Jody Cundy to Ride for Bronze

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.

Para-Cycling World Championships – Final Day Report

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.

 

Christina.
 
 
 
 
 

Para-Cycling World Championships – Day 2

Mark Colbourne - UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships Los Angeles, USA - ©Copyright Christina Kelkel

Mark Colbourne
Today saw Mark racing in the 1km Time Trial, after he managed to take his first ever Para-Cycling World Championship Gold in his first International track competition! As a track debutant, Mark had to go off as one of the first riders with 10 more riders to come after his heat. Motivated by yesterday’s success, Mark rode a very controlled and fast kilometer finishing in a time of 1:19.380, only 1.163 seconds off the current WR time and good enough to take the lead at that point. However, the race still was not over and Mark had to watch his competitors trying to beat his

Mark Silver Medal - ©Copyright Christina Kelkel

time whilst warming down in track center. With only the defending Champion and WR holder Rodrigo Fernand Lopez (ARG) to go, Mark was still in the lead and guaranteed a Silver medal. Lopez started his time trial almost a second faster than Mark in lap one, but as he continued his race Lopez’s lead started to decrease more and more. In the end, he crossed the line in a time of 1:19.102, only .278 ahead of Mark who had to settle for Silver.

After the race Mark said “I felt very confident and mentally ready after the Gold medal win yesterday, even though my legs felt slightly heavy when I was warming up. This only was my second kilo in 4 months so I am really happy to be quite close to the WR, especially as I rode a 5 second PB. I got into a nice rhythm straight from the start but after 2 tough rides yesterday, my legs tightened up in the last lap.”

 After the Para-Cycling Track World Championships, Mark will now focus on his preparations for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Mark said “We have learned a lot from these World Championships and will now work on the bits we need to improve for London. We will be doing a lot of work on the road in the build up to the Games as the Road Time Trial is one of my main targets as well as the 3km Pursuit and the Kilo.”

 

Christina
 
 
 
 
 

My World Track Championships – Los Angeles Day 2

Jody Pushing Off - UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships Los Angeles, USA - ©Copyright Christina Kelkel

Day 2 and it was time for me to race the 4km Pursuit. Having won a silver medal in Montichiari the year before I was seeded into the last but one heat. I was lined up against Aaron Trent of the USA. As I built up speed to settle into my race rhythm I came out of turn 2 to be greeted by an official and the carpets from the start gate still in the middle of the track, not something thats normally there. Having averted the official I dropped down off the track, and hoped I would get a restart. Fortunately I would and I would ride once my official heat had finished and post a time on my own. My head a little all over the shot I settled back into the start gate and prepared for my 16 lap test. Within 2 laps I knew that it was going to be a long 4km, as the gear felt massive, which considering I’d gone down in size because of the conditions and the track I thought was worrying. Once I had slipped of the pace my coach was walking I just tried to push on as much as possible. My target was to take the fastest time, a time I comfortable rode last year, that way I would be guaranteed another ride regardless of the outcome of the final heat. As the laps continued I kept pushing on, with words of encouragement being shouted from track side by Chris Furber, it’s the most animated I’ve see him while I’ve been racing, so I knew it was going to be tight.

I crossed the line in 4:55.958, some 11 seconds off my best, although in the tough conditions it was good enough to top the leader board. The world champ and bronze medalist from the previous worlds gunned for my time in the final heat to knock me down to 3rd. In the final I would now be riding for Bronze against Roberto Alcaide from Spain.
For the final I dropped my gear again, to hopefully suit the track and conditions, and immediately out of the gate I felt more controlled than in the morning qualifying , and I was on schedule, after 2laps I caught a glimpse of my opponent, and at that point I made the conscious decision to go for the catch.

Podium - LtoR: Jiri Jezek, Carol-Eduard Novak & Jody Cundy MBE - ©Copyright Christina Kelkel

I injected some pace and within 5laps I had overcome my opponent to win the bronze. It was quite satisfying catching Roberto as he had caught me for 2 minutes during the time trial at the world road championships last September!
The final was an cracking pursuit contest, with Carol Eduard Novak taking the title ahead of previous world champions and WR holder Jiri Jezek.
 
