Last week was a reality check. After two years of global domination we finally lost our grip on track racing when the UK finished ‘only’ third in the track world championships medals table.
Our team had peaked last August in Beijing and nobody was going to be at full throttle again so soon, while other medal favourites were injured, in the case of Sir Chris Hoy, or having a road race sabbatical if you’re Bradley Wiggins.
It’s scary how quickly we get used to winning but it is important that this should not be written off as a disaster. We came away with two golds after medalling in nine events, which is still one of the best ever British performances at the Worlds.
Last year in Manchester we grabbed half of the 18 gold medals on offer, even surpassing the seven golds of Majorca 12 months before. But in 2006, in the aftermath of the Commonwealth Games there was only one gold in our six-medal tally after the team failed to build on the four-gold success when they topped the medal table in Los Angeles in 2005.
Next season things get serious as the build-up to 2012 begins in earnest. If Poland marks a low, then there’s really not much to worry about.
We review the 2009 track cycling world championships in this week’s issue of Cycling Weekly magazine. Plus we talk at length to Mark Cavendish about his Milan-San Remo win and remaining aims for the season; give you tips on how to take part in your first road race; and round-up the latest cycling products.
Ian Cammish takes us on a ride around Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire; we take a trip to the Evans Ride-It sportive; and much more.
Cycling Weekly April 2 issue is on sale from Thursday at WHSmith, major supermarkets and all good newsagents priced £2.60.
Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly magazine