It’s almost over. All the hype and build up to 2012, the Olympics, the Paralympics, and here we are about to head into 2013.
What a year for sport, and amazing to have played a small part in it!
Back in February my season kicked off in sunny Los Angeles, where I was racing at the Para-Cycling World Track Championships.
They turned out to be an interesting championship, in the Team Sprint riding with Darren Kenny and Sarah Storey we suffered our first defeat since 2006, taking silver behind the Chinese, who had found an amazing man 1 that really did make the difference to their team. In the 4km Pursuit, qualifying was interesting, as there was an official standing on the track in the back straight! Cue a restart, and I managed to post the 3rd quickest time. In the Bronze medal final I tried to learn from my pacing issues in qualifying. However after the 1st kilometre I could see my opponent and decided to chase him downrather than doing a full 4km. After 5 3Ž4 laps I’d caught and over taken Roberto Alcaide from Spain to take the Bronze medal.
In the kilo I managed to maintain my unbeaten record to take the 1km title in 1:06.001. Not my best ride, actually the first time I’ve won at the worlds without breaking the WR, but still it was good enough to take my 5th consecutive world title and the coveted rainbow bands. So LA turned out to be a mixed bag of results, but I did get a full set of medals!
After the worlds it was back to training and preparations for the London Paralympics. Another visit to Majorca for another 10day training camp kick started the final cycle off. It ended with me heading to the Tower of London for a bit of modelling and showing off the Adidas kit that all the GB athletes would be racing in at the home games.
In between all the training, with the build-up to the games I ended up doing quite a bit of publicity, the most fun was the 3 part Sainsbury’s short films, and the Paralympic promo video for Channel4. Some of the shots in the films were pretty cool, and due to the way they were filmed, they gave you an insight into track cycling that you just don’t normally see.
With the year flying by, the Olympics came and went, and before you knew it, I was at the holding camp in Newport, putting the final touches to my preparations for London. Things were looking good, as I PB’d in pretty much every session on the holding camp, just one little hiccup was a crash on day 2, but I survived with just a friction burn on my hip and elbow. A massive relief considering I hit the deck at 75kph!
Then it was time to race, with the kilo up first I was ready to go, with all my competitors going before me I was feeling really confident as I stepped on the track, especially as the fastest time was still half a second slower than my Beijing winning time and still some 9/10ths of a second slower than my WR, and I was going faster than ever now. I just needed to race at my best and that was it, unfortunately it all started to go wrong in a big way! I made my start just as I have countless times in training, however something was wrong, the gate held me, the next thing I know I’m wheel spinning and going sideways. Not ideal. So I stuck my hand up, and called for a mishap, pulled off the track and got ready to take to the start again. However that was it, I was unfairly denied a 2nd start, and that was it, a big fat DNF next to me name, and what followed wasn’t my proudest moment, but it will go down in Paralympic history in the same way as John McEnroe’s outburst at Wimbledon in 1981.
I basically threw all the toys out of my pram at anybody who would listen, in denial that I wouldn’t be defending my kilo title, and was removed from the velodrome. Knowing I was out of order I wanted to apologise, and try to put things right, at least to all the kids that had witnessed my foul mouthed tirade. So a little later I came back out to apologise to everyone in the crowd, then to the sponsors and governing bodies and organisers in a press conference and media scrum. Then finally I headed back to the village as I had to compose myself and come back and race the 4km pursuit the following day.
With the crowd behind me I ripped around the velodrome in qualifying to a new British Record, and 3rd best time. In the final I made short work of my opponent and took Bronze with an overtake in 51Ž4 laps. I covered the first 1km quicker than the winning time from the previous day. Considering the disappointment the day before, and the fact I hadn’t focussed on the pursuit as I placed all my eggs in the kilo basket, a bronze medal really did feel like winning gold. Having watched the footage back, it looks like I started the tiniest of fraction too early hence the gate held me when I pulled forward. Unfortunately though, the false start wasn’t called by the commissaires, so I didn’t get the immediate restart the rules state.
London will always be memorable for me for some amazing highs and some equally amazing lows, but I’m glad I can say I was there and I won a medal in front of the best and noisiest crowd anyone can ask for.
