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.
World Championships Review
(Montichiari, Italy 2011)
by Jody Cundy
Wow what can I say, 3 days of competition, 3 medals, 2 World Records and 1 National Record. Going into Italy the main concerns I had were:
1. Could I pull out the pursuit ride my training has been geared to?
2. Would all the pursuit/endurance training I’ve done effect my top end speed?
3. Would 3 events back to back be a step too far?
Day 1 (4km Pursuit)
Well question 1 was answered on day one and it was a big yes!
Preparing for the worlds myself and my coach (Chris Furber) targeted 4:45 as a realistic target, if I could do this, then based on previous results this would put me in the top 5 or 6 riders in the world and score a healthy amount of points for the London qualification process. However it would be a massive challenge as my best time prior to the world championships was a 5:03.286. Things had been going well in training, and I was on target, I just had to get up there and put all the components together. With Chris walking the line I tried to keep my 1st kilometre measured and controlled as I’d been finding it easy to get carried away, especially when your legs feel good. More importantly though this had been my big downfall in training and had led to some rather slow and incredibly painful efforts!
Jody at the World Championships Italy 2011 - Image ©Copyright Christina Kelkel
By the time I reached 3km I was feeling strong and still in control of my speed, and I now had my opponent all set for the catch. I swept by him in turn 3 and then pushed on through to the end, with my legs beginning to really burn with a lap to go, but hearing the bell I just had enough to get me to the finish line.
As I looked up to the score board I was amazed to see I’d rode a 4:44.085 (an almost 20second personal best time) and had a rank 1 next to my name! With just one heat to go it meant I’d definitely be doing a 2nd 4km in the finals, but I would have to wait 5mins to find out what medal I’d be racing for. In the final heat world champion and world record holder Jiří Ježek posted the fastest time of 4:41.895, and with his opponent falling short of my time it meant I was a guaranteed silver medallist and I would be racing Jiří in the final.
Before the final I talked with Chris and discussed how we were going to attack it, as now I had made the final my competitive nature had taken over, and I wanted to give Jiří a good fight and make him work for the title. My qualifying ride was a controlled measured effort, and I believed I could squeeze out a little more and put some pressure on Jiří. So we decided on riding to the WR schedule, and see what would happen! This was all well and good, however by the time I was at lap 3 I was a long way up on schedule, a very dangerous place to be in a pursuit, especially as this schedule was 4 seconds faster than I rode in the morning. By lap 6 my over exuberance started to take its toll as I struggled to maintain the rhythm and speed I’d started with. Kilo’s 2 and 3 were pretty steady before I managed to find my legs again, but by then my race was over, Jiří had me in sight. I managed to make it to the 4km without being overlapped, but Jiří was world champion, and I now had a new pet project to add to my list for London!
Day 2 (1km Time Trial)
With the pursuit over, and all my goals reached and exceeded it was time to get back to events I know and love, and to answer question 2. The kilo was going to be an interesting race, with 25riders down on the start list and team mate Terry Byrne snapping at my heels in training the pressure was on. Terry was off 2nd rider and was out to post the marker everyone would be aiming at, and he did just that blasting out the gate to a 2second PB and a time that only I had gone quicker than, and he’d done this before I’d even started warming up!
￼I was last to go and with Terry’s time still top of the table with Jiří Bouska 2nd and Eduard Novak 3rd, it was time to see how much my legs had recovered from the previous days efforts. Out of the gate and I wanted to get the bike up to speed as fast as possible, 1st lap complete and I was 0.971 seconds up, my legs were feeling good as I settled into my tri bars and continued to accelerate through the middle section of the ride as I crossed the line I was a full 2.55 seconds clear of Terry and 0.3 seconds inside my WR winning time from Manchester 2009. Question 2 was answered, I’d not lost any of my speed, and as a bonus from all the endurance training the last 2 laps didn’t hurt as much as in previous kilos. I think that’s the first time I’ve actually been able to enjoy my victory laps!
