Jody to ride at Revolution Round 1

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Excitement is building ahead of Revolution Series Round 1 this Saturday night in Manchester and Jody can’t wait to do battle in the elite team competition.

A Bronze medalist in the 4km pursuit at the Paralympics in London, Jody will ride in one of 12 elite teams at the Manchester Velodrome as the 10th season of the Revolution Series begins and the national appetite for track cycling continues to grow.

He’ll compete against team pursuit Gold medalists Ed Clancy (Rapha Condor Sharp) and Steven Burke (IG-Sigma Sport), while British Time Trial champion Alex Dowsett will ride for Team Sky. Maxgear return to defend their title while Team Raleigh, IG-Sigma Sport and Endura-NetApp debut at the Revolution.

The 34-year-old was infamously disqualified from the C4-5 Men’s 1km time trial at the Paralympics back in August, but bounced back with Bronze in the C4 4km individual pursuit the following day, and he’s raring to compete in the world’s only elite track cycling league.

“The chance to race in able-bodied events really drives me as there is always someone better than me to race against,” Jody said. “That takes me out of my comfort zone and helps me raise my game. It’s great to race people head-to-head and really get stuck in.

“Testing myself against Ed Clancy, Andy Tennant and Steven Burke will be exciting, especially when you know how fast they are in a team pursuit. Hopefully I’ll be up to the challenge but it’s formidable for anyone. Especially for a sprinter like me in an endurance racers’ world!”

As for his outburst at the Paralympics, when a faulty start gate appeared to cost him a Gold medal (his first 1,000m in the 4km pursuit was fast enough to win 1km Gold), Jody added:

“Every time people have talked to me about London the response has always been the same, they’ve been very supportive … some have said I was restrained compared to what they’d have done. Which I have to say is slightly worrying!

“The interest in cycling at the moment is sky-high, especially in Great Britain as we’ve dominated on the road and track,” Jody added. “The Revolution Series is also a brilliant way for fans to experience cycle racing live for the first time. There are sell-out crowds, frantic racing, the chance to see some of the best riders in the world along with a lot of promising young riders, all potential stars of the future. It’s the perfect blend of action to ignite anybody’s interest.”

ITV4 will show Revolution Series Round 1 highlights next Wednesday, 31st October at 8pm and the show will be available for catch-up in ITV Player.

Revolution Rounds 1-3 are sold out but tickets are still available for the fourth and final round at the new Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow on 2nd February 2013 – buy tickets here.

2012 National Track Championships

The national championships in 2012 were a bit of a strange one for me, but one in which I had quite a lot of fun. Having last raced my bike at the Paralympics, where I won bronze in the 4km pursuit on September 1st, I’d only been on my bike a handful of times by the time the Nationals came round.

Day 2 – Open 1km Time Trial

First up was the 1km Time Trial, my main event. With only a few training sessions under my belt I knew it was going to be a tough race, however I still wanted to perform well. I actually chose to experiment with a few things looking to the future. Once the race got underway it was clear this was going to be one of the longest kilos I’d ridden! As I came into the final lap I was just struggling to keep the pedals turning as the lactic acid kicked in. I crossed the line in 1:06.756, not my best time by a long way. After the emotional rollercoaster that was the 1km in the Paralympics to be honest it was just nice to finish the kilo! Although the time wasn’t great it helped close the door on the kilometre this year, and now I can look ahead and prepare for Rio.

Day 3 – Open Keirin

Ah the Keirin, a race I’ve only competing in a number of times, but one I enjoy because unlike the Paralympics I get to race multiple riders on track at the same time, and get my teeth stuck into racing!

The 1st round draw was probably the toughest of the 3 heats and also had 7 riders compared to the previous heats which had 5 and 6. Things were going well as I was sat nicely on Pete Mitchell’s wheel as he started to make his move, then as I came round the outside on of the riders twitched in turn 2 on the last lap, almost chopping my nose off. I took avoiding action, but by the time I got back online the field had too big a gap, so I sat up saving energy for the repecharge.

In the repecharge, I rode a strong race, although it was only good enough to take 4th place so that was my Keirin over, or so I thought.  In front of me during the race the same rider from the previous heat had twitched in exactly the same place as he twitched in the first heat, this time he was relegated for the move which then promoted me to 3rd, and in turn qualified me for the Semi Finals.

In the Semi Finals, I made a strike for home early, actually too early considering the quality of field I was racing. The attack worked well until the final bend where the field swamped me up and I faded in the home straight.

One more race to go in the minor final for 7th-12th place I found myself on Pete Mitchells wheel again as he worked his way to the front, once again a twitch from another rider forced me to change my path, but this time I was still with the group, in the last bend I managed to dive under the fading riders in front of me, and came across the line in 4th place, which gave me a 10th place finish overall.

