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Olympic Build Up?

ProssPross Posts: 34,807
edited August 2011 in Track
So after the Worlds what is the current position with British hopes in the 2012 velodrome? By recent standards this year has been a bit disappointing results wise (it still seems strange to say that as when I first started cycling a pursuit medal for Colin Sturgess was a major success and then Boardman's gold in 92 was a huge deal!). Is this due to a tapered build up towards 2012 as certain riders have said or is it a case that our established stars have passed their peak whilst the up-and-coming youngsters aren't quite at the top level yet? Of course there are other factors such as the men's team pursuit missing out on some of its top preformers and the fact that the UCI have ditched some of our strongest events from the Olympics meaning they are no longer a target and some of the other events have always relied on an element of 'luck' such as the points race and now the omnium. However, our results in the sprint events were a bit worrying. On the plus side there were some promising results from younger riders, notably Laura Trott with 2 medals at her first senior champs and Jess Varnish looking good leading out the team sprint. Any thoughts?

Posts

  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 7,960
    A combination of things.

    I think Hoy is past it now. I mean just BARELY past it. Kenny is better, but not good enough to beat Bauge yet. Team Pursuit will bounce back.

    Vicki P needs to buckle down and maybe focus on one event over all others. And maybe bulk up a bit (although I would hate to see it!).

    Ed Clancy can be good in the Omnium if he rides it.

    I don't buy the whole "we're building towards the Olympics" thing. No reason why you can't be good for the World's every year. And stupid to think you can peak only once every 4 years!
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 7,960
    Quote from Brailsford:

    "No disrespect to the World Championships here in Apeldoorn but for her [Vicky] and Chris they need an event of the stature of the Olympic Games to get them pushing forward 100%."


    Personally - I think that's censored . They are paid to ride (and presumably win) bike races. The World's is the most important race each year.

    If they can't get 'up' for a competition as important as the World's, maybe they shouldn't be doing it. (my opinion only of course)
  • Agree If you can't be motivated for the world's it's time to RETIRE.

    With an ageing squad and it seems not a lot of talent coming through we will struggle to beat the Aussies and the French who are ahead by quite a way at present.

    Let's see what excuse Brailsford comes up with when Flecha fails to win the Tour of Flanders this week.
    Racing is life - everything else is just waiting
  • ProssPross Posts: 34,807
    I think the big problem is that the funding is based entirely on Olympic medals and so that becomes the sole focus. Maybe we will see the same as has happened in rowing at times in the past where they have had a relatively poor showing in the year before the Olympics? I'm concerned that it is more a case of the 'old guard' being past their prime slightly before the new generation are ready to take over and that it is occuring at the worst possible time.
  • graeme_s-2graeme_s-2 Posts: 3,382
    It's a bit of a worry, but I don't think it's a disaster.

    At the 2007 World Championships, we topped the medal table in events that would be contested at the Beijing Olympics, winning 7 medals overall, which were 4 golds, 2 silver and a bronze. Our closest competitors were the Netherlands, who got 1 gold and 2 silvers.

    This year we're 3rd in the table of events that will be contested at the London Olympics, with 8 medals overall, but that's 1 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze. France got 2 golds and a bronze, and the Aussies got 6 golds.

    So we obviously haven't done as well as we did in 2007, but we have got medals in the right events, just not the right medals.

    I think Hoy will probably keep his spot in the Team Sprint, and I think he's still the best British Keirin rider, but it's very likely that Kenny will get his spot in the individual sprinting at the Olympics.
  • shm_ukshm_uk Posts: 683
    ... but if Team GB don't meet expectations at London 2012, they can try again and again and again in 2016, and 2020, and 2024, 2028, 2032 ... on and on ad nauseum until the end of time ...
  • ProssPross Posts: 34,807
    shm_uk wrote:
    ... but if Team GB don't meet expectations at London 2012, they can try again and again and again in 2016, and 2020, and 2024, 2028, 2032 ... on and on ad nauseum until the end of time ...

    Not necessarily as a poor showing in 2012 could result in a cut in funding leading to an even worse showing in 2016 and ever downwards to the level British cycling was at prior to lottery funding.
  • rebsrebs Posts: 891
    Dont think its about TeamGB doing bad. Just think so many other Nations are really upping their game. The French spring team are so hot right now while the Australian endurance team will probably rip the legs of everyone come 2012.

    Think I'll be more disappointed if teamgb are really bashed for not repeating 2008.
  • Eddy SEddy S Posts: 1,013
    Some random thoughts and stuff from me...

