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Monday, 30 January 2012

Los Angeles & London: GB Para-Cycling Squad ready to Perform

The Great Britain Para-Cycling squad will fly out to Los Angeles this weekend for the World Track Championships. The Championships at the Home Depot Centre Velodrome in Carson are the final chance for the team to score qualification points for the London Paralympic games. Great Britain will also be looking for a repeat of last year’s track worlds in Montichiarri, Italy. The British Para-Cyclists topped the medal table in 2011, winning 9 gold 8 silver and 1 bronze. A mix of road miles and intensive track work, both at Manchester and Newport should see the team in good form.

Tandem pilot Barney Storey will ride with Neil Fachie in the Kilo and the match sprint. A competition that could well see them face Craig Mclean & Anthony Kappes in the final. Storey has been around the block and knows what is required in Los Angeles. "Preparation is going really well, we are starting to produce some really fast times in training and looking to taper off shortly before travelling to L A. It’s all about short high intense efforts over the next couple of days for me, dropping my familiar longer road rides. I’m looking forward to racing now!
"After the champs we really have to wait and see what our chances of selection for the (London Paralympic) Games. Then we will look at building a base of road miles before a similar track training period from July onwards." said Storey

Barney’s wife Sarah has a trophy cabinet bursting with medals but she is focussed and driven and like Barney, is looking forward to the challenges ahead, "So with less than 1 week until we fly to California, the training is a good balance between hard, fast intervals on the track and the speed work needed for the shorter efforts of man 2 in the Team Sprint and the Individual 500m.
I'm really looking forward to racing in LA and trying to defend my World titles in the 500m Time trial and Individual pursuit, plus with the added bonus of the Mixed Team Sprint."
"Once the track worlds are finished I'll be having a short break then straight into the road season. I am just finalising the details for the coming road season, which will give me a fantastic base for the Games in London."

Hard work will produce results but sport at the highest level requires more than just honest labour. Like most professional teams, the GB Para-cycling squad analyse all aspects of their training and racing. English Institute of Sport performance analyst, Kevin Gill, will video all of the squad’s sessions for the coaching team. From his position in the “cheap seats” Gill will have measured every millimetre and angle of the track and can supply instant data to the coaches at track side. “I try not to get too involved with the athletes in order to avoid bias. This hopefully allows me to provide a more neutral viewpoint. Obviously I have my own opinions about a performance; however unless the coach requests my opinion, the aim of my feedback is simply to serve as an objective tool for the coach” Gill says. Performance analysis is applicable to most sports, although currently concentrating on track cycling, Kevin has worked in football and canoe slalom. Data gathered by Gill in Los Angeles will be used to review performance in the days and weeks after the Championships. The London Paralympic games are only a few months away and the Great Britain squad are continually looking to improve.

The 2012 championships have been extended to four days, Thursday to Sunday. The expanded programme will include the Women’s tandem Sprint and mixed & men’s scratch races.

2012 UCI Paracycling Track World Championships
9-12 February 2012
Home Depot Velodrome, Los Angeles
Day 1 - 9 February 2012
Women - B - 3km pursuit, Men - B - 4km pursuit, Women - C1 - 500m TT, Women - C2 - 500m TT, Women - C3 - 500m TT, Women - C4 - 500m TT, Women - C5 - 500m TT.
Day 2 - 10 February 2012
Men - C1 - 3km pursuit, Men - C2 - 3km pursuit, Men - C3 - 3km pursuit, Men - C4 - 4km pursuit, Men - C5 - 4km pursuit, Women - B - 1km TT, Men - B - 1km TT.
Day 3 - 11 February 2012
Women - C1 - 3km pursuit, Women - C2 - 3km pursuit, Women - C3 - 3km pursuit, Women - C4 - 3km pursuit, Women - C5 - 3km pursuit, Men - C1 - 1km TT, Men - C2 - 1km TT, Men - C3 - 1km TT, Men - C4 - 1km TT, Men - C5 - 1km TT.
Day 4 - 12 February 2012
Women - B - Sprints, Men - B - Sprints, Mixed - Team sprint, Women - Mixed - Scratch race, Men - Mixed - Scratch race

Great Britain Team, Los Angeles 2012
Jon-Allan Butterworth (C5) - Kilo, Pursuit
Mark Colbourne (C1) - Kilo, Pursuit
Jody Cundy (C4) - Kilo, Pursuit
Neil Fachie (B/Vi), piloted by Barney Storey - Kilo, Sprint
Anthony Kappes (B/Vi), piloted by Craig McLean - Kilo, Sprint
Darren Kenny (C3) - Kilo, Pursuit
Aileen McGlynn (B/Vi), piloted by Helen Scott - Kilo, Pursuit, Sprint
Shaun McKeon (C3) - Kilo, Pursuit
Sarah Storey (C5) - 500TT, Pursuit
Lora Turnham (B/Vi), piloted by Fiona Duncan - Kilo, Pursuit

Helmet-cam images courtesy of Kevin Gill

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