Day 4- Open Sprint

Following on from the previous days Keirin, I was looking forward to racing in the sprint, especially as my form had got better during the day, as my racing cobwebs got blown away!

Qualifying first, and something I was looking forward to, especially considering some of the times I’d done in training prior to the Paralympics. Alas that kind of form wasn’t with me, not helped by my error of judgement in gearing (I went too big!) I crossed the line in 10.972, a little disappointing, but hopefully I could put in some good sprinting during the head to heads. I qualified in 12th, but with Kian Emadi pulling out due to illness I was promoted to 11th and would be racing the 2nd fastest qualifier Lewis Oliva, in the 1st round knockout. I had a plan to use my jump and fact  I was on a smaller gear to overhaul Lewis, however as we rode round I made a massive tactical error and basically raised the pace, all the time playing into Lewis’s favour. As we came into the final straight I just didn’t have enough and Lewis took a relatively easy win.

Into the repecharge for me once again, the repecharge was a 3up match, which are always tough to judge as you’re not just watching 1 rider to make the move. With my 2 competitiors busy watching each other I spotted a perfect opportunity to move however it was going to be a big effort as it was almost 2laps out. I dropped in from the top of the track and down to the black line and just went full gas. I got quite a lead and felt like it was the winning move, but as I came into the final banking my legs tired from the previous 2 days racing began to tie up, and Bruce Croall came over the top to take the victory. I finished just after him, putting me out of the competition, as it was only the winner to go through.

I thought this was the end of my nationals, but late that evening I got a call up to come back the following morning to do the team sprint in place of the still ill Kian Emadi. I jumped at the chance.

Day 5 – Open Team Sprint

The day of the team sprint was always going to be a tough day of competition, not least because of the previous 3 days of racing, and I was going to be teamed with Matt Crampton and Craig MacLean, riders with a lot of team sprint experience at the very highest levels, on top of this I was going to be riding man 3. Just getting on the wheel was going to be a challenge!

Having never done any starts alongside the likes of Craig and Matt I didn’t know what to expect as on paper they’re nearly 1second quicker over a standing lap! So when we got called for a false start in the first round, I was understandable nervous as we lined up on the track again. Matt was man 1 and Craig 2, as the start sounded I tried to use the downhill of the track as much as possible as I rode in formation. However coming out of turn 2 they’re acceleration was nothing like I’ve experienced before and I could sense them getting away, this was going to be a long 3 laps! As Matt peeled off for the first lap I felt I was getting onto Craig down the back straight, but I simply wasn’t he was just out there, as Craig finished his lap I tried to keep the speed up, but I just felt like I was getting slower and slower! I crossed the line in 46.300, enough to qualify us 3rd fastest.

Looking back at the race I knew I needed to go on a bigger gear to give me a chance of getting on, but I knew this meant also having to work even harder on the start because of the bigger gear. With a little advice from Jan van Ejiden, I was set for the 2nd round.

This time Craig was in man 1 and Matt in 2, I made a much better start this time, working hard to get onto the wheel of Matt, but once again they’re acceleration in turn 2 was huge, but this time the gap wasn’t as big, and as Craig finished his lap I was chasing Matt hard, and coming onto the back straight I finally got onto the wheel of Matt. What a relief, and how much difference that made, I now had half a lap to get a breather before I’d be on my own again. I finished my lap in much better condition and the time was a massive improvement as we clocked 45.899, the fastest team sprint I’d been involved in by a long way! Once again it was good enough for 3rd position, and we’d be in the Bronze medal ride off again VC St. Raphael.

In the final the previous days racing and the 2 very hard man 3’s took there toll on me. Once again Craig and Matt gapped me on the back straight of the 1st lap, and I never got on again, but I kept going flat out in the hope of getting some slipstream. I crossed the line in 46.566 which was still good enough for bronze, but I was completely spent.

It was a fantastic experience racing with Matt and Craig, and has certainly given me a few things to work on when I get back to training. But pretty happy to win a bronze medal at the national champs.

Jody takes bronze in the 4km Pursuit!

Jody Cundy smashed his Columbian rival in the C4 4km Individual Pursuit to win his first medal at a Paralympic home games!

He took just 5 laps out of 16 to chase down Diego German Duenas Gomez and secure a bronze. The double Beijing gold medallist was on a mission to claim his medal as he overlapped his opponent and punched the air in victory as the gun sounded to signal the end of the final.

Incredibly, he rode the first four laps of the Pursuit in 1:05.317; which, had he been allowed to ride the Kilo yesterday, would have won him gold. This only proves that Jody has unbelievable form and is performing at the top of his game.