    As has been mentioned, Team GB is funded to win Olympic medals. You would have thought that the shrewd business heads involved could have developed this in to funding for other racing too. This Team GB Olympics events only strategy is driving me nuts! These were the World Championships FFS!

    I was starting to get very annoyed at the amount of times we heard ‘we are just using this event to see where we are’ from various coaches and riders. I don’t know if the riders fully buy into this. I was looking at some men’s sprint podium photos and the look in the eyes of Jason Kenny and Chris Hoy said it all. Despite all the brave faces and statements of satisfaction, they looked seriously very disappointed.

    The new Olympic format is not going to bring together all of the best riders in the world.
    And what do they think that the rest of the powerful track nations are going to do for the Olympics? Take their feet off the gas and start de-training for London? Gregory Bauge was visibly testing new kit. I’m sure other teams were testing new stuff too.

    I also think that Team GB has lost focus because of Team Sky and the multiple roles that the management and coaches play. The track team doesn’t race enough. Although the athletes are responsible for their own training/coaching, unfortunately the grand plan and strategy is driven elsewhere. I’m sure the riders would like to prepare for and chase world championships.

    And did anyone else catch Dave Brailsford’s comment that GB's participation in next year’s world champs is questionable? Is this mind games already or is he serious? http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/great-britain-to-miss-2012-track-worlds

    Some of the most enthralling racing came in the events that have been dropped from the Olympics – the Kilo was edge of the seat stuff as ever; the Men’s points race was a cracker and what a result for Columbia; the Madison was brutal but good to watch; and of course there was the Women’s Scratch - well done Dani King!

    Let’s hope Pat McQuaid and the rest of the UCI were paying attention. I doubt it!

    So, if Dani was allowed to ride that race, why didn’t we have riders in other events??? It is a travesty that some our best track riders were excluded from these events.

    Just observations/rhetorical questions - I think I already know the answers.

    BTW Pross, it was Dani King not Laura Trott who got the 2 medals at her 1st senior event. 8)
    I’m a sprinter – I warmed up yesterday.
  • ProssPross Posts: 34,807
    Doh :oops: I agree with everything you say though Eddy, it needs to be taken as a sport in its own right not just an Olympic side show. We have so much talent coming through but one rider per individual event at the Olympics (3 individual events for each sex) very few of them are getting a chance to compete at the top level. If each event gets a different rider then including team events there could potentially be 10 men and 9 women in the team. Those on the fringes can miss out and have to wait four years for another chance resulting in them giving up.
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 7,960
    Eddy S wrote:

    Let’s hope Pat McQuaid and the rest of the UCI were paying attention. I doubt it!

    So, if Dani was allowed to ride that race, why didn’t we have riders in other events??? It is a travesty that some our best track riders were excluded from these events.

    What did you mean by these two comments?

    AFAIK - it's the IOC and not the UCI that changed the medal events for the Olympics (or the IOC in consultation with the UCI?)

    And you have to qualify riders for each event in the Worlds based on results in the World Cups. You can't just enter riders as you can for other events. That's why the Brits would have been 'excluded' from other events.

    You qualify spots and you can fill them with whoever you want (again - AFAIK).
  • mattshropsmattshrops Posts: 1,134
    have to agree that the worlds is a stand alone event- jesus you can win the rainbow jersey :shock:
    i dont think the riders agree with those comments, just some sort of spin thing.

    main thing that concerns me is if a reasonably knowledgeable group such as this seem to expect automatic gold medals then joe public and the media are going to be barbecueing team gb over the coals.
    lets face it we had a spectacular success at the last olympics and you cant seriously just expect more of the same? all the other nations are bound to improve, we have no divine right to dominate.
    Death or Glory- Just another Story
  • Eddy SEddy S Posts: 1,013
    Pokerface wrote:
    Eddy S wrote:

    Let’s hope Pat McQuaid and the rest of the UCI were paying attention. I doubt it!

    So, if Dani was allowed to ride that race, why didn’t we have riders in other events??? It is a travesty that some our best track riders were excluded from these events.

    What did you mean by these two comments?

    AFAIK - it's the IOC and not the UCI that changed the medal events for the Olympics (or the IOC in consultation with the UCI?)

    And you have to qualify riders for each event in the Worlds based on results in the World Cups. You can't just enter riders as you can for other events. That's why the Brits would have been 'excluded' from other events.

