THE first month of the year has been nothing but golden for Hervey Bay cyclist Jordan Kerby in recent years.
Whether it's the anticipation that comes with the start of a new year or the feeling of a fresh start, there's something about the post-holiday month of January that seems to rev up this fearless road warrior.
Making his debut for the newly promoted Drapac professional continental team, Kerby kicked off 2014 with victory in the men's under-23 time trial during the opening day of the 2014 Cycling Australia Road National Championships in Burrumbeet, Victoria, yesterday.
The 21-year-old pipped South Australian Harry Carpenter by 0.2 seconds over the 28km circuit.
"I'm absolutely overwhelmed," Kerby said.
"The support from the team was phenomenal; it was unlike anything I've ever had before.
"We put a target on the time trial and everything went to plan and we got it.
"I was digging deep the whole way, giving it absolutely everything on the line with nothing left in the tank."
Less than 12 months ago, Kerby added his name to an illustrious honour roll by winning the U23 national road race.
Two weeks later, the former Xavier Catholic College student became one of the stars of the Tour Down Under, attacking a star-studded field to take the King of the Mountain jersey in the opening stage.
Yesterday's time trial title will no doubt be something he will treasure, having set himself for it last year, but falling short of a podium spot.
"Things didn't really go to plan and I ended up fourth, but this time round I really, really wanted it," he said.
Kerby was the second last rider of 46 competitors to set out on the testing course, pushing Carpenter off the hot seat by the smallest of margins.
"I knew I was up on him (Carpenter) on the way out so from then on I just gave it everything you can on the way back," he said.
"Sometimes it works in your favour and you win by 0.2 and sometimes you lose by 0.2, it came my way today."
Kerby now turns his attentions to defending his road race crown in Saturday's 132.6km under-23 men's road race in Buninyong.
"I'm going in as the defending champion so I'm definitely going to be marked and I'm going to do everything I can (to win) on the day," he said.