Updated: Wednesday, 22nd November 2017 @ 5:30pm

Team player Hindes has individual goals at Berlin European Track Cycling Championships

Team player Hindes has individual goals at Berlin European Track Cycling Championships

| By Phil Jones

With two Olympic gold medals around your neck it would be easy to relax into retirement or at the most keep doing what you’ve done in the hope of bagging a golden hat-trick at Tokyo 2020.

But for Philip Hindes he has thrown out the textbook and is setting his sights on an Olympic medal in the individual sprint, with next week’s European Championships the first major step on the journey.

After consecutive team sprint titles Hindes has changed tack and focussed on the solo sprint, as well as varying his team sprint efforts away from the lead position.

The change has not come without its challenges though, with the 25-year-old admitting his new events are still a work in progress.

“I just wanted a change – it can get pretty boring just doing the one lap and I just wanted a new challenge,” said Hindes, who is likely to represent Great Britain at the upcoming TISSOT UCI Track World Cup in Manchester.

“I’ve pretty much been training for half a year now, so it’s much different. Before I’d only been doing short efforts, but now I have to train a bit longer and have longer efforts.

“It’s pretty hard at the beginning, you’re throwing up all the time and struggling to recover, but I’m getting better every session and getting fitter.

“My plan is to give myself two years of training and just racing experience – I haven’t raced much yet and racing is completely different to training, so you need to just gain a lot of experience racing.

“It’s not going to be a short-term thing, it’s going to be a long-term thing for me. Hopefully in a couple of years I will get some decent results and win a World Championships and Olympic medal.”

Hindes has not totally forgotten his roots however, and next week could be part of the team sprint trio – just not in his familiar role of leading out the first lap.

He has been working with Joe Truman, Jack Carlin and Ryan Owens, newcomers to the team who won silver at the same event last year in their senior international debut.

And he is buoyed by the strength in depth of Britain’s current sprinting crop, with fellow Rio 2016 champions Callum Skinner and Jason Kenny also targeting further success in Tokyo.

“We’re a really, really strong group, probably the strongest group we’ve had – it keeps me on my toes and it’s always good to have someone fighting for your spot, because then you don’t get lazy,” he added.

“You have to try hard every single session and you have to fight for your spot so it will be interesting to see how the next three years will go up to Tokyo. It should be exciting.

“It’s really good to have Jason back too – he’s not been on the track very often, once or twice a week as it’s a long-term plan for him to come back and he’s focusing on the Olympics.

“But I’ve been training with him every day for the last six years, so it’s good to have him back.”

On November 10-12, incredible riders like Philip Hindes will compete on the Manchester Velodrome in one of the most anticipated events on the track cycling calendar. Buy your tickets http://www.trackworldcup.co.uk/tickets/