Day 3 (Team Sprint)
Jody World Championships, Italy 2011 - Image ©Copyright Christina Kelkel
The last day of competition was the team sprint, and I was teaming up with Darren Kenny, who had already successfully defended his 3km Pursuit and Kilo titles in the previous 2 days, and Terry Byrne who would be riding man 2 after his silver medal in the kilo the night before. This was a new line up compared to past events, as the rules and classification classes had changed since the last world championships, as our existing team was no longer a legal line up.
With 15 teams riding the competition had become stronger, and in ride 10 the Chinese team set a new WR time of 51.655, taking 0.5 seconds off the existing mark. However this didn’t faze us as we knew that in training we’d been quicker than this new standard. Lined up on the track it was important that we executed the starts and changes over smoothly and legally, as fast as possible, and we did just that, blazing around to a 49.809 to take the top qualification spot and smash the WR in the process. In the final, after looking at the race data from the heats we made some different gear choices and felt confident we could go faster. As we blasted round the track our confidence was well founded as we smashed the WR again, taking it down to 49.540 with the feedback from the morning making a big difference in the final, the Chinese finished in 51.771.
With the final race complete and under my belt it was clear all my questions at the start of the week had been answered, I could pull out a world class pursuit, I hadn’t lost any of my top end speed, and to top it off I was still riding fast on the last day of competition, setting the fastest 3rd lap I’d ever done in the heats of the team sprint, with a 14.198.
Jody shows off his latest bling from the Worlds - Image ©Copyright Christina Kelkel
Montichiari was a fabulous experience and one of those weekends of racing that as an athlete you love, because all the hard work has paid off and everything has come together.
As a team we topped the medal table with 9 Golds, 8 Silver and 1 Bronze. It’s starting to look good for London. All that’s left to do now is sit down with Chris and analyse the performances and work out how to get even quicker for London. I have a few days off, and then I’ll be back on my bike preparing for a summer of endurance that will hopefully set me up for next year.
All images ©Copyright Christina Kelkel
A Topsy Turvy Year
by Jody Cundy MBE
As 2010 comes to an end, it’s time to look back on what has been a bit of a strange year.
Starting in January with a “warm weather camp” on Majorca which ended up in snow, it was a sign of a topsy turvy year I was going to have.
By the time March came around, our World Championships in August had been cancelled and my training goals where turned on their head. In Easter my first proper race of the season: The Herne Hill Good Friday Meet. Unfortunately, once again the rain brought a swift end to the racing, but hopefully 2011 will be luckier as the meet moves indoors to Manchester. Without Worlds to prepare for, Ride Across Britain was a perfect chance to keep the miles and legs over the summer and also to help raise money for Paralympics GB. Sharing the mileage with tandem pilot Barney Storey, the nine days from John O’Groats to Land’s End were some of the most enjoyable days I’ve ever spent on my bike. Even though I was soaked to the bone for the first three days in Scotland, the scenery made up for all the wetness and pain. And by the time we reached Land’s End, the sun was shining and myself along 600 other cyclists had completed 1000 miles and raised over 300.000 Pounds!
With RAB done, it was back to the track and to prepare for the National Track Championships and a potentially rearranged World Championships. With all the miles on the road in the summer, my track legs really came to me and my training went really well. The Nationals were filled with highs and lows, the highs being my New World Record in the Flying 200m and my first able-bodied podium in the Men’s Team Sprint and Team Pursuit. The lows, becoming really ill after Day 3 and not being able to perform to how my training had been going and loosing out on an almost certain Gold medal in the Team Pursuit due to a crash.
October brought us final confirmation of the World Championships after many rumors and many cities had been mentioned. From March 11-13, the new velodrome in Montichiari in Italy will play host. My training is in full swing now and I am working hard on retaining my World Championship titles in the 1KM Time Trial and Team Sprint, and also hopefully getting close to the podium in a new event for me: the 4KM Pursuit. However, for the first time I wont be able to win the Kilo in a World Record time as it might hinder my changes to win in London due to the unconfirmed factoring rules that the UCI will be applying to the Paralympic Games in 2012.
