Andrew Blair makes Australian Commonwealth Games cycling team

Queanbeyan moutain biker Andrew Blair racing in 2012. He was last week selected in the Australian cycling squad for this year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Photo: Anton Scott-Cameron.

Queanbeyan moutain biker Andrew Blair racing in 2012. He was last week selected in the Australian cycling squad for this year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Photo: Anton Scott-Cameron.

IT was a day most residents of Queanbeyan would have spent with family, sitting in front of a green tree, singing Christmas carols and enjoying a delicious Christmas pudding.

But for Queanbeyan's Andrew Blair, December 25 2013 was much more than just these festivities. It was the day he decided he would race in his first ever Commonwealth Games.

And the veteran mountain bike rider Andrew Blair now has all eyes on what will be the "most momentous" occasion of his career when he travels to Glasgow to compete in the 2014 edition next month.

The 35-year old rider of 20 years will leave Australia for a month of international practice next Wednesday after being named in Australia's cycling squad on June 10.

"I never expected to get the chance to race in the Commonwealth Games during my career, and I thought being 35 years old I'd be getting towards the end of it, but to set that goal for the year and achieve it is really satisfying," said Blair.

A conversation with teammate Shaun Lewis on Christmas Day last year inspired his new year resolution, which has shaped his training and competition regime this year.

In order to qualify he had to compete in at least one national championships event as well as the Oceania championships and one World Championships event.

In a remarkable effort considering he works full time as an engineer in Canberra, he took out his second national championship title in Mt Buller, Victoria in February before riding in the Oceania event in New Zealand a month later.

He then raced in the Cairns world championship in April before travelling Pietermaritzburg, South Africa to cap off two of a possible four world cup events.

Despite winning the national championships, Blair said his best ride was at the Cairns world event where he finished 28th overall, but he said he felt that was the race that gave him one of three Australian men mountain bike spots for Glasgow.

"After winning the nationals in February I had a lot of confidence going into the other events," he said.

"My ride in Cairns- I knew at the time it was going to be a bloody good one, and that it would most likely be the one to get me selected."

"There was a lot of riders going for selection, but I think mine stood out."

In 2011 Blair was inducted into the Queanbeyan Sports Hall of Fame after taking out the 2012 national marathon championship, which before now was his career highlight.

He began mountain biking as a 15-year old in 1994 before racing in a professional team for the first time in 1996.

His race in Glasgow should last around 90 minutes with six laps of the Cathkin Braes Country Park course.

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