New World Record – Mark Colbourne ( GBR ) – Men’s C1 3km Individual Pursuit Qualifying © Christina Kelkel
Mark Colbourne Breaks World Record and Qualifies for C1 Individual Pursuit Final!
Mark Colbourne has broken the C1 3k Individual Pursuit world record with a blistering time of 3.53.970 and will battle for gold with Zhang Yu Li of China in the final this evening!
Mark had a good clean start to the race and remained composed as he applied the pressure to Argentinian Rodrigo Fernando Lopez, gradually building his speed to lap Lopez at 1000m to go.
The current World Champion punched the air in delight as he crossed the finish line to a rapturous welcome from the crowd, and he’s looking stronger and more determined than ever to achieve his dream of Paralympic gold.
Speaking after the race, Mark said: “It was good, obviously this event suits my physiology I suppose, you know, the longer events.”
“Yesterday I was very proud to be the first medallist for Paralympic GB. However, this event is certainly more my bag really, so I’m looking forward to the final later on”
When asked whether he was surprised to break the world record by seven seconds, Mark explained: “No, not really. The schedule we had was just under four minutes and I think the crowd certainly helped me on. So a big thanks to the crowd.”
Para-Cycling Track at London 2012 Paralympic Games – Mark Colbourne 1k TT C1-2-3 © Christina Kelkel
Mark Colbourne wins Great Britain’s first Paralympic medal as he takes Silver in the 1Km Time Trial on Day 1 of London Paralympic Games!
Mark Colbourne has achieved what would have been thought impossible three years ago after breaking his back in a paragliding accident; winning a silver medal in the 1km Time Trial, setting a new personal best time and gaining Great Britain’s first medal of the London 2012 Paralympic Games!
Mark was the penultimate rider to take to the boards for the C1-C3 1km time trial, and despite the pressure of it being his first Paralympic event he looked every inch the focussed, determined athlete ready to give it his all. He looked the epitome of calm as he took to the starting block and didn’t disappoint the crowd as he rode a very fast kilometre, finishing with a factored time of 1.08.471 in second place. Li Zhang Yu of China won gold with a C1 world record of 1.05.021.
Despite knowing he was guaranteed a place on the podium, he still had the nerve-wracking wait for final rider Rodrigo Fernandez Lopez from Argentina to race before he’d know whether he had won a silver or a bronze Paralympic medal on home soil.
Lopez started well but finished with a time of 1.10.689 seconds, confirming Mark’s hopes of securing his first ever Paralympic silver medal in front of a home crowd. His elation didn’t stop there, as shortly after finishing he was told he’d not only beaten his personal best time for the kilometre, but he had also won Great Britain’s first Paralympic medal of the games so far!
Speaking after his silver-medal win, Mark recalls how he felt after his paragliding accident in 2009, “I didn’t even know if I would ever walk again due to the damage that had been caused to my spine. It was a very slow and worrying time for me and my family”
“We have worked for the last eight months towards this and big thanks to all the coaches who got me in the best shape possible. I’m very happy”
The silver medal has certainly given him the belief that he can go for gold in C1 3k Pursuit tomorrow.
Silver; Mark Colbourne (GBR) – Gold; Li Zhang Yu (China)- Bronze; Tobias Graf (GER) – Men’s C1-2-3 1km Time Trial – TT © Christina Kelkel
Jody Cundy – ©Christina Kelkel
Jody Cundy MBE (Cycling, Track):
31/08/12 – C4/C5 1km Time Trial Final
01/09/12 – C4 4km Pursuit Qualification in the morning and Final in the
afternoon if qualified
(02/09/12 – C1-5 Mixed Team Sprint Qualification in the morning and
Final in the afternoon if qualified. Please note that Jody is currently
Ahead of the opening ceremony this evening, Jody is more excited and focussed than ever at the prospect of achieving his Paralympic dreams. Jody’s first event will be the 1km Time Trial on Friday and he’s eager to jump on the velodrome boards.
