Britain's Chris Hoy (R) races to the finish line to beat France's Gregory Bauge (L) during the Men's Sprint, Quarterfinals-Race 3 at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup, a test event for the London 2012 Olympic Games, at the Velodrome in the Olympic Park in L - AFP
Olympic Games > London 2012

Hoy: Brits are on a roll

Hoy: Brits are on a roll

By Eurosport
Last update The 19/02/2012 at 23:31 -
By Eurosport - The 19/02/2012 at 23:31
Chris Hoy had labelled the UCI World Cup in London a 'small stepping stone' but two golds in 24 hours allowed him to take a giant leap closer to the Olympics.

In the heady days after Beijing, British Cycling officials said they would have failed if Hoy was the best they had to offer four years later.

But the 35-year old has defied the doubters and seems to be getting better and better and faster and faster.

This weekend he has seen off the challenge of all-comers at the velodrome he helped design, most notably young team-mate Jason Kenny, who is also eyeing the one available British place in the Olympic individual sprint competition.

First he scorched to victory in the men's keirin, then he backed it up with a win in the sprint - beating disgraced world champion Gregory Bauge in the semi-finals, Germany's Maximillan Levy in the final and laying down a timely marker to Kenny, who failed to reach the last four.

"There's still a long way to go and Jason is not far away," said Hoy, who also won team sprint bronze.

"He's a formidable opponent and he won't lie down. He's almost there and he's a crafty rider so if he gets a little more speed before the Worlds in Melbourne he'll be right up there.

"But you don't pay too much attention to anyone else, you can't afford to, it detracts from own performance.

"Any of six or seven riders could end up being Olympic champion in sprint events, so you don't worry about them - you get on with your job and hope it's good enough."

Hoy did admit that he was surprised by his performance in London, although all the reports from the team's training camp suggested he was laying down some impressive times in the week before the competition.

"I didn't expect to get two golds and a bronze here. I was just looking for good performances," he added.

"This is the best I've been since Beijing, no question about that. I have gained a lot of confidence and I've really enjoyed it and that is the main thing.

"Nobody was missing from this event - all the top guys we here. This was the World Cup event to win."

Great Britain certainly enjoyed a successful weekend - their best on the track for some time - and Hoy believes momentum is starting to roll in their favour.

And he paid credit to the women's team sprint and pursuit squads for their two golds, both in world record times, that started the medal rush.

"We get confidence from each other, we feed off each other's performances," he said.

"This World Cup reminds me of World Championships in 2008 in Manchester, that feeling of we're on a roll now. So it's been a significant weekend for all of us. There were some disappointments too and there are definite areas to improve on but overall it's been great.

"However, these other countries are not going to lie down and say 'oh well we're going to be racing for second or third.' It's going to be an incredible challenge but if we replicate what we've done here in a few months time, I think we'll be a happy bunch.

"I only hope the fans enjoy the success when it comes and I hope they'll give us that support again at the Olympics. If they fulfil their side of the bargain we'll try and do ours and bring home the medals."