Cycle of change makes Laura Trott new darling of home crowd
The Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome
Monday 19 November 2012
Nobody was going to be better received here than Sir Chris Hoy – his name is on the door after all – and a standing ovation duly followed. It was not to be the last of the day and the second one, some two hours later, suggested a changing of the guard in British cycling has already begun.
With Victoria Pendleton gone and Hoy's Olympic career complete, there is room for a change and over the course of the three days of the Glasgow World Cup it is Laura Trott who has attracted the biggest buzz. With Olympic and world titles already to her name – at the age of 20 – a couple of World Cup medals will not compete for space at the forefront of the Trott trophy cabinet but as an indication of just who is the new standard bearer of British cycling it is telling.
Yesterday Trott added a second gold of the weekend, snatching the omnium with a stunning sixth event, the time trial. It brought the full house inside the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome to its feet and up in the BBC commentary box, Hoy applauded too, a smile spread across his face.
Trott has already made her ambition to surpass Hoy's Olympic achievements plain and the Scot has no doubt that she is good enough.
"Absolutely," he said. "She has got age and youth on her side and she's got ability clearly. She has the potential to dominate. She can go on for three more Olympics and could easily become Britain's most decorated Olympian."
As Hoy pointed out, the fondness of cycling's governing body, the UCI, for tinkering with the schedule presents one possible obstacle but Trott, like Hoy, has that bloody mindedness that marks out the very best from the best.
Take yesterday. Post-London Trott is far from fully fit – she leaves for an endurance training camp in Australia on Wednesday – and she struggled through the early stages of the omnium, a marked woman in the rainbow stripes of a world champion.
Winning the elimination race – something of a Trott trademark – on Saturday night revived her hopes but she still went into the final event needing to find form fit for an Olympics rather than a World Cup. She clocked 35.867sec, 0.7 slower than her time in London, to overtake the Australian Ashlee Ankudinoff and take victory.
"I wanted to win, that was all it was," said Trott. "I was in silver and I was like: 'I'm not having that, no way. Coming to this being double Olympic champion and going home with silver?' I just love winning – I do, I love the feeling."
Trott's was the only medal for Britain yesterday. A total from the weekend of three gold – all of them claimed by the women's team – two silvers and a bronze is a satisfactory return from an event that marks the beginning of the new Olympic cycle. If it had not been staged in Glasgow then Trott and the other Olympians may well have stayed in Manchester as they are all in the early stages of training following post-London celebrations.
"Shane Sutton [Britain's head coach] said I didn't have to ride the omnium but it's the only chance I've got to wear the stripes and who wouldn't want to do that in front of a home crowd," said Trott.
"When the crowd are shouting your name, it's surreal. I love it. I went to have a coffee with my mum and dad this morning and a little girl came up to me and said I've got a poster of you on my wall. That's what I used to be like with Victoria [Pendleton] and Chris."
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