All that leaves me to is to wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year and thank all my sponsors and supporters for their help and hard work and I look forward to your continued backing on my path to 2012!
I think that’s all from me, enjoy the remaining days of 2010 and I’ll see you in 2011!
PS: You can catch me on BBC4 on December the 30th at 8pm as I made a guest appearance at the Royal Institute Christmas Lectures.
All images ©Copyright Christina Kelkel
Jody Cundy riding at the National Championships – Image ©Copyright Kelkel
by Jody Cundy MBE
Good news everybody!
We finally have a World Championship for 2010/11! The UCI have found a new host for the track Championships which were cancelled earlier this year. Montichiari in Italy will play host to the UCI track World Championships in February/March of 2011, added to this the UCI also announced the 2012 Track Championships. Los Angeles will play host in February 2012.
After a really quite year for racing I managed to get stuck in with a full program at the National Championships which took place at the Manchester Velodrome at the end of September.
On Day 1, I won my first senior able bodied National medal by riding to bronze in the Team Sprint with fellow team mates Andrew Kelly and Dave Readle. It was a tough night of racing having to do 3 rounds of Team Sprint as man 3. Not for the faint hearted!
Jody Cundy competing at the National Championships, Manchester – ©Copyright Christina Kelkel
Day 2 was the Paracycling 1 km Time Trial, and although I was some way off my best time (think the previous nights racing took quite a bit out of my legs), however it was good enough to earn me a silver medal.
Day 3 and the shortest race on the schedule, the flying 200, an event I don’t get to do often, so after some encouraging times in training the week before it was something, I wanted to do especially well in. I managed to set a new personal best, at the same time breaking the C4 World Record (WR) with a time of 10.970, an average speed of 65.633km/h or 40.785 MPH.
Day 4 was uncharted territory for me as I was to be riding the 4km Pursuit. A pretty daunting task in its self, but made even harder by the fact that all morning I’d been curled up on the sofa feeling pretty sick, obviously not the best preparation. However, I managed to get on my bike and race, coming away with a Bronze medal and a new British Record (BR) time of 5:03.826.
The final day of competition was one of frustration. Riding the 4km Team Pursuit with team mates from scienceinsport.com Alistair Rutherford, Adam Duggleby and Tim Lawson, it was clear I still wasn’t feeling well but without a replacement rider I would do my best for the team. After leading the team off and getting them up to speed I sat in behind the other 3. Unfortunately my legs weren’t up for it and after my 2nd turn I had to pull off leaving the 3 remaining riders to post the time. To my surprise we qualified fastest, which put us into the gold medal ride off.
In the final we took the decision of using me as an expendable member, my job was to get the team up to speed and stay on the front until I couldn’t go anymore, this way the team would get more rest and I will of contributed more in my weakened state. This worked brilliantly,
as I did 3 and a quarter laps, leaving my team mates within sight of the opposing team. Then disaster struck, we got within 4 metres of the competition, (you need to be within 1 to take the win), Tim caught the wheel of Alistair and came crashing down. With only 2 riders left on track the race was over.
A great but tough few days of racing, being pretty successful with 3 Bronze, and 2 Silver medals, a WR and BR.
Next stop for me is the Cycle Show in London’s Earls Court on the 10th October, where I’ll be on the British Cycling stand meeting people and signing autographs.
Then on the 14th of this month, I’m off to Kaarst Buettgen, in Germany for the Europa Cup, a 2 day Paracycling race meet, where I’ll be busy again, racing the Pursuit, Kilo and Team Sprint, against some of the best Paracyclists in the world. Hopefully I can find a bit more speed by then.
That’s all for now, happy cycling.
All images ©Copyright Christina Kelkel