|Woolwich Cycling Club||
National track championships, Manchester velodrome, 26-27 January 2018
This is Matthew's account of an impressive weekend of racing in Manchester
The weekend of the 27th January I competed in the National Track championships in Manchester Velodrome. I went into the race with high confidence as I knew I had done all the hard work and have been doing these types of races long enough that I know how to deal with the pressure and perform. Even when going up against Paralympic gold medallists.
My first race was a 1 km (Kilo), a hard race as it is a sprint all the way, but really too long to be able to push 100% throughout. I was happy with the result, coming 5th, less than a second behind one of our GB Rio Paralympic riders.
Even having selected a larger gear for this race I think I may have been able to have increase a fraction more in this competition. It’s always good to have some improvements in mind to develop before the next race. I was happy that I had set myself a new personal best which always help
It was great to be racing in the same event as great riders like Jason Kenny and Katie Archibald which really gives that little extra impetus to my race efforts.
The evening race for me was the flying 200m, which I didn’t find so stressful as it isn’t a targeted race due to it not currently being a Paralympic event. That said, I still wanted to do well. The ride went well and again I thought I may have been able to improve my time with a slightly bigger gear.
It’s difficult to assess how I will feel on the day so choosing a gear is not easy. I am happy with the result which took me to the podium for a bronze medal and less than 4 tenths of a second behind the gold. Another personal best and that means another National Record registered for the C2 category.
The next day brought me the 3km Pursuit which was my most important event. I felt calm and well prepared which showed in my performance. I outperformed my target time which moves me closer to my goal of reaching the GB rider who took gold in Rio. In this race 2 months ago he caught me – not this time. This improvement was 4 seconds and I now have fewer seconds before I reach him. This was a big personal best for me and was so pleasing to achieve.
Overall a great weekend and I learnt a lot. A great experience and much to take away and develop for the next race.