FOR cyclist Andrew Taylor, winning the Dubbo Sportsperson of the Year honour is right up there with some of his achievements on the track.
Taylor received a big boost prior to this week's Australian Track Cycling Championships when he took out the coveted award at yesterday's Australia Day ceremony in Victoria Park.
The coming days in Adelaide are a chance for Taylor to push for a spot in the Australian team for this year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and he will go into the event with confidence after receiving the coveted award.
"It came as a real shock to get the award because I know there's a lot of very good sportspeople in Dubbo," Taylor said from Sydney, where he has been based since Christmas.
"I had some great results last year but it is very humbling to realise that people outside cycling have taken notice of my efforts."
In 2013, Taylor won gold medals in the men's team sprint and men's keirin at the Australian titles before going on to compete in the Track World Championships in Belarus, where he finished fourth in the keirin.
This week he will look to defend his two titles from last year and will also compete in the individual sprint.
"The team sprint is on Tuesday, so that will be my first event and then the individual sprint runs over a couple of days and the keirin is on Saturday night," Taylor said.
"The timing of the titles is good because I've had the entire school holiday break to prepare down in Sydney but I'm lucky that Buninyong Public School, where I work, are very supportive of my cycling and I've got the first week of school off as well."
Part of the reason Taylor won yesterday's award was the amount of work he does with Dubbo Cycle Club's junior riders, and he admits that is something he takes a great deal of pride in.
"One big thing I've tried to push to the kids is that you have the drive and desire to give it your absolute best then you can make it from anywhere," he said.
"Dubbo is a very proud cycling centre and we've had a lot of riders go to very high levels so I love being able to help the kids be the best they can be."
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