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No room for complacency insists debutant Dibben

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Published: 15 February 2013
Report: Scott Hobro
Video: Phil Ingham

2013 UCI Track World Championships coverage


Jon Dibben has no plans to rest on his laurels after being selected for his first senior track world championships.

The British Cycling Academy Programme rider, who only turned 19 this month, is the youngest of Great Britain’s seven endurance riders who are heading to Minsk, Belarus from 20-24 February.

There he will compete in the omnium and is in contention for a team pursuit role after a notable 2012 in which he won omnium silver at the UCI Junior Track World Championships on the back of two silver medals at the Under 23/Junior European Track Championships.

Despite his own form, Dibben is adamant he cannot become complacent with competition for places coming from fellow Academy riders such as Sam Harrison and Owain Doull in addition to the more experienced Ed Clancy, Steven Burke and Andy Tennant.    

“I guess I am the one trying to come up and get into the team,” Dibben, from Southampton, said.

“There have been eight of us going for the four places in the team pursuit so it’s been a big fight, it’s good to make it to the worlds at all. No one can get comfortable, everyone is pushing on, and there are only four spaces.

“If you’re man six you are always trying to push up to man five and upwards so everyone is doing as much as they can. It’s a bit odd because you are one team but everyone is trying to get into that team so as long as you focus on being the best, getting everything right for yourself and do a team job, overall it makes the team go faster.

“I’m very excited, it’s my first senior world champs. It was a big fight to get into the team so when I made selection there was a big bit of excitement - I’m keen to get going really.”

Dibben was handed valuable exposure to senior racing at Glasgow’s Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome last November, which acted as his debut in the UCI Track Cycling World Cup series.

An impressive fifth place in the omnium showcased his potential and he intends to carry the lessons learnt from the weekend in Scotland into Minsk. 

“It was a big step up, I didn’t know what to expect going into Glasgow,” Dibben admitted.

“Going from a junior up was a big change. I gained a lot from it, I got thrown into the deep end at some points and got a kicking but I learned a lot, a lot of things I can take forward. It was good to do especially in front of a home crowd and l had lots of support. I got fifth in the end so it turned out alright.”

"I got thrown into the deep end at some points and got a kicking but I learned a lot."

Jon Dibben on competing at the Glasgow track world cup

The timed events in the six-discipline omnium - the kilo, individual pursuit and flying lap - have been the emerging star's forte. It is the bunch events, in particular the points race, where Dibben eyes scope for improvement.

His response has been to turn to coach Chris Newton, an Olympic points race bronze medallist in Beijing, for advice.

“The points race is where I suffered in Glasgow, that was such a different race to the junior level because it was stop and start whereas the juniors are a lot more consistent, so hopefully I can make an improvement there," Dibben assessed.

“After that Glasgow points race he (Newton) told me a lot of things, I watched it back on the video and he has pointed out little things that will make a big difference.

“He knows exactly what he is doing so it’s good to have him as almost the textbook."

Dibben also plans to tap into the knowledge of Ed Clancy, who has rejoined the endurance squad after a spell in the team sprint.

A bronze medallist in the omnium at the London Olympics as well as world champion in 2010, the 27-year-old has already had an uplifting effect on the group according to Dibben.

“He’s just dropped back into the team for that so I’m man five for that (team pursuit) at the minute,” Dibben said.

“You can see he has got so much experience, he knows exactly what he is talking about coming back into the team pursuit. A lot of things he has said have helped. For the omnium I am sure I will speak to him more about it and get a few tips from him.”

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