Australian track sprinter Matthew Glaetzer has won World Cup silver in his final track meeting before undergoing treatment for thyroid cancer – but hopes to be back riding at the World Championships in February.
The 27-year-old from Adelaide was diagnosed with the disease in late October after undergoing an MRI scan following pains in his neck, and underwent surgery at the start of November.
He was back competing at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup last weekend in Cambridge, New Zealand, where he won bronze in the Keirin, and went one better in the latest round in Brisbane yesterday, taking silver behind Colombia’s Kevin Santiago Quintero Chavarro, who came from behind to overhaul him.
Glaetzer followed that up today by taking the bronze medal in the sprint, beating Tjon En Fa Jair of Suriname 2-0 in the head-to-head races for the medal.
“It’s not easy what I am doing with all this going on in the background,” he said. “But it’s nice that teammates think what I am doing is inspiring.
“It’s our nature as athletes to not let obstacles get in our way and that is what I am doing.”
Glaetzer will now undergo treatment for the disease, but aims to compete at the end of February in Berlin.
The two-time world champion and three-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist is also targeting the Tokyo Olympics later in the year.
Last month, Glaetzer spoke about his diagnosis in this video, uploaded to YouTube by Cycling Australia.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.