Zack Gilmore is feeling great about life – but apprehensive about the road ahead.
The Launceston cyclist’s genuine concern of catching a cold on the wintry journey through coastal Victoria is far greater than riding the 500 kilometres on the Tour of the Great South Coast.
He will return to the bike on Wednesday following a recent bout of surgery from his incessant battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The 19-year-old son of TIS cycling coach Matt Gilmore is prepared for a tough ride physically after the cancer.
“Certainly in regards to knowing how far I can push my body without actually becoming sick again,” he said.
“It’s so much easier for me to pick up the common cold or just a tiny little infection.
“It’s been a real learning experience knowing how far I can push my limits. Obviously that is one thing I really need to do if I want to get back to the top of the sport.”
But among all of Gilmore’s real fears, there is a sense of optimism.
He wants to fulfill his unlimited potential again.
That starts with captaining the Tasmanian Institute of Sport team that will include Launceston riders Zac Johnson and Josh Duffy in a tour that will test his mettle.
“I think this is a good opportunity for that – certainly with the different level of cyclists that line up in NRS racing, it really gives you that exposure and sets a good benchmark for the entire year ahead,” Gilmore said.
“It’ll also give me a good indicator of where I’m at – especially after my treatment and where I can put all my time and effort in to make myself a better rider over the next couple of months.”
Gilmore has also backed the team to perform.
“The team is looking very good and we have a couple of very experienced bike riders on board. It will make it a very interesting, but also fun trip for us,” he said.