong Kong which start on Wednesday, April 12.
It marks another landmark in what has been a breakthrough season for the sprinter at senior level. The former Gleniffer High pupil won silver in the team sprint at the European Track Championships in October and followed that with back-to-back golds in the Track Cycling World Cup the next month, first in front of a home crowd at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, then he repeated the feat in Holland.
Carlin is confident of further progress and admits he can’t wait to test himself against some of the world’s best when the World Championships get under way.
He said: “I’m looking forward to it, it will be good to go and give it a good shot. With it being my first World Championships there is not high expectations its just more going there and getting some valuable experience.
“I feel ready to make the next step. I think the step I took last year in coming from the under-23s in July to competing at the Euros and World Cup is a bigger step than competing at these Championships.
“I’m quite relaxed about the whole situation, I’m just ready and looking forward to racing.”
Regardless of his results in Hong Kong, Carlin might have longer to wait before he can better the feeling he had at the World Cup in Glasgow.
He topped the podium in front of a frantic Scottish crowd and the win holds a special place in the youngster’s heart as his mum, who hasn’t been able to see him compete at senior level often, was there to see her son excel in Glasgow's east end.
He said: “I’ve had a really good year but the highlight was probably Glasgow. To win in front of a home crowd is really special to me, the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome was where I started my journey on the track, it was really special to win there.
“It was the first time my mum had seen me compete at a senior level for a long time, she has supported me throughout my whole career and it was great to have her in the crowd.”
The apparent ease with which Carlin has taken to senior level competition has done nothing to dampen his ambition as he sets his sights on competing at the the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games next year and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
He added: “The main goal is Tokyo in 2020. The next focus after the World Championships will be the Commonwealth Games next year. That’s a main aim for me, I really hope I can get selected for my country.
“Competing for Scotland and GB is such an honour. I watched the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and was inspired by that."