11 February 2012
Report: Iga Kowalska Owen
Chris Furber - British Cycling's Lead Paracycling Coach - has revealed competition at the Track World Championships was tougher than expected and alluded that changes may have to be made before the Paralympics in September.
The Championships in LA were a dress rehearsal for the London Games and GB’s final opportunity to score qualification points which will determine the size of the team for London.
The competition asserted Britain’s dominance in the Kilo and the Men’s Tandems and revealed the true potential of GB’s Mark Colbourne, who made a brilliant debut with a win in the C1 Pursuit and silver in the C1 Kilo. However, it has also shown that more work is needed if GB is to dominate in London as the level of competition has moved on considerably since Montichiari last year.
“We knew the standard here was going to be high but it’s been tougher than we expected,” said Lead Coach Chris Furber referring to the performances of Australia, Ireland and China.
“It’s been a bit of a wake-up call for some riders and we’ve got to work really hard between now and the Games to stay in front where we are in front and get in front where we’re not.”
Furber alluded to possible changes to GB’s strategy for London: “We now need to look at the data to see if we can spread ourselves more thinly across more events or whether it’s within our best interest to focus on one event.
“I know I would rather go away with one gold medal than two silvers and riders will feel exactly the same.”
“However, we are in the medal mix and that’s really important because if you’re in the medal mix here, you’re going to be competitive in London. From that point of view (17 medals) we’ve done very well.”
The GB Para-Cycling Team will now shift its focus to the road in preparation for the Para-Cycling Road World Cup series before preparations for the track take centre stage again nearer the Games.