Speaking after the race, Jody spoke of his gratitude for the home support: “I was starting to panic because my legs were completely gone after four and a half laps, but I couldn’t let the crowd down and they carried me home”

“The support here has been more incredible than anything I’ve experienced before! It really has been amazing, thank you to everyone for cheering me on”

“I’m fully committed to Rio in 2016 as I still have unfinished business.”

– Holly Thrower

Heartbreak for Jody as he is denied the chance to defend his 1km Time Trial title

Jody has been denied the chance to defend his Paralympic 1km Time Trial title after officials decided not to allow a restart following what appeared to be a fault with the gate.

Jody went of last and as he attempted to pull away from the gate, his back wheel didn’t release on time and it slipped, bringing Jody to hold up his hand and ask for a restart.

It was an agonizing wait whilst his coach Chris Furber and ParalympicsGB staff discussed the issue with the commissaires, as the velodrome was filled with the roaring objections and boos of the crowd.

Despite protests from Jody and his Great Britain coaches, the commissaires concluded that the starting issue was not due to faulty equipment  but was deemed ‘rider error’,  meaning that sadly he would not be allowed a restart and was not able to defend his 1km Time Trial title.

Jody initially reacted very emotionally, but after taking some time to comprehend the official’s decision, he came out to the 6,000 strong crowd and explained: “I would just like to apologise; I had an issue with the gate and my wheel slipped”

“I was hoping for a restart but it didn’t go my way unfortunately, and I didn’t get to ride and show you exactly what those 4 years of hard work in training have been about”

“I would like to apologise for my language, I think even over the noise you might have been able to hear it” he explained, to which fans could be heard shouting for him not to apologise for his earlier outburst.

Given Jody’s unquestionable determination to succeed, he will be sure to not allow today’s events to deter him from putting all his efforts into the 4km Pursuit tomorrow, where he will get the opportunity to show his fans exactly what he has been training for.

World track Championships – Los Angeles Day 2

Day 2 and it was time for me to race the 4km Pursuit. Having won a silver medal in Montichiari the year before I was seeded into the last but one heat. I was lined up against Aaron Trent of the USA. As I built up speed to settle into my race rhythm I came out of turn 2 to be greeted by an official and the carpets from the start gate still in the middle of the track, not something thats normally there. Having averted the official I dropped down off the track, and hoped I would get a restart. Fortunately I would and I would ride once my official heat had finished and post a time on my own. My head a little all over the shot I settled back into the start gate and prepared for my 16lap test. Within 2 laps I knew that it was going to be a long 4km, as the gear felt massive, which considering I’d gone down in size because of the conditions and the track I thought was worrying. Once I had slipped of the pace my coach was walking I just tried to push on as much as possible. My target was to take the fastest time, a time I comfortable rode last year, that way I would be guaranteed another ride regardless of the outcome of the final heat. As the laps continued I kept pushing on, with words of encouragement being shouted from track side by Chris Furber, it’s the most animated I’ve see him while I’ve been racing, so I knew it was going to be tight.

I crossed the line in 4:55.958, some 11 seconds off my best, although in the tough conditions it was good enough to top the leader board. The world champ and bronze medalist from the previous worlds gunned for my time in the final heat to knock me down to 3rd. In the final I would now be riding for Bronze against Roberto Alcaide from Spain.

For the final I dropped my gear again, to hopefully suit the track and conditions, and immediately out of the gate I felt more controlled than in the morning qualifying , and I was on schedule, after 2laps I caught a glimpse of my opponent, and at that point I made the conscious decision to go for the catch. I injected some pace and within 5laps I had overcome my opponent to win the bronze. It was quite satisfying catching Roberto as he had caught me for 2 minutes during the time trial at the world road championships last September!

The final was an cracking pursuit contest, with Carol Eduard Novak taking the title ahead of previous world champions and WR holder Jiri Jezek.

C4 4km Pursuit

1. Carol-Eduard Novak  ROU 4:47.927

2. Jiri Jezek  CZE 4:50.852

3. Jody Cundy GBR Overlap

4. Roberto Alcaide ESP

Para-Cycling Road World Cup Sydney

Men’s C4 Road Race

After a successful Track World Championship Silver medal in the pursuit, Jody continued his endurance transition and made his debut on the road at the UCI Para-Cycling Road World Cup in Sydney. In only his 2nd road race he finished with a solid 8th place in the unfamiliar surroundings of road racing. The C4/C5 groups were combined on the road and Jody got stuck into the action right from the start finishing inside the top 10 to gain valuable qualification points for London.

