Jordan Kerby, The hard egg.
words Josh Prete
The Pedaler is pleased to announce that Jordan Kerby has joined our team as Head Coach. He is available to support anyone and everyone in reaching their cycling goals. I want to take this opportunity to introduce Jordan in the way that I have known him, because I think he has an incredible story.
Since under 15s, Jordan and I have been racing together. We grew up with a talented bunch of emerging cyclists, a lot of whom have gone on to do incredible things in their cycling careers. Within Queensland and in our age group we had Jordan, Michael Hepburn and Jay McCarthy. Further afield there was the likes of Rohan Dennis, Luke Durbridge, Damien Howson and Lachlan Morton to try to compete against. Then there were the ones who fell through the cracks, guys who at some point were flogging everyone senseless. Dale Parker and Thomas Richards. These guys were seriously strong and tore us to pieces. Looking back, they serve as a reminder that talent alone is not enough without being mixed with a healthy dose of persistence. Jordan from an early age was obviously talented, and as his career progressed he also proved how persistent he is.
Raised in Hervey Bay, Jordan's first big result was a podium position (first or second) at the Under 15 national time trial championships held at Yandina, Queensland. The time trial is always an indication of talent in its purest form. From the get go he was proving himself as one of the best of his age. As we all progressed through the age categories, there was not a year where his results or determination waned.
Jordan represented Australia for two years in the under 19 age category. In his first year it was on the road, and then the second year he represented Australia on the track. I remember thinking at the time that this was the path taken by many riders who were going to make it in the sport. Michael Hepburn had done the same 2 years before, and come out of it with a world championship in the 3000m pursuit and a world record as well. Jordan was headed in the same direction. He finished his junior years in the sport with a rainbow jersey in both the teams pursuit and the points race. Unfortunately, success at the under 19 level does not always guarantee you a career in the sport.
THE DEEP END
In Jordan’s first year as an Under 23 he was very much thrown in the deep end of the sport. As is the case with the best of the best under 19 cyclists in Australia, he secured a spot on the highly sought after Jayco-AIS team. The Australian under 23 program was, and still is, one of the best development pathways for cyclists in the world. While I was in Europe, my under 23 European team mates spoke of the Jayco guys like they were a level above the rest, and they absolutely were. The strength of this squad related to both their ability, and the management of the opportunities that the team created. Europe though is an unforgiving place for a rider of Jordan's mould, especially in Italy, where he was based at the time. Jordan is a time trial specialist first and foremost. He is bigger and more powerful than most, and not suited to the style of races that he was racing. It was a stark contrast to the velodrome where his previous season was based.
THE EGGS THAT DON’T CRACK
One of the more frequently employed analogies regarding the success of young cyclists in the sport is - “throw all your eggs against a wall and keep the ones that don't crack”. Jordan was repeatedly thrown against the wall over the next 2 years. After not performing in Europe his first year of under 23s, he was demoted to an Australian based AIS team for his second. This demotion and the years that followed are in my eyes, when Jordan really became a hard egg.
He bounced back from the set back that was being sent back to Australia to have a consistent year in Australia and Asia. His success caught the eye of another European based team, Christina Watches. It was a slightly infamous team, based around rebuilding the career of the tour rider Michael Rasmussen. Nonetheless, it was a way back to Europe with a solid racing calendar in hand. It also appeared to be a well managed and driven team. This new contract gave Jordan motivation to keep pushing himself.
In the 2012-2013 summer Jordan trained like an absolute animal. He did not leave anything to chance and came out swinging once the season began. Jordan won the prologue in the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, and a week later won the under 23 Australian National Road Cycling Championships. This result was hugely important for his palmares, but also demonstrated he was able to get the better of many riders who had left him in the dust 12 months earlier. Soon after this result, he was rewarded with a spot on the highly sought after Uni-SA team for the Tour Down Under. This was Jordan’s first race at the highest level of the sport and he did not disappoint. He came away from the tour with a day in the King of the Mountains Jersey and got stuck in at every chance.
After such a strong start to the year, the remainder of the season turned into yet another European nightmare for Jordan. An inconsistent racing calendar, paired with miscommunication and mismanagement by both parties meant that it was another year spent in the racing wilderness. Regardless of this, his early season form and proven resilience, led to a contract with Drapac Professional Cycling, who were to going to be Pro Continental the next year.
With the hope of a new team and new opportunities, Jordan was able to pull himself out of the fog of disappointment that was his experience at Christina Watches and once again train strongly in anticipation of the new season. He replicated his performance at the National Championships from the previous year and claimed another green and gold jersey. This time in his strongest discipline, the time trial. The next two years with Drapac were an enormously busy time. Jordan raced extensively against the strongest riders possible. He was now a professional cyclist, based in Girona, and racing around the world.
With the merger of Cannondale and Drapac for the 2017 season a lot of talented cyclist’s found themselves in a tough situation. They had to decide whether to spend a year dropping back to the continental level and hoping that they could step back up the next year, or whether they should look to begin a career outside of cycling. Unfortunately, Jordan missed out on one of the prize spots on the new team's roster. However this is not the end of Jordan’s cycling career. It instead marks the next chapter. He will still race and he will still take no prisoners at Muz. However, it is also the right time to make the most of his vast level of experience and grow his career helping others through his coaching. We are privileged to have him on our team at The Pedaler.
Jordan is the hardest worker I know on the bike and meticulous in his preparation for a race. He knows what it takes to get to the best out of yourself. With his experience in the world of cycling, and the support of the numerous health professionals already based at The Pedaler, Jordan will be a coach who can steer anyone towards any goal they are chasing.