A Discussion with Tommy


Tommy Nankervis is a teammate and my ex roommate. Ex because I have had to take an extended holiday from cycling. Tom is currently the Oceania Champion and is former National Champion on the Track. Lets find out what got Tommy into cycling, his road from track to the cobbles of Europe and what makes him tick.

How are you mate?

All good here. Just enjoying a great day in Belgium sunshine!

What got you on a bike?

I always wanted to ride bicycles. I have a family of cycling enthusiasts, starting with my grandfather, who still races, and my dad and uncle used to race when they were younger too. I don’t know what it always was about cycling, but before I ever started, I always wanted to leave the sports I was doing and begin cycling.

Who has been the biggest influence for you and your cycling?

I have a number of huge influences. I can’t really think of any order to put them in, and I guess there are a few different ways to look at this question. In terms of good influences, I guess it starts with my Dad, who is unbelievably supportive, and my cycling has since got him back on his bike, and very fit for an old boy. He loves it, and with his support I guess I have been able to pursue the sport for as long as I have so far. I also have my old coach Paul, who gave up SO much time to coach me, support me, and share as much advice as he possibly could. Baden Cooke, who has given me so much time and support is right up there too. He always gives me great advice, direction, and always pushes me to take the next step forwards. Cameron, my old sponsor, boss, and mentor; he gave me a job and wanted to help me to work towards being the best I could be, to find out if I had it. He was also an Oceania Champion on the track, as was Paul (road), so that is a great coincidence! Other influences are my fiancée Keally, and my family, and Bill at Fitzroy Cycles Carnegie for his continued support. Barbara, my good friend from the USA has also been a great supporter too.

There are a number of negative influences too, and I have to thank my passion for the sport as the reason I continue to slug away, after too many immoral and unethical teams (in the USA – DLP Racing and Toshiba) have brought me to situations that are just wrong. A number of people I know quit the sport as a result, but I have been lucky to have such a great passion, and the support of the above-mentioned people, that has allowed me to keep going.

When did you start racing track?

I started racing track about 13 years ago I think. Sid Patterson, Australia’s best ever track cyclist, had a shop nearby our house. I used to hang out there a fair bit, and always looked at his old track stuff. He asked me if I was interested in racing, and when I said “yes”, he took me down to the local track and it all started from there. The amazing thing is, the inaugural Sid Patterson Grand Prix on the track, I won! I often feel like he is still helping me!

Do you have any funny stories from racing the track?

No. Maybe sliding down the banking on the first time I rode Vodafone arena though… Nothing else I would comment on!

What made you switch from track to road?

Boredom probably had the biggest part! There is so much time lost in changing gears, and sitting around at the track. I was in a tricky spot, I wasn’t as fast as the sprinters, even the ones younger than me. I was faster than the endurance guys, but didn’t have the endurance to make the finish. I decided I got more enjoyment out of the longer hours on the road where I was pedalling the whole time. Track is great, and I was good at it when I was putting the time into it. Now that I am not riding the track, I miss it though, and I will start again at the end of the year, even if just locally at Carnegie.

You have raced the 07 and 08 seasons in America . What is the big difference between Europe and America ?

Half of 05, all of 06, 07 and 08 actually! Biggest difference; English speaking riders. Nah, the racing there is a lot shorter and criterium based. Also, you get a few days racing out of each event you go to, like a TT, crit, RR. The racing there you have to travel a lot further to get to the races too. I did enjoy my time there, on the good teams I raced for, but my last year I had such unbelievably shit team managers/directors, that I couldn’t contemplate going back there!

What has been the best day you have had on a bike?

Every day I get to ride.

What is your favourite ride and why?

Ooooh, tricky one. Riding with my friends. I would have said either of a few rides in Melbourne – Pakenham-Gembrook loop, or out the back of Arthur’s Seat or something, but when I got this email, I had just done a loop in the South of France, and up into the hills. It was the most breath-taking ride I have ever done. I got stuck in a thunderstorm and everything, but still, it was stunning, and probably the best ride I have done yet!

Are you missing me?

No, actually, your bed is gone, I have a new exit from the house, I installed a kitchen and shower in here, and there is no room left. We were going to put you in a bunk bed in the next room when you get back!

Thanks Mate. Any final thoughts?

Maybe, not sure, I think so.

We are all very lucky to be a part of this great sport and community that is known as cycling!



One Response to “A Discussion with Tommy”

  1. 1 Tommy

    Yo, the website for me is tommynankervis.missingsaddle.com! blogspot is 4 years old or something!!!!

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