Matt Crampton is keen to capitalise on his win in the keirin at the European Championships and further strengthen his case for Olympic selection after Chris Hoy was pulled out of the competition due to a chest infection.
Crampton (above) took gold on the final day of action in Apeldoorn.
The rule changes for the 2012 Olympics, which will only allow Great Britain to select one rider for the keirin and three riders for the team sprint, have affected Crampton as he explains: “It just puts bigger emphasis on these championships, and on the worlds. It’s a big change, it’s changed the whole way the GB team operate. There’s nobody here for the madison, nor the points race. It’s just Olympic disciplines. It’s so cut throat.”
Crampton, 25, felt like he had a great opportunity in Apeldoorn but is aware more work lies ahead to consolidate places in both the kierin and team sprint: “The team now is so tough. We have to seize these opportunities and take them on, as it really does make a difference. It clears any doubts over selection then. These sprints and keirins are such a lottery, and it’s over in half or a quarter of a lap, and even in 20 meters you can go from first to third to fifth. I feel I’ve done a good bit of work for the team in the team sprint, and been consistent.”
Looking to the future, he is optimistic with his plans, however he knows that the pressure is on. “Hopefully in Kazakhstan it will go well, and then I’ll look to London for the World Cup and to really consolidate my place in the team there. Then it’s the worlds, I’ll make those my big three.
“It’s so important now. It’s so tough with just three places, or one place in the individual events.”