Commonwealth Games coverage
Published: 18 July 2014
Written by: Scott Hobro
Video: Simon Powers
Team England tandem duo Helen Scott and Sophie Thornhill are hoping to cap their cycling reunion with Commonwealth Games gold in Glasgow.
The pair was separated for April’s UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships when Thornhill, who was born with oculocutaneous albinism and is visually impaired, partnered Rachel James to win two gold medals in Aguascalientes.
But with James part of the Team Wales set-up, pilot Scott is set to once again team-up with 18-year-old Thornhill.
“It's been absolutely brilliant,” said 24-year-old Scott of linking up with Thornhill.
“I did a lot of work on my solo while Sophie was preparing for the world champs so we got back on at the end of April and it clicked straight away.
“We've spent a lot of time together in the past anyway so it wasn't like a new pairing coming together, but we've just got better and better since then. We're loving it at the moment.”
Double world champion Thornhill added: “It was good to get back on with Scotty and get straight back into Commonwealth Games prep.
“I think the gap did us well because we got back on and everything just clicked straight away, I was very happy with it.”
Together they will compete in the tandem sprint and kilo at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome from 24-27 July.
Scott has a silver medal to her name in the kilo from the 2012 London Paralympics with Aileen McGlynn, before Thornhill joined the Great Britain Cycling Team in 2013.
“The kilo has always been a Paralympic discipline so we've nailed that hopefully,” Scott said.
“It's a simple event, as fast as you can for four laps but we've got the match sprint as well which is an exciting event and we are really looking forward to getting stuck in there.”
The pairing of Brandie O'Connor and Breanna Hargrave is one of a number of threats to the English duo’s gold medal hopes.
The Australian pair were twice silver medallists behind Great Britain in Mexico, but Thornhill expects previous meetings to count for little in Glasgow.
“It's going to be a tight competition all the way through,” she said.
“This a totally different competition and we're going in to ride for ourselves and not look into the past. That's done and dusted. Now we've got to concentrate on the kilo and the sprint and race the best we can at the time.”
“The Aussies are always up there and challenging but there's a good Welsh pairing and two good Scottish parings as well so it's going to be a good day's racing and hopefully we can come out on top.”