Published: 22 August 2012
Photography: Sports Media NZ
British Cycling Olympic Development Programme coach Matt Winston has described the national record, broken by three seconds by the junior women’s team pursuit squad as a “great achievement”, as the squad won world championship bronze on day one of competition.
Winston put the ride by the Olympic Development Programme trio of Amy Roberts, Elinor Barker and new recruit Hayley Jones into context, which delivered a faster time than that set by Barker, Roberts and Lucy Garner at the European championships seven weeks previous.
“There was confusion at the end of the race with the commissares” Winston explained.
“In the final, we were up against Russia. We were on top for the entire race, to be honest. We went for a 3:29 schedule but we just started to park up a bit for the last couple of laps. Due to an incorrect lap board, the girls also ended up riding an extra lap, meaning we didn’t get a proper team pursuit finish. We stopped the clock in 3:31 after twelve laps.”
Despite missing out on the gold-medal final, Winston was insistent there was never any confusion over the ambition of the team.
“We didn’t go into this to win medals, we wanted to break the national record. What anyone else got didn’t really matter to us. Obviously getting a medal on the way was a nice bonus.”
“In qualification we went out to get the best time. We went on a 3:30 schedule, which we rode to pretty well. We ended up qualifying third fastest behind New Zealand and Australia. This time was a new national record by nearly three seconds, which is obviously very pleasing for us. To break the national record set back in July to win the Euros in Portugal by almost three seconds faster is a great achievement.”
The result came even with the addition of Hayley Jones, who joined the squad for the first time and in an event which is all about smoothness, while riding as a tight and efficient unit, the result is even more impressive.
“We had four days on the track as a unit before the event started,” Winston explained, when talking about the team’s preparation. “They rode four short sessions, so it was pretty good considering the amount of time they had ridden together.”
Coverage of the junior track world championships continues tomorrow with Jon Dibben in the men’s omnium and Matt Rotherham in the men’s kilometre.