Farley Flying into Junior World Championships
The road to Junior Nationals gold wasn’t paved with gold for Calan Farley. The 17-year-old from Pittstown, New Jersey has had his fair share of struggles on and off the bike.
Like many successful cyclists to come out of T-Town, Farley got his start through the Air Products Developmental Cycling Program at the age of eight. “I fell in love with it right away,” Farley said.
From there he began competing in Junior Track Cycling Nationals, picking up his first stars and stripes jersey in 2007 in Colorado Springs. His second national title, and the one that Farley names as his favorite, came at the 2009 Junior National Track Championships in Los Angeles. Farley was competing in the 13-14 men’s category, “I was disqualified in the 500 meter because I false started twice,” Farley explained “I went on to win the rest of the races and eventually the overall title.”
Determination like that is what got him through an extremely difficult year in 2011. During a workout in January 2011, his father was injured and was paralyzed from the neck down. “At that point my training schedule was non-existent. I was missing training every other day.” Farley said. He was still able to attend Junior Track Nationals in Frisco, Texas and return home with a 5th place keirin.
This left him hungry for more. He started working with Matt Baranoski and his father, Mike. “I was able to readjust and redevelop my training program with them,” Farley said. “I really have them to thank for getting me back on track for 2012.”
He showed he was back on track by smashing Junior Track Nationals this year on his home track and in front of his father, “He made a lot of improvement throughout the year and he was able to come with a walker and watch, it was great to be able to race in front of him,” Farley said.
His nationals got off to a bit of a slow start with a fifth place 200 meter time, which meant he had to fight his way into the top two and eventually settled for bronze on top of a silver medal ride in the kilometer time trial. The next day Farley struck gold though, winning two jerseys, in the team sprint and keirin, in two days. “It felt like a year of hard work finally paid off.” Farley said.
By winning the Team Sprint and the Keirin, Farley qualified himself for the Junior World Track Championships in Invercargill, New Zealand where he will be joined by former Young Medalist Team mates Nadia Latzgo and Chloe Chepigin. USA Cycling has yet to finalize which events he will be riding, but his win in the keirin makes it likely that he will contest that event at Worlds. “The keirin is my focus, I really want to try and medal.”
Farley is looking to repeat his success at Nationals in 2013 and continue on to Junior Worlds where he plans to be in pursuit of a rainbow jersey. After that though, he’s undecided. “Rio in 2016 is a possibility,” Farley mused, “but I am going to have to take stock after Junior Worlds.”
Farley’s high cycling goals don’t mean that he’s disregarding his school work. As a high school senior, he is looking forward to college. “I think I have the grades to go to Lehigh University and major in mechanical engineering,” Farley said, “I’ve always liked working with things, and I think my grades are good enough to make Lehigh a definite option.”
Be sure to come out and watch Calan Farley compete in his final race before Junior World Championships this Friday at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center.
Article by: Elspeth Huyett
Photo by: Anthony Skorochod of Cycling Captured
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