Jody
 
 
C4 4km Pursuit
1. Carol-Eduard Novak ROU 4:47.927
2. Jiri Jezek CZE 4:50.852
3. Jody Cundy GBR Overlap
4. Roberto Alcaide ESP
 
 
 
 
 

UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships – Jody & Mark’s Progress

Jody chats to Jiří Ježek – Para-Cycling Track World Championships – ©Copyright Christina Kelkel

Jody Cundy MBE
After qualifying third in a time of 4:55.958 in the morning, Jody was facing Roberto Garcia Alcaide (ESP, 4:57.622) in the final for Bronze tonight. Motivated by his unlucky qualification run, Jody was off for a quick start and well ahead of his opponent after lap 2 already. Quickly closing in on Alcaide, Jody did not waste any time and managed to catch the Spaniard in lap 5 to take the Bronze medal.

After the race, Jody said “We had not planned to go for the catch so it was quite a surprise to have him in sight after lap 2 already. I was a little disappointed with my performance this morning when I was off pace, so we decided to change a few things and ride the same schedule again. We changed the gearing after the qualifying and without any distractions on the track, I could fully concentrate on my racing so I felt much better tonight than I did this morning.”
Even though Jody did not manage to improve on his previous World Championships performance in Montichiari where he won a Silver, Jody feels confident that his result is a step in the right direction: “Ultimately, London is my main goal and I am still learning in the pursuit. It’s a very different event to the kilo but I am not a million miles off from where I want to be, so everything is pointing into the right direction. Of course, I would have liked to post a faster time in the qualifying as my time didn’t reflect my good shape at the moment, but it is all about the learning experience and we learned a lot today!

 

Mark catches Juan Jose Mendez Fernandez - Para-Cycling Track World Championships - ©Copyright Christina Kelkel

Mark Colbourne
After Mark qualified second fastest in the C1’s 3km Individual Pursuit in a time of 4:06.895 he was facing Spaniard Juan Jose Mendez Fernandez (4:06.285) for Gold tonight.

Mark got off for a very good start and managed to close in lap after lap on his opponent, finally catching him to take his first ever Para-Cycling World Championship Gold in his first International track competition! Mark said “I have come a long way after breaking my back in a paragliding accident in 2009 and I feel like all the hard work I have put in over the last 2 years is paying off now. It’s a dream come true and I can’t wait to tell my family later tonight!”

Mark Gold Podium - ©Copyright Christina Kelkel

Today had held a mixed bag of emotions for Mark, after his classification was challenged and he had to present himself to the classifiers between his qualifying race and the final for Gold. “I kind of expected this and always had it in the back of my mind. After all, it’s not common for a Paralympic Champion (Michael Teuber) to get overlapped in qualifying” Mark commented. However, after 2 hours of examination the commissairs confirmed Mark’s classification as a C1 so he was able to ride to Gold in the 3km Pursuit. “I am really happy all doubts have been cleared and I can now fully concentrate on the kilo tomorrow. I feel quite confident having achieved my first goal for these World Championships, so I’ll just enjoy the race tomorrow.”

Jody shows off his Bronze Medal - ©Copyright Christina Kelkel

Tomorrow will see Mark racing in the 1km Time Trial, which will be his final competition at these year’s Para-Cycling Track World Championships and also the last chance to leave a lasting impression with the GB staff before the London Paralympic Games.

After today’s pursuit, Jody is now looking forward to his favorite discipline, the 1km Time Trial, in which he is defending champion and WR holder. “I am in good form and I feel much more in control riding the kilo, but the track in LA is not as fast as Manchester or Montichiari, so breaking my WR will be tough”.

Following a discussion with the UCI Management Committee, the UCI overruled their decision to enforce rule 1.3.022 (stating that no rider is allowed to wear overshoes during competition) after tonight’s racing. This means that all riders will now be allowed to wear overshoes for the reminder of the competition.
 
Follow @christinakelkel @jodycundy & @markcolbourne and @BCreports on twitter for updates from track centre.

 
 
More soon!

Christina
 
 
 
 
 

UCI Para-Cycling Track World Champs – Qualifying

Mark Colbourne - UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships Los Angeles, USA - ©Copyright Christina Kelkel

Mark Colbourne
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.

Mark Colbourne Qualifying - ©Copyright Christina Kelkel

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 Qualifying - UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships Los Angeles, USA - ©Copyright Christina Kelkel

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.”

Jody track centre - UCI Para-Cycling Track World Champs, USA - ©Copyright Christina Kelkel

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!

Christina
 
 
 
 
 

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