UCI Para-Cycling Track World Champs – Qualifying
Mark qualified second fastest in the C1’s 3km Individual Pursuit in a time of 4:06.895 and will be racing Juan Jose Mendez Fernandez (ESP, 4:06.285) for Gold later tonight.
This is Mark’s first International track competition after making his debut on the road at the UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships five months ago and coming away with a strong Silver medal.
Before today’s competition Mark said “I only really started training on the track after the Road World Championships and it turned out my times were very workable. Since then, I have constantly improved, so I feel quite confident going into the competition now.” A former Volleyball player for Wales, Mark broke his back in a paragliding accident back in 2009 and now races in the C1 category for riders with most severe disabilities.
At the Track World Championships, Mark will not only be riding the 3km Individual Pursuit but also the 1km Time Trial. But with his background in Triathlon and endurance sports, it’s clear what he is most passionate about “I love riding the Pursuit! I can settle in, listen to my coach on the sideline and just enjoy riding my bike. I like the Kilo, but it’s all about power and with only 4 laps of racing, it’s all in. There is no room for error!”
Jody Cundy MBE
Jody was off for a tricky start in the 4km Individual Pursuit after a Commissaire standing on the track in the back straight forced Jody to quit his first qualification run. Luckily for Jody, the UCI recognized this error and allowed Jody a restart, but this also meant that he had no other rider to race against.
Nevertheless, Jody rode a strong race finishing in a time of 4:55.958, which was good enough to place him third and therefore into the Bronze medal ride off later today. In the final for Bronze, Jody will now be facing Roberto Garcia Alcaide (ESP) who qualified in a time of 4:57.622.
After the race, Jody said “this was the hardest pursuit I have ever ridden and unfortunately not one of my fastest. I am still quite please though to have made it into the final for Bronze after having to start a second time. I came around the first corner and saw the Commissaire standing on the track, so I didn’t have a choice but to slow down and abort the attempt. There was very little time to refocus before my second qualification run and having no one to chase didn’t make things easier neither. But that’s just the way it was and I tried to make the best of the situation.”
This wasn’t the first time Jody has been unlucky in Los Angeles after his road bike, used for training and warming up, got broken on the plane to America. “Luckily, the mechanics managed to temporarily fix the bike, but I will most likely get a replacement once I get back to the UK” Jody commented.
On a different note, the UCI decided to enforce rule 1.3.033 stipulating “It is forbidden to wear non-essential items of clothing or items designed to influence the performance of a rider such as reducing the air resistance or modifying the body of the rider…”. This means that no rider will be allowed to wear overshoes for the remainder of the competition, a rule that has never been enforced this way before! Jody said “We were told about this last night and were immediately surprised. Rules are rules and they are supposed to make it fair for everyone, but I don’t quite understand why this is happening right now. There is a big lack of consistency in terms of what is allowed when, but we’ll just have to go with it for now”
Follow @christinakelkel @jodycundy & @markcolbourne and @BCreports on twitter for updates from track centre.
More to come!