    You qualify spots and you can fill them with whoever you want (again - AFAIK).
    Yeah, I'm fully aware of the qualification system for the Worlds – I know the teams can’t just “rock up’n’race”.

    The comment isn’t made in isolation to the Worlds – we should have had a proper team racing and qualifying at the World Cups. The point I was making was look how successful Team GB can be when represented.

    GB had two qualified places for Men’s IP - Sam Harrison was entered and didn’t ride. GB also had one qualified place for the Men’s Scratch - Sam rode and pulled out early. He did that on top of his primary objectives of the Omnium and TP (because Ed Clancy withdrew due to illness). Sam’s workload became untenable once Ed went home.

    This is the result of travelling with only an "Olympics sized" team.

    Men’s events with no qualification and no reserve places were the Kilo, Points and Madison.

    GB had qualified places for Women’s IP (1), 500m TT (2) and the Points Race (1) – only Becky James rode the TT finishing 7th.

    W.R.T. the women’s scratch, GB was 2nd reserve and didn’t have qualified place. Without going back and looking at recent World Cup results, I don’t know if we earned the spot through scoring a place/ some points in a prior race somewhere.

    The IOC sets the athlete numbers/quotas – the UCI came up with the proposal. Although there is representation at the UCI, I don’t believe any of the Olympic format was agreed by the national feds – they just accepted it. Ok, the re-hash was to bring in equality between men’s and women’s events but why was it at the cost yet more track events? (I'll avoid the rant about endlessly similar swimming and jogging events with multiple entrants... :evil: ) So on top of losing the Kilo/500, there are now no endurance bunch races unless it’s part of the omnium – that is only open to one competitor per qualifying country.

    This is just plain wrong and we don’t seem to have any right to appeal what is being done to our sport. An event containing a Devil where riders and judges can’t agree on elimination despite the introduction of electronic notification does not have a place at this level. And next year, it’s an Olympic event. This is plain wrong!
    I’m a sprinter – I warmed up yesterday.
  • ProssPross Posts: 34,807
    mattshrops wrote:
    have to agree that the worlds is a stand alone event- jesus you can win the rainbow jersey :shock:
    i dont think the riders agree with those comments, just some sort of spin thing.

    main thing that concerns me is if a reasonably knowledgeable group such as this seem to expect automatic gold medals then joe public and the media are going to be barbecueing team gb over the coals.
    lets face it we had a spectacular success at the last olympics and you cant seriously just expect more of the same? all the other nations are bound to improve, we have no divine right to dominate.

    No-one is expecting automatic golds and I think everyone is aware that the Aussies in particular messed up in the build up to the Beijing games and so were going to be a force to be reckoned with this time around. My main concern is whether we are still relying on riders who may no longer be at their best and have possibly wasted a season where younger riders could have been gaining valuable experience and pushing for a place. I think it would be a brave selection if, for example, Matt Crampton and Jason Kenny are selected ahead on Chris Hoy or Jess Varnish / Becky James selected ahead of Pendleton. We have also lost individual endurance events that have given us a lot of golds in past years plus the chance to double up in some events so even if we have a high success rate then it will still appear to Joe Public that it has been less successful than last time!
  • awaveyawavey Posts: 2,368
    I dont feel the performance at the worlds was a problem as such, I think we did well actually at an awkward track that wont be anything like London 2012, Beijing exceeded all expectations so it was always going to be difficult to replicate that, especially as the competion has stepped up a level.

    not that means everything is fine and we just carry on as is, I think weve been experimenting for a few years with different team combinations seeing how certain things worked, what things didnt and trying out stuff, some of its worked, some of it hasnt

    so nows the time to post worlds 2011, to say ok weve learnt alot over the past 3 years, and going into 2012 this is how we put together an olympic plan that gives us the best chance for TeamGB to medal at each event even if that might mean individuals lose out to better the overall haul.

    and Im sure thats what Dave B and the team are doing or going to do, because thats actually what they are good at, theyve never striked me as people who go we'll just carry on doing this as it worked before and fingers crossedit works out ok, they more than anyone Id guess know where the gaps are what the weaknesses are, and know how to fill them.
  • Gosh
    someone here said that Sir Hoy is past it

    Watch Hoy rip up the track with his power and determination to be our greatest ever track cyclist.

    Apologies to those that know that Reg Harris was our greatest ever track cyclist ......I am talking to the Youth :lol:
  • ProssPross Posts: 34,807
    Did anyone actually say that? I certainly didn't and I'm not sure it was worth the huge text font and thread resurrection :?
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