It isn’t uncommon for most athletes at the pinnacle of their sport to experience a comedown in a post-Olympic year, but for double Olympic gold medallist Philip Hindes, 2017 couldn’t be further from the truth.
Following his golden success in the team sprint alongside Jason Kenny and Callum Skinner at Rio, for Hindes, this season has been about pushing the reset button and will bid to be selected for Great Britain’s squad at the TISSOT UCI Track Cycling World Cup.
This autumn sees the National Lottery-funded Track World Cup return to Manchester for the first time since 2013, when the second round of the 2017-18 series takes place from 10-12 November at the home of British Cycling.
And having claimed a team sprint bronze back in 2013 when the event last visited the home of British Cycling – alongside veteran Kenny and the now retired Matt Crampton – Hindes will be targeting success on an individual front this time round, refreshed by his new approach to the sport.
“I’ve taken a big break and I’m trying to focus on different things. I’ve been trying to get a bit of education in by doing a few coaching courses,” said the German-born track sprinter.
“Now I’m focusing on the individual event, mainly the sprint, so my training has changed quite a bit.
“Pretty much all summer, I’ve been trying to get some fitness in and I’m changing my focus to try and do well in the sprint.
“I’ve given myself a good two years now to train fully and hopefully get some good results.”
Hindes is juggling his training with a level two British Cycling coaching course and is also pursuing a personal training course in a much-altered regime to his pre-Olympic preparations.
“I’ve always been an athlete, so it’s quite nice to see the coaching side for once,” said Hindes.
“You learn quite a bit. It’s something different and more fun than just doing the same thing.”
And while he is already cementing his name as an Olympic great in the British Cycling history books, Hindes is eyeing the Track World Cup as a crucial building block as he returns to competing on the big stage.
“The Track World Cup is quite an important event in the Olympic cycle,” said Hindes, who first debuted at the event back in 2011.
“If you don’t race well in the event, it’s not the end of the world, you just have to see it as progress and as a way of improving your result each time.
“For me, the main target is the Olympics in the end, where I want to contest both the individual and the team sprint.”
But while he concedes that the world championships is his main target, Hindes has his sights firmly set on bagging another gold.
“It would be nice to win, especially in front of a home crowd. It always feels a bit like a world championship event with the crowd behind you,” he said.
“You’re a bit under pressure, you want to perform and medal, but it’s just a stepping stone to get some results in the bigger events.
“It’s massively important having the crowd behind you – it’s something you don’t get at a lot of races.
“In Mexico, there’s not many British people there to cheer you on. To race in front of a home crowd especially in Manchester, where we train every day, it will be massive.”
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/