PARALYMPIAN JODY CUNDY CAN'T WAIT TO FACE CLANCY AND BURKE AT REVOLUTION SERIES IN MANCHESTER ON SATURDAY
Jody Cundy was infamously disqualified from the 1km time trial at the 2012 Paralympics before winning a Bronze medal the next day. He spoke exclusively to the Revolution Series ahead of his debut with us at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester on Saturday 27th October
Revolution Series Season 10 is nearly here: Is it a chance to maintain British cycling's feelgood factor after the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics?
Of course, the interest in cycling at the moment is sky-high, especially in Great Britain as we've dominated on the road and track. The Revolution Series is also a brilliant way for fans to experience cycle racing live for the first time. There are sell-out crowds, frantic racing, the chance to see some of the best riders in the world along with a lot of promising young riders, all potential stars of the future. It's the perfect blend of action to ignite anybody's interest.
Who are you most looking forward to competing against at Revolution?
Testing myself against Ed Clancy, Andy Tennant and Stephen Burke will be exciting, especially when you know how fast they are in a team pursuit. Hopefully I'll be up to the challenge but it's formidable for anyone. Especially for a sprinter like me in an endurance racers' world!
You had an infamous experience at the Paralympics with your disqualification from the 1km time trial. How do you feel about it now, several weeks after the event and having won Bronze the next day?
The Bronze really is a medal that means more than just a Bronze to me, there's such a story around it, and the way I won. The bronze helped exercise a lot of demons from the previous day's disappointment, especially when I rode the first 1km quicker than the winning time in the kilo, though I hadn't even gone flat out. The kilo for me feels like the one that got away but I hope to bounce back stronger and make amends in at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio - possibly at the 2014 Commonwealth Games too.
Do a lot of people come up and talk to you in the street about what happened at the Paralympics?
I've been stopped on the street once or twice when I've not been in GB kit which was slightly strange. Every time people have talked to me about London the response has always been the same ... some have said I was restrained compared to what they'd have done. Which I have to say is slightly worrying!
You're competing in the elite team competition at Revolution: do you see a parallel there between you and an athlete like Oscar Pistorius?
I've never thought of it like that before, but as exciting as Para-Cycling is, the chance to race in able-bodied events really drives me as there is always someone better than me to race against. That takes me out of my comfort zone and really helps me raise my game. Also as pretty much all the races at Para-Cycling events are time trials or pursuits its great to race people head-to-head and really get stuck in.
Aside from Revolution, what are your main aims for the next several months to a year?
The next few months are a bit of a strange one, as we don't have a track World Championships to work towards in 2013, so it's all about 2014, which is pretty hard from a motivational point of view. But it gives me time to experiment with a few things and enjoy riding my bike. I'll start with building base fitness, to build the foundations for Rio.
I'm just going through the review process at the moment and working out what worked, what didn't and how I can improve. I've got a lot of ideas, and its now about putting those into place and building the support network around me. It would be great to have a few more races in 2013, but the races need to be put on, and in a post-Paralympic year that's always going to be a difficult ask, especially as Para-Cycling is a minority sport compared to our Olympic counterpart.
Other than cycling, what are your passions? Are there any other sports you follow keenly?
I'm a big motorsports fan, in particular MotoGP and F1. This last year I've really enjoyed watching the smaller classes of Moto2 and Moto3. The racing has been close and brilliant, it's like watching a bunch race on the velodrome. At 120mph-plus proper elbow-to-elbow action.