Former world champion and British Cycling president Tony Doyle says there's plenty to be optimistic about despite disappointing Track World Championships so far for Great Britain
The former British Cycling president and two-time worlds gold medallist is commentating for Eurosport this week from London’s Lee Valley velodrome.
“GB was disappointed last night in the team pursuit, but they shouldn’t break themselves up over that, there are reasons why they were just edged out,” Doyle told Cycling Weekly.
“It will only make them hungrier and more determined for Rio. Bradley won’t want to go out with a silver, he won’t want anything less than a gold in Rio. He’s such a driving force in personality and character that the team will be even extra determined.”
They lost in a close final, just 1.129 seconds off, to Australia last night. “The Aussies yesterday did what we did to them on their home patch at the 2012 Worlds,” said Doyle. “They had extra incentive all along.”
Wiggins led the pursuit team with Jon Dibben, Ed Clancy, Owain Doull, Steven Burke and Andy Tennant. Clancy, Dibben, Doull and Wiggins rode the final last night.
The team has five months until the Rio Games to make any corrections needed.
“The most experienced and arguably strongest rider in the GB team is Ed Clancy. He had an operation on his back only 12 weeks ago, from that to this, making a major contribution to the team, was amazing. Once he has more training and road miles in his legs, he will make the difference,” Doyle explained.
“The younger guys, getting a World Championships under their belt will only enhance their performances. You can do all the training you want but there is no substitute for competing under pressure. Having been in the worlds final, having just lost out, will be the making of those young guys.”
So far, Great Britain counts one gold with Laura Trott in the scratch, a silver from the team pursuit and a bronze from Becky James in the Keirin. In 2012, they left the Melbourne Worlds with six gold medals and went on to rule the London Olympics.
“There’s no question, the main difference was Ed Clancy. For the women’s team pursuit Katie Archibald was missing. In the men’s and women’s sprints events, team GB was off the pace. Some serious work needs to be done in terms of training and possibly with some riders and their attitude.
“Obviously, we haven’t had the success we had before, but there are enough reasons for those. With the coaching setup that we have and the Technical Director Shane Sutton, there’s enough time between now and August to rectify things.
“It’s a vocation for these guys, they don’t take anything lightly. We are going to have analysis and reviews, they will see where shortcomings are and make sure that those are rectified.
“I still think that team GB will come away from Rio as the most successful nation in terms of medals on the track.”