“I’m in great form at the moment and I can’t wait to get out there and race in front of a home crowd! The support has been incredible so far and I think London 2012 will provide an opportunity for the public to really appreciate Paralympic sport, as we train just as hard and put just as much effort in as the Olympic team. It’s fantastic to see everyone really getting behind ParalympicsGB, it really means a lot.”
The London 2012 Paralympic opening ceremony will begin this evening at 8:30pm, but the decision to attend is made by both the athletes and their coaches depending upon their racing schedule. “Of course it would be great to attend, but I’ve not been to an opening ceremony since I have joined the cycling team, as it’s also important to prepare correctly for your competition and sometimes that means you miss out on things. That’s something we are used to as athletes.”
Catch up with all the latest results via the JAC Sport website and follow me (@christinakelkel) and @jodycundy on twitter for updates from track centre.
Mark Colbourne – © Christina Kelkel
Mark Colbourne’s Paralympics Schedule
(Cycling, Track and Road):
30/08/12 – C1-3 1km Time Trial Final
31/08/12 – C1 4km Pursuit Qualification in the morning and Final in the afternoon if qualified
05/09/12 – C1 Road Time Trial
06/09/12 – C1–3 Road Race
Ahead of his first competition at a Paralympic Games, Mark said “It has been a tough journey from breaking my back to becoming a Paralympian and I’ve been training really hard to reach this point . Competing at a home Paralympic Games is the pinnacle of every athlete’s career and I am over the moon to be here”
And although London will be his first Paralympics, Mark is confident about his current form “I’m aiming for two gold medals at least!”
Mark is set to race in the C1 1km Time Trial on Thursday afternoon, and is sure that the public will be backing ParalympicsGB all the way. “The British Paralympic team has been hugely successful winning 42 gold medals in Beijing, second on the medal table, but with the support of the whole of Britain, we’ll aim to beat that. I can’t wait to see the British public support the British Paralympic team as much as they have got behind the Olympic team. It’s going to be truly special.”
Catch up with all the latest results via the JAC Sport website and follow me (@christinakelkel) and @markcolbourne on twitter for updates from track centre.
GB Mixed Sprint Para Team - Darren Kenny, Sarah Storey & Jody Cundy - ©Copyright Christina Kelkel
The final day of the competition saw Jody racing in the Mixed Team Sprint alongside Darren Kenny and Sarah Storey. The GB team started into the competition as defending Champions and WR holders, however a rule change after last year’s World Championships – allowing fewer points per team – had forced the British coaches to reorganise their Team Sprint line-up. So today’s race was “a complete mystery” as Jody put it before the competition.
Tension was on after the Chinese posted a time of 51.152 but GB’s Darren Kenny got the team off to a great start. With Sarah loosing a little bit of time on lap two however, it was down to Jody to secure GB a ride in the final. And Jody did just that crossing the line in 51.114, only .038 ahead of China.
With both teams that close, it was obvious that the final for Gold would be a tough one for Darren, Sarah and Jody. And disaster stroke at the start of the first lap already, when Sarah slipped through the attachment on her handlebar, which she uses to compensate for the lack of grip caused by her disability. Sarah said “ I slipped out of it in the first banking which gave me an even bigger gap on Darren than this morning. The one thing that has never happened before, happened today, which is very annoying.”
Having issues with her handlebars, Sarah struggled to get onto Darren’s wheel and more importantly into his slipstream. Unsurprisingly then, GB was down after lap two and it was down to Jody again to try to make up the lost time. Unfortunately for him though, the damage was already done and the time gap too big to make up, so the GB team had to settle for Silver in a time of 51.175 behind the Chinese who rode a 50.564. The first time since 2007 that Great Britain has not won the Team Sprint title.
Team GB out the gate - UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships Los Angeles, USA - ©Copyright Christina Kelkel
After the race, Jody said “We gave it all, but we lost to the better team today. Unfortunately, we had some issue with Sarah’s handlebar attachment, which had a deadly knock on effect. She lost Darren’s wheel so she didn’t get the benefit of his slipstream and as a result faded more towards the end of her lap. As a consequence, the delivery speed dropped so my lap wasn’t as fast as it could have been neither.”
