Published: 14 February 2013
Report: Chris Evans
Dani King insists Olympic success hasn’t dampened her desire to win further gold medals on the track.
The ambitious 22-year-old has her eyes set firmly on retaining the top prize in the team pursuit at this month’s track world championship and has vowed the three-woman team will ‘go out with a bang’ before rule changes come into force next year.
King, Laura Trott and Elinor Barker will be the last Great Britain trio to compete at a major meet, with the pursuit extending to a four-woman event over four-kilometres.
After winning gold in the three-woman team pursuit at the Olympics, London track world cup and the world championships in Melbourne last year, King says she wants to see the format off in style.
“We’re going to go out there and ride the fastest we can,” said King. “We need to go out with a bang to say goodbye to the three-kilometre and three-woman event.
“I am confident. Obviously we’ve got Elinor on the team now, who is very young but has a really good future ahead of her – so it’s a different challenge.
“It went well (at the 2012 world cup) in Glasgow as a three and we’ve had more time together now. I’d love to think we could win.”
Following an incredible 2012, King believes complacency won’t become an issue for her as the prospect of adding to a growing medal collection keeps her focus red hot.
“I put quite a lot of pressure on myself every time I race,” said the Southampton-born cyclist. “I’ve got high expectations of myself. I don’t think of the worlds as a lesser competition and I’ll go out to do my best and hope it’ll be enough to get me another jersey.
“We never sit back and relax. Even as world and Olympic champions, we can’t just think we’re the best. If anything, it makes me train even harder because I want to be in the team for every single race.
“I’m excited to go to four-kilometres and four women. It’ll be good to have a new challenge and that’s keeping me motivated after the Games.
“A lot of people can find it hard to be motivated. But because I’m so young and I’ve got a lot to give as a bike rider on the road and track, it keeps me training hard.”
King has also been selected for the points and scratch races at the world championships in Minsk, Belarus on 20-24 February and hopes good performances there will propel her towards an individual event at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
With the final event list for the next Games yet to be revealed, King hasn’t set herself any specific targets but is keeping an eye out for any announcement.
“I’ll just wait and see what comes out to see if there’s anything I’d like to focus on,” King continued. “Obviously at this world championship I’m riding the scratch and points races as well as the team pursuit, so I’m looking forward to getting stuck into an individual event.”
King is likely to face stern competition whichever discipline she chooses, with double Olympic champion Trott also setting her sights on further success in Brazil.
Internal rivalry doesn’t concern King though and she feels the high standard within the Great Britain team is one of the key reasons results are so impressive.
“Me and Laura were both competing for the omnium and she rightfully got the place at the last Olympics,” added King. “But I’d love to do an individual event as well as team pursuit.
“I wouldn’t give it to her easily. Even in the team pursuit, there’s always internal rivalry to get selected for the team. I think that’s what keeps the team so good because everyone’s kept on their toes and trying to make the team.
“That’s what makes the Great Britain team so successful – everyone’s striving to be the best they can be all the time.”