Gutted for the NZ trackies
Gutted for the NZ trackies
British girls! If you don’t live near a velodrome, how about joining an outdoor track league? Read about what it’s like, and if there’s one near you!
Well, a lot has happened since then. Two days out from the qualification rounds of the team pursuit, the Canadian track team got word that a good friend, coach, and mentor had passed away in Vancouver. Suddenly, competing in a race that I’d been preparing for and eagerly anticipating for months was the last thing I wanted to do.
Some athletes are able to use incredibly negative situations to fuel their success. We hear stories of Grand Tour stages or World Championships won after there’s been a death in the family, by a cyclist riding on pure anger or sadness or some other emotion that makes pain in the legs feel inconsequential.
I am not that kind of athlete. I wish I could react by narrowing my focus, by directing my emotion towards the pedals and to nothing else, but I cannot. And so I spent most of Track Worlds staring vacantly out the window of my hotel room, crying in the bathroom at the velodrome in between horribly executed bunch races, or attempting to ride rollers for twenty minutes and giving up halfway. So it should not have come as a surprise to anyone, let alone myself, that I underperformed—the conditions for a world-class ride were just not there."
I love this blog - so honest, and I’m super-happy for Gillian having got through the pain, and loving the bike again
“As a junior my whole ambition was to become world time-trial champion and I did that and then it was straight onto the track, so there’s no time to sit and think ‘I did this for me and I feel good, I can have a break now’,” Barker said.
“Instead it’s ‘what’s next? Let’s move on and smash that.’ I think that’s what’s happening now and I really like that way of thinking.
“I like to always have a goal to work towards otherwise you’re just riding your bike aimlessly. As much as I enjoy riding my bike, it’s nice to have it specific and working towards a goal.
“As soon as you’ve achieved one, what are you now working toward? You’ve got to come up with a new goal that you can motivate yourself to.”"
The bronze medal in the individual pursuit is particularly special. Not quite three years ago, I made the decision to switch from sprinting to endurance in order to focus on the omnium. I’m fitter now than I was when we made that decision, but due to my background, my weakest events in the omnium remain the endurance-style events such as the points race and the individual pursuit. To earn a medal in an event that has traditionally been my weakness is a huge confidence boost – especially when we made a late decision to have me ride the individual pursuit at Worlds in the first place. I’m already keen to give it another crack next year, but this time with more specific preparation.
Next for me is the road! I’m about to start my first professional year of racing on the road with ORICA-AIS, and I’m really looking forward to it. I may have to race a couple of track races during the year as qualification for the 2014 Track World Championships as I’m still interested in balancing both the track and the road in the lead up to Rio 2016. Melissa Hoskins shares this sentiment, and she and I both realize that we are very fortunate to have a road team that is so accommodating with our dual ambitions. But for now, I can’t wait to get on the road and give the 2013 road season a serious crack!
Quotes from Australia’s Nettie Edmondson on her racing in the Track World Champs - click through for more from her and Melissa Hoskins
As Becky’s handlers watch the clock, we cram in a few lighter topics. She’s known for using dance music and reggae to warm up and down. What was she listening to in Minsk?
“The music I listen to varies from competition to competition,” she says. “I’ll have one track that motivates me and in Minsk it was Tinie Tempah ‘Simply Unstoppable’. I had that on before every race, on repeat for 10 minutes.”
If the world of the elite rider seems elevated and distant, there’s another thing that connects Becky James with the rest of us: cake. She had a part time job in Abergavenny cake shop For The Love of Cake for two years. Her training rides were famously fuelled by cake.
“What’s my favourite cake? There’s too many! I do love carrot cake and a good chocolate brownie, but I’ve given up chocolate for Lent.” She tweeted her breakfast in For The Love Of Cake this morning, but no cakes were involved. “It was too early for cake,” she laughs."