Philip Hindes is no stranger to success on the track but he’s putting that all on the line to try something new.
Having won his second team sprint Olympic gold medal in Rio, Hindes has started to turn his hand to the individual event – a switch he put into practice at this weekend’s TISSOT UCI Track World Cup at the National Cycling Centre.
One extra lap may not seem the biggest of challenges for your Average Joe but for Hindes, it’s a mountain to climb for a man who’s used to his work being done in less than 20 seconds.
But his hard work paid off as he reached the quarter-finals of the individual sprint on Saturday having helped the team sprint squad qualify for the final as man two.
And while the 25-year-old admits there’s still some way to go before he’s challenging at the top, he’s confident it’s not too far away.
“I’m feeling good. I’m quite happy with my qualifying times and how I’ve progressed with with the racing and how my tactics are going,” said Hindes.
“There’s still room for improvement but I’ve got three years to work on it and hopefully, come the Olympic Games, it will be there.
“It’s just a learning curve and I’m trying to improve every race.
“It’s just a fitness thing for me, really. In the past we used to do 17 second efforts and now I’m doing 30-plus second efforts, which is a huge difference.
“I just need to focus in training on the longer efforts. Conditioning yourself is quite hard work.
“But I’ve been doing it now for the last six or seven months and I can already see quite a bit of improvement and it’s going in the right direction – it just takes time.”
This weekend Manchester hosted its first World Cup since 2013, providing a rare opportunity for Britain’s cyclists to compete on the track they call home.
Hindes won team sprint bronze on that occasion four years ago alongside Jason Kenny and Matthew Crampton, and he admits there’s something special about racing on familiar boards.
“It’s always nice to race in front of a home crowd,” he said.
“Especially when you come with a lap to go for your final sprint and you hear the crowd cheering.
“You know your opponent is just next to you, or close behind you, and the crowd are cheering you on and it gives you a huge motivation boost – especially here in Manchester, where we train every day.”
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