Results 78.3km C4 road race.
1.M. Pittacolo ITA
2. Jiri Bouska CZE
3. R. Hughes AUS
9. J. Cundy GBR

 

Men’s C4 Time Trial

Next up was the timetrial, 4 laps of a techincal 5.5km course around the Sydney Olympic park, a venue very close to Jody as 11 years previous he won 2 golds and a bronze in the Aquatics centre at the 2000 Paralympic games.

Scoring points was the main goal for Jody and moving up the order compared to the road race would be critical to this. With a time of 31.49 he did just that finishing 6th 1min 28seconds down on the overall winner Jiri Bouska.

With 22 qualification points in the bag, and 10 medals won by the GB paracycling team, Sydney was a good start to the World Cup series. Jody will continue his road racing season, and hunt for 2012 qualification points at the P1 events in Piacenza and Gippingen, before taking on the 2nd round of the world cup in Sergovia Spain.

Results C4 22km TT
1. Jiri Bouska CZE – 30:21
2. Manfred Gattringer AUT – 30:37
3. Michele Pittacolo ITA – 31:08
6. J. Cundy GBR – 31:49

World Champs – Day 3 (Team Sprint)

World Champion, Jody Cundy (GBR) 1:05.144 New WR!

Seems like a good way to start a post!

After winning the silver in the Pursuit it was time to re-engage the sprinter inside me, and try to ride as fast as possible over 4laps of the track.

With 2 4km pursuits in my legs from the previous day it was going to be a tough task, but once I started my warm up my legs felt pretty good, well no worse than in a tough week of training, so I felt good about giving it everything. Going off last I was faced with beating my team mate Terry Byrne, who posted a 1:07.694, a massive PB for him, and also the fastest time ever other than my previous rides.

I settled into my ride pretty quickly as I tried to get the bike up to speed and accelerate hard. It was a strange sensation as it was the complete opposite of what I was trying to achieve the previous day. 2 laps in and I could finally feel the effects of the pursuit, but I could also feel the effects of all the pursuit training I’d done and that helped me spin my legs smoothly through to the finish. I crossed the line to a huge cheer from the crowd, and it wasn’t until I came round the bend that I could see my time and start celebrating.

A new world record, taking 0.3 off my previous best from Manchester in 2009. That was my 4th kilo title in a row, and on each occasion I’ve broke the WR a pattern that I think is going to be difficult to continue, but would be cool if I could!

Anyway got to go, Team Sprint qualifying shortly. We’re off last of 15 teams.

Catch you soon

World Champs – Day 2 (1km Time Trial)

Well Day 2 is here which means a shift back to the events I know and love, the Kilo today, and the Team Sprint tomorrow.

The pursuit for me was an experiment, and a way to score important qualification points for London, and to stand on the podium having won a silver medal is an amazing feeling. Congratulations Jiri, I’m after you now!

I think if I had a little more experience and confidence in my pursuiting ability I could of backed up my ride a little better and put in a stronger challenge in the final, but unfortunately I got carried away in the first few laps, and in the pursuit that’s a dangerous mistake to make. But I’ve  learned my lesson , and will come back stronger next year. I’m just glad all the hard work paid off and I’m heading in the right direction.

Today is an important ride, as it’s the first time I’ve had to ride the kilo after riding a pursuit series the day before, and it’s also the first kilo I’ve ridden having had a pursuit focus in training. My coach will be monitoring all the factors and see how things add up. In an ideal world I’ve maintained my top end speed, and added a little endurance to the 2nd half. But that is to be seen.

Right time for some lunch and then it’s off to the track!

 

World Champs – Day 1 (4km Pursuit)

What an eventful morning, riding the pursuit for the 1st time at a major championship it was all a step into the unknown. The previous pursuits I’d ridden had been without specific training, and the last one I rode was when I was ill at the nationals, so I had no idea where I would figure on the world stage.

With a target in my mind and a goal I’d been working on with my coach Chris Furber I set out to see if all the hard work had paid off.

4:44.085 and 2nd fastest behind Jiri Jezek of the Czech Republic, a near 20second PB, and a guaranteed silver medal it couldn’t of gone any worse!

Just getting ready for the final, where the main aim is to back up the ride from this morning and try to pressure the gold. But racing the current world champ and record holder is going to be a tough challenge.

Catch you all soon.

Jody

Bronze and National Record for Jody on Day 4

A session of mixed feelings for Jody, after feeling ill all morning, he managed to get himself to the line in the evening for the 4km Pursuit. It was evident after 3 laps though that he wasn’t on his A game, slipping behind his schedule at an alarming rate, he finished in a time of 5:03.826. Fast enough on the factoring system to take the Bronze medal, behind Darren Kenny and Rik Waddon, and also a new British Record.