Looking at the positives, Sarah commented, “We rode the same time (as in the qualifying) with a problem, and that problem cost us a lot of time. However, it would be worse to come away from this situation knowing there was nothing we could do, but we’ve got so many things that we can do now.”
One of these things will be to add more Team Sprint training into their programs, as Jody explained, “I think if we had practiced more, we could have been better. Maybe we have been a bit complacent with the Team Sprint because we’ve always won it comfortably, but we literally did our trial and no practice. Effectively, we had only done one training session in this line up, so it’s probably our own fault for not practicing.”
However, Jody and the rest of the team feel confident that they can win back the Team Sprint crown in London. Jody said: “We’ve got a lot of things technically, that we can pick up easy, free speed. The Team Sprint race has been a lot more competitive than we expected, but we’re not a million miles off from where we were last year and from where we need to be right now. I don’t think we’re out of this at all, I think we’re in a strong place for London.”
Silver on the Podium - ©Copyright Christina Kelkel
Although these World Championships have not been Jody’s most successful ones, he emphasized the fact that the London Paralympic Games are his main focus for 2012 “We have been working incredibly hard, but there is still a lot more work to do for London. I’ve defended my kilo title and picked up a silver and a bronze in the team sprint and pursuit, so I cant complain. What has been really amazing though is the support myself and the team have been getting from the fans back home! I’d like to say thank you to all of you, it really does mean a lot to me and I can’t wait to get to London and perform in front of a home crowd!”
Jody will now enjoy a brief holiday with his family in Los Angeles, before returning to the UK and starting his intensive preparations in the run up to the Paralympic Games.
Jody races to victory - ©Copyright Christina Kelkel
Jody Cundy MBE
After winning the Bronze medal in the 4km Individual Pursuit yesterday, Jody was up in the 1km Time Trial today to defend his World Championship crown. As the defending Champion, Jody got to start last giving him the advantage to see the times of his competitors. The time to beat then was that of Jiri Bouska (CZE) who had posted a 1:09.025, almost 4 seconds slower than Jody’s WR time of 1:05.144. With a seemingly manageable task on hand, Jody was already more
Jody prepares - ©Copyright Christina Kelkel
than a second up on Bouska’s time after the first lap. He managed to maintain the momentum to increase this lead to a comfortable 3.024 seconds crossing the line in a Gold medal winning time of 1:06.001.
But despite winning the World Championship title, Jody admitted after the race: “I have to say my legs felt like jelly this morning, they felt awful. It’s the first time before a kilo I didn’t really feel ready for it, so it was all about getting the ride out. I went flat out out of the gate but after a lap and a half, it already didn’t feel very fast. I tried to give it everything and by the time I got towards the last lap, I just tried to keep it going. I kind of switched into pursuit mode as it’s almost pursuit pace by the time you get to the last lap. And when I came down the back straight I overheard the commentator saying that I was more than 2 seconds up, so I knew that we should be able to get it.”
“I am a little annoyed to be .001 away from a 1:05 and also it’s the first time ever, that I’ve won a World or Paralympic title and not broke the world record at the same time, but I shouldn’t be too disappointed. We might have got my taper slightly wrong or maybe just didn’t have enough recovery from the flight and the travel, but we can learn from that and that’s the important bit”
After successfully defending his Kilo title today, Jody will be racing in the Mixed Team Sprint alongside Paralympians Darren Kenny and Sarah Storey on the final day of the competition tomorrow. A rule change after last
Jody on the rollers - ©Copyright Christina Kelkel
year’s World Championships – allowing fewer points per team – had forced the British coaches to reorganise their team sprint line-up, and other Nations will be running different teams as well.“It will be a complete mystery this time” Jody said, “We don’t know what orders teams are running, which riders they have selected, but we will just focus on ourselves, get the best out of each other and be safe and technically correct. As long as we do everything within our control and make sure everything is right from our end, we’ll see what happens. But I think we’ve got the team that can win.”
Follow @christinakelkel @jodycundy and @BCreports on twitter for updates from track centre.