I will go all guns blazing at Track World Cup – Cundy
Jody Cundy would be the first to admit that he has a mixed relationship with London’s legendary Lee Valley VeloPark track, but he is determined to top the podium when the TISSOT UCI Track Cycling World Cup rolls into town.
The four-time Paralympic track cycling champion was hotly tipped for gold heading into the C4-5 1km time trial event at his home games back in 2012, but for a mishap at the starting gate that led to his eventual disqualification.
Since then, the 40-year-old has appeared at the venue sparingly, but now has the chance to put things right.
He is currently in preparation for London’s World Cup meet next month, which – for the first time – will include para-cycling events.
And Cundy is certainly aiming high, unequivocal when asked if he is targeting titles.
“Yes, it would be silly if I wasn’t,” he said.
“I’m fortunate enough that they two events that my class are doing are my two top events, both events which I’m world champion in.
“When you’ve got that many people watching on such a big stage it makes it silly not to be absolutely all guns blazing and show the world what you can do.
“Having raced at the Paralympics – I had a race where I didn’t really race and a day where I raced the pursuit, which was amazing, but I’ve not really raced big crowds there before.”
The Wisbech native, competing in the C4 category, will look to confront his demons in the 1km time trial, while also going for gold in the team sprint.
And Cundy – who won five Paralympic medals as a swimmer before making the switch from the pool to the saddle in 2006 – is delighted that he will be part of a star-studded team set to make history in December.
“To have to have the news that we’re going to have a couple of events at this World Cup and there’s potential if it goes well for there to be further ones in the future [is amazing],” he continued.
“It’s a fabulous experience and to be in the London track – there’s going to be about 6,000 people watching para-cycling or being introduced to para-cycling for the first time.”
Cundy isn’t the only star that will take to the Lee Valley boards when the Track World Cup rolls around, however – in fact, he will be in exalted company.
In a veritable roll-call of para-cycling star names, GB’s squad will include the likes of Britain’s most successful Paralympian, Dame Sarah Storey, three-time world champion Jon-Allan Butterworth and double world record holder Neil Fachie, among others.
And for Cundy, just being a part of that storied group of para-athletes is humbling enough.
“It’s crazy to think that back in 1996 when I started para-sport that we’d be in a situation that I’d be one of the leading role models for para-cycling and para-sport, and part of a wave that para-sport and Paralympics have been widely accepted by the public and people know what it is – I’m incredibly proud,” he added.
“All I’ve ever wanted to do is race as hard as I can and show the world what’s possible, and to be part of that leading bunch who are out there the world, it’s very moving.”
See the stars of British Cycling #BackToTheTrack at London’s Lee Valley VeloPark at the 2018 TISSOT UCI Track Cycling World Cup series between December 14 and 16. For tickets and more information click here