Cyclist Jody Cundy returns from Los Angeles with full set of medals from world championships
11:28 13 February 2012
Jody Cundy proved he is in top form in Paralympic year by bringing home three medals from the UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships in Los Angeles.
The fastest Paralympic cyclist in history picked up his 11th world title by cruising to victory in the C4 Kilo - the 1km time trial - when he finished three seconds quicker than his nearest rival in 1:06.001 - less than a second off his own world record.
But Cundy, 33, from Walpole St Andrew, admitted he was still not fully satisfied with the comfortable win.
“I’m a little annoyed to be .001 away from a 1:05 and it’s also the first time ever that I’ve won a world or Paralympic title and not broke the world record at the same time, but I shouldn’t be too disappointed,” he said.
“We might have got my taper slightly wrong or maybe I just didn’t have enough recovery from the flight and the travel, but we can learn from that and that’s the important bit.
“I have to say my legs felt like jelly in the morning, they felt awful. It’s the first time before a kilo I didn’t really feel ready for it, so it was all about getting the ride out.
“I went flat out out of the gate but after a lap and a half, it already didn’t feel very fast. I tried to give it everything and by the time I got towards the last lap, I just tried to keep it going.”
Cundy bagged a bronze in the 4km Pursuit after having to race twice in qualification because an official was standing on the track - he had won silver in the same event last year, but insisted the result was still a step in the right direction.
“London is my main goal and I am still learning in the pursuit,” he said. “It’s a very different event to the kilo but I am not a million miles off from where I want to be, so everything is pointing in the right direction.”
GB’s mixed team sprint trio of Darren Kenny, Sarah Storey and Cundy had to be content with silver medal on the final day of the championships, beaten into second place by China – their first defeat at the level since 2007.
Despite that setback the GB team still topped the medal chart with eight gold, seven silver and two bronze.
Cundy said: “I think if we had practised more, we could have been better. Maybe we have been a bit complacent with the Team Sprint because we’ve always won it comfortably, but we literally did our trial and no practice.”
Cundy will now enjoy a holiday in Los Angeles with his family before returning to being preparations for his home Paralympic Games.
He said: “We have been working incredibly hard, but there is still a lot more work to do for London. I’ve defended my kilo title and picked up a silver and a bronze in the team sprint and pursuit, so I cant complain.
“What has been really amazing is the support myself and the team have been getting from the fans back home.
“I’d like to say thank you to all of you, it really does mean a lot to me and I can’t wait to get to London and perform in front of a home crowd.”
Head coach Chris Furber admitted the performance of other teams such as the Chinese had provided a wake-up call ahead of the Paralympics.
He said: “We knew the standard here was going to be high but it’s been tougher than we expected.
“It’s been a bit of a wake-up call for some riders and we’ve got to work really hard between now and the Games to stay in front where we are in front and get in front where we’re not.
“We now need to look at the data to see if we can spread ourselves more thinly across more events or whether it’s within our best interest to focus on one event.
“I know I would rather go away with one gold medal than two silvers and riders will feel exactly the same.”
Furber added: “However, we are in the medal mix and that’s really important because if you’re in the medal mix here, you’re going to be competitive in London. From that point of view (17 medals) we’ve done very well.”