My racing year finished with a few more races on the track, a bronze medal in the Team Sprint at nationals, a 2nd place in the flying lap at the Revolution track series, and in my final race of 2012, a win in the 10mile scratch race in the final round of the MRTL Premier Division track league.
2013 will be a really important year for training, as I plan my revenge in Rio. On the way to 2016 I have also set myself the ambitious target of riding for England at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014. So the hard work starts again, and my motivation is sky high.
Thanks to all my family, friends and supporters and all my sponsors!
See you in 2013, and happy cycling.
Jody Cundy smashed his Columbian rival in the C4 4km Individual Pursuit to win his first medal at a Paralympic home games!
He took just 5 laps out of 16 to chase down Diego German Duenas Gomez and secure a bronze. The double Beijing gold medallist was on a mission to claim his medal as he overlapped his opponent and punched the air in victory as the gun sounded to signal the end of the final.
Incredibly, he rode the first four laps of the Pursuit in 1:05.317; which, had he been allowed to ride the Kilo yesterday, would have won him gold. This only proves that Jody has unbelievable form and is performing at the top of his game.
Speaking after the race, Jody spoke of his gratitude for the home support: “I was starting to panic because my legs were completely gone after four and a half laps, but I couldn’t let the crowd down and they carried me home”
“The support here has been more incredible than anything I’ve experienced before! It really has been amazing, thank you to everyone for cheering me on”
“I’m fully committed to Rio in 2016 as I still have unfinished business.”
Jody Cundy will ride for bronze in the Men’s C4 4km Pursuit Finals this afternoon after qualifying third with a new personal best time of 4:42.005.
After being denied the chance to ride in the 1km Time Trial yesterday, Jody was determined to give it his all on the track today and vowed to show his fans what he could really do.
He was cheered on by the fiercely patriotic crowd who were relieved to see the 33 year old looking focussed and putting in maximum effort to get away from the starting block cleanly. Jody had a phenomenal ride in an even that he has not previously competed in at the Paralympics. He’ll be hoping to take bronze in the 4km Pursuit final tonight as he did at the World Championships in LA earlier this year.
Jody Cundy has been denied the chance to defend his Paralympic 1km Time Trial title after officials decided not to allow a restart following what appeared to be a fault with the gate.
He looked every inch the strong, confident rider ready to defend his title in front of the home crowd. As he attempted to pull away from the gate, his back wheel didn’t release on time and it slipped, bringing Jody to hold up his hand and ask for a restart.
Jody had the agonizing wait whilst his coach Chris Furber discussed the false start with the commissaires, as the velodrome was filled with the roaring objections and boos of the crowd.
Despite protests from Jody and his Great Britain coaches, the commissaires concluded that the false start was not due to faulty equipment and instead it was a rider error, so sadly he would not be allowed to ride in the 1km Time Trial and defend his title.
After taking some time to comprehend the official’s decision, Jody came out to the 6,000 strong crowd and explained: “I would just like to apologise; I had an issue with the gate and my wheel slipped”
“I was hoping for a restart but it didn’t go my way unfortunately, and I didn’t get to ride and show you exactly what those 4 years of hard work in training have been about”
“I would like to apologise for my language, I think even over the noise you might have been able to hear it” he explained, to which his fans could be heard shouting for him not to apologise for his earlier outburst.
Given Jody’s unquestionable determination to succeed, he will be sure to not allow today’s events to deter him from putting all his efforts into the 4km Pursuit tomorrow, where he will get the opportunity to show his fans exactly what he has been training for.
Mark Colbourne and I have produced a video featuring the Para-cycling team.
As myself, Mark and the rest of the Para-cycling team are unable to attend the Opening Ceremony tonight due to the cycling events starting tomorrow, we wanted to share a little video with you to say “Hello!”
We shot, directed and edited the “Hello!” video as a thank you for the overwhelming support we’ve received from the British public, and it was a fantastic opportunity for the whole team to get together and capture some moments from our time in the holding camp and athletes village.
Making the video was fun; we wanted to get together as a team and show we have personalities outside our day job, but also show some of our preparations in Newport. In doing so we hopefully put a smile on people’s faces…. Enjoy!
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.”
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