In less than six months time the world’s greatest cyclists will descend on Melbourne’s Hisense Arena to contest the championships from Wednesday 4 to Sunday 8 April. Perko joined Anna Meares at the official launch at the Eureka Tower yesterday.
The track world championships are the final qualification opportunity for the London 2012 Olympic Games, so the 350 competitors from 40 countries could not have more at stake.
And when you consider that at the Beijing Olympic Games, seven of the ten gold medals were won by reigning world champions, hot form in April is most likely to transform to Olympic success in July.
For Perko, the chance to race in front of his local Victorian crowd is not to be missed, particularly in the lead-up to what may be the final puzzle piece in his very successful career.
“Being the reigning world champion from the Keirin event this year it’s definitely going to be a really big challenge to back up. But having the home support of the crowd, I’m going to be wanting to go out there and give it my best in front of family and friends,” Perko said.
“Obviously the first world championship title is the sweetest one. But you’ve got to keep challenging yourself throughout your career and for me it’s going to be a big challenge and I’m really looking forward to trying to back up my world title on home soil.
“Obviously there’s going to be an expectation for me to defend my Keirin title, especially from myself. There is still a lot to improve on, and I’m looking forward to the challenge the pressure to try and emulate what I’ve done this year.
“A lot of my family and friends are getting on board and have already picked up their tickets. Between Anna, myself and the rest of the team, we’re going to have a fair cheer squad there. The Melbourne crowd really gets into it, it’s pretty amazing and the celebrations afterwards are a lot sweeter. It’s not just us out there – the home crowd will be riding with us.”
Tickets are on sale now but get in quick because tickets are selling fast. Come along and support Perko as he defends his World Championship title!