"The Commonwealth Games are massive for me. I want to show people what I can do."

NOW, the chance of competing in an international competition just a few miles down the road from where you live, is pretty convenient.

That is the fortunate position Olympic champion Jason Queally finds himself in.

In the last four years the cyclist has travelled to Malaysia and Australia to compete in major competitions, so you might think he would like to take advantage of the proximity of this month's Commonwealth Games and the Manchester velodrome to his Lancashire home.

But, no. For the past month Queally has been in Germany putting in the final preparations for his biggest race since sensationally winning Great Britain's first gold in Sydney two years ago.

"Going away to train is great for focussing your mind," says Jason.

"You get away from the daily problems of living at home, it's very good for mental preparations and just concentrating on cycling."

Despite the excellent facilities in Manchester, Jason has spent a lot of time abroad as he looks to add a Commonwealth gold for England to his collection of medals.

"My preparations began before Christmas in Majorca and then Australia," reveals Jason.

"training is the most enjoyable aspect of my cycling. I prefer training to racing because the Time Trial is a brutal event, mentally and physically.

"For that reason I only race five or six times a year, which might seem strange because many sportsmen do not enjoy training but love competing."

Therefore races remain special for the 32-year-old and he retains a hunger for success.

"The Commonwealth Games are massive for me," he says. "They represent one of four big challenges in my cycling life.

"My first was the Commonwealth Games four years ago and then the Olympics. Manchester, and the Athens Olympics in 2004, are likely to be my last two big events.

"The Manchester games will be special because the public at large probably haven't shown too much interest in cycling since Sydney and I want to show what I can do."

Queally took up cycling full-time in 1996 after working as a research assistant at the University of Lancaster.

In 1998 he took silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in the Time Trial and a year later was second in the Olympic Sprint in the World Championships.

Just a month after Sydney, Jason added a silver and bronze to his collection at the World Championships.

In 2001 in Nevada he narrowly missed out on the world land speed record on a human powered vehicle.

Since then he has been in the more familiar surroundings of indoor cycling arenas and gyms.

Although Jason must be one of the favourites in the Time Trial and Olympic Sprint, the last few months have brought problems.

"There have been one or two set-backs," says Jason. "Perhaps the biggest being a back injury that I've picked up.

"It's meant that I've had to lay off some of the heavier weights in the gym, but hopefully it won't affect my performance in the Games."

Queally claims to have put in the work which should help his chances of victory, but for an athlete so obviously used to success, he is suprisingly philosphical about winning in Manchester.

"I'm confident that I can do well at the Games," he says. "I've put the time and effort in to my training and so have given myself the best chance.

"I'll do as well as I can. To take first place is fabulous and that's why I'm taking part, but I don't beat myself up about not winning."