The team pursuit squad had a good ride at the Manchester World Cup and we’re not far off where they were at before the Olympics.
Obviously we have been faster, we have done a 3’53” in the Manchester velodrome, but a solid 3’58” ride, which we achieved, is good. It’s a good stepping stone and there’s a lot of potential within the squad to develop from there.
Track World Cup
On competition day, we normally have breakfast at about eight o’clock, and then we’re onto the rollers or the turbo trainer at half eight for a 20 minute burst. We had a turbo trainer warm-up on Friday and then rolled down to the track at about half eleven.
We were due to ride at half past one, so we started our warm-up at about one o’clock. After the race, all we did was warm down and take on some recovery drinks. They showed us a graph of the ride and it was a good flat-line graph, so we were really chuffed with that.
From there, we headed back to the team hotel and had lunch and then at four o’clock we had a top-up meal before heading back to the track. We warmed up half an hour before the race again, which was at 7:05pm, and then after that it was on to the podium and then off home.
I don’t think the team is set yet although we stuck with the four of us who won the European final in Apeldoorn – it could change all of the time.
There are six of us and we are all riding at a good pace. All six of us are very good so I don’t think it’s set in stone by any means.
There is a lot of pressure on those places, which is good. It pushes everyone on, it makes us all try that bit harder and it helps us get the best out of each individual.
I also rode the individual pursuit in Manchester, and came sixth. I wanted to go faster but I just didn’t have the legs. I felt bad in the final of the team pursuit and I just fell a bit flat by the time of the IP.
It was alright when you look at how the other people who had ridden in two team pursuits performed – they were all slower than me bar one – so there are promises in there but I wanted to go quicker than I did.
Looking back, what I did was credible and has earned me a spot at the Worlds – I’ve qualified my own spot now so that job has been done. I wanted to go quicker, but I didn’t, so now I move on and I know what I’ve got to do to get better.
Switching from team pursuit can be difficult. I’m conscious of the fact you can set off too quickly in the individual pursuit so that’s one of the things I’m very cautious of.
I make sure I don’t start too quickly – in fact, I’d rather go a bit too slowly than too quickly. I don’t find it too difficult to switch but I hardly did any preparation for the individual pursuit beforehand. I only did one effort in the last three or four weeks. There wasn’t any real work done on my side of things so the time wasn’t too bad!
Manchester is always fantastic. It’s great to go somewhere where everyone’s cheering your name and supporting cycling and knows quite a lot about cycling.
I was still able to my pick my girlfriend Lauren’s shouts out from the crowd though – as did most of the mechanics! It is fantastic racing in front of that home crowd and having all those people cheering you on.
Training-wise at the moment we do a mixture of road and track, so for the next couple of weeks we’ll rest, do a few days on the track and then the rest of the training is road conditioning and volume.
In addition to my training I’ve also got a few extra bits coming up too, starting with a dinner for British Heart Foundation. I’m their ambassador for cycling so I’m going to their annual meal!
Our winter road riding is usually a mix of general conditioning and more aerobic-type work. There are no really hard efforts – they’re all done on the track.
There will be standing starts, sprint work and a couple of flat-out 2km efforts. There will also be some more crossover training – rolling over the longer distances and with paced efforts.
The top end of the pyramid of work is done out on the track, but the base is all down out on the road.
Over the winter, I think track training is accessible for amateurs. You have to be qualified to ride it, and pass various training bits, but the track is becoming more and more popular so that says something about it.
I know quite a few people around here who use it in the evenings, and ride in the track league and such like, so it is definitely there for the amateur rider to use, and I would definitely encourage them to do so.
Andy Tennant is a member of Great Britain’s World and European champion men’s team pursuit squad, and a pro cyclist on the road with the Madison-Genesis UCI Continental team.
Follow Andy on Twitter – @tennanto
Pictures used with kind permission of www.SWpixcyclingphotos.com