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.”
On the first Sunday of the London Olympic Games, years of anticipation, hope and preparation came to fruition for Lucy Martin. As a member of Great Britain’s Women’s Olympic Road Race team, with Emma Pooley and Nicole Cooke, she gave her all on a treacherous, rain soaked, Box Hill Circuit, delivering a well orchestrated plan to help the team’s fourth member, Lizzie Armitstead, to take silver on the Mall and Great Britain’s first medal of the Games.
In so doing, she became the second cycling Olympian from her hometown of Widnes, Cheshire, since John Geddes secured bronze on the Melbourne track as part of a GB team pursuit team, which included Mike Gambrill, Don Burgess and nineteen-year old Tom Simpson in the 1956 Olympics.
Representing her country in the home Olympics marks the highest point so far in Martin’s cycling career, which started when she was fifteen years old, her potential spotted by British Cycling’s talent identification team on a visit to her secondary school. Although she had competed as a club swimmer and school runner, she had never before been involved in cycling, and, doubting that she could meet British Cycling requirements, almost missed the vital assessment session because of a timetable clash with another subject.
Recruited into the junior talent development team, she joined the Olympic Development Programme after winning the National Junior Road Race Championship in 2008.
Now an established professional women’s road racer based in Girona, Spain, with what she describes as the dream-like experience of taking part in the home Olympics behind her, she is very aware that the time is right to focus on new athletic and career targets.
I joined her on Lancashire’s lanes whilst she was out on a training ride in preparation for last weekend’s Belgian three-day stage race, the Lotto-Decca Tour. And she told me. “My three-weeks in the Olympic village were amazing – I had to pinch myself as I rubbed shoulders with the world’s greatest, like Usain Bolt. The crowds and excitement of the road race, and Lizzie winning the medal will stay with me forever. But coming home to my family in Widnes has been a really welcome chance to calm down and plan for the future.”
The third stage of the Lotto-Decca Tour involves two ascents of the Kapelmur Cobble, infamous as a regular feature in the Tour of Flanders. And Lucy’s training session took in an impressively fast ascent of Billinge’s Shayley Brow, which, with its 14% maximum gradient, is also a regular lung-tester for St Helens pro-rider Jonny McEvoy (Endura Racing) and Liverpool’s Mark McNally (An Post Sean-Kelly), regular winter training partners of Lucy when the three friends are home from racing and training abroad.
And her work on Shayley Brow went to good use in the tough final stage of the Lotto-Decca on Monday. Chasing an early break, she pulled hard at the front of the bunch for much of the stage, providing strong support for her team’s sprinter, Holland’s Kirsten Wild, who narrowly missed a podium placing with a bravely contested, but frustrating, fourth general classification position.
In career terms, Lucy’s next major target is to negotiate a new professional contract, having learned recently that her current team, AA Drinks-Leontein.nl, (which also includes Lizzie Armitstead, Emma Pooley and GB National Road Race winner, Sharon Laws on its team-list) will lose its sponsor at the end of the season.
Eyeing a number of options for 2013, she is hoping for greater interest in women’s cycling and the personal opportunity to switch from her current, mainly support, position to a team role in which she will be able to chase her own podium places more regularly.
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