Peloton Watch
  The Austral: Jason Niblett  
  December 17th 2014  
  The Austral Wheelrace is the oldest track race in the world. The first edition in 1887 was run at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The 117th edition will be held at Hisense Arena on December 20, 2014. In the lead up PelotonWatch will be bringing you interviews with former winners, podium finishers and challengers for the 117th title.

Below winner of the 115th edition, 2010 Commonwealth Champion and now South Australian Sports Institute head coach Jason Niblett talks what the Austral means to him.

PelotonWatch: What does the Austral mean to you?

Jason Niblett: The Austral is something I grew up with, watching the likes of Stephen Pate, Shane Kelly racing under lights at Northcote. I was just a little fella when I went to my first Austral, I had to walk my way through the 4 deep crowd to get a seat on the fence, it was a great atmosphere to be a part of.

PW: What was it like to win it?

JN: I had ridden the Austral many times before, with the best result being 3rd behind Shane Perkins. But for the majority, I was able to make many finals with no result. Knowing I was about to retire, Tim Decker pulled me aside and said "before you hang it up, your going to win the Austral". I just finished racing the Japanese Keirin series, so had pretty reasonable form. To win was amazing, many years of trying and to finally get up on the top step was a proud moment. Couldn't have asked a better way to end my career, on a single bike, My mother was there also, to make it just that little bit more special.

PW: Where does your Austral win rank over your career?

JN: The austral win sits equal to my Commonwealth Games experiences, along with my 2 years in the Japanese Keirin series. A special memory.

PW: What would you say to encourage people to come down and watch?

JN: This will be a night to remember. A number of the world's best competing in our own backyard, Riding shoulder to shoulder, at speeds over 70kmh, through the tight steep bends. There will be many thrills through out the night, it will be a fantastic night, you won't be disappointed.
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