Youth spent in athletics and the late arrival to cycling
A lesser-known fact about Jimmy’s career, even to the most knowledgeable fans, which has helped shape and explain the path the Australian cyclist has taken in recent years, was his late initiation into the world of bicycles. This is because during his adolescence and in the early years of his university journey, Whelan was a high-level runner.
Through school I was a runner, a 1500-meter runner, and when I went into the first and second years in university, I was still running.
It was then that an injury took away his possibility to continue treading the tartan tracks:
I got injured and it also coincided with a low motivation for the sport a bit. I was a bit lost and I spent a year of no exercise. So my father and one of my friends told me to get on a bike. Just from there I did the local group rides, similar to what you have in Portugal, and then the local races as well. And then from the local races to the interstate races around Australia, all in the first year of cycling in 2017, more or less.