Jody Cundy: Missing gold was hard lesson, but bronze is one to treasure
Medal winning cyclist on his emotional few days and his pride at competing in front of a home crowd
Sunday 02 September 2012
When I woke up in the athlete's village yesterday morning I felt emotionally drained. It was hard work getting out of bed and it was hard work getting myself back on to the bike and back into the Velodrome for the heats.
On Friday night I had got into bed about ten, half ten. After everything that had happened – four years of my life gone like that – I was exhausted and I knew I had to sleep with another race to prepare for. But I couldn't. I lay there and everything just kept going though my head – I couldn't help it, running through all that had happened, trying to think if there was anything I could have done differently. That was a very hard lesson I learnt on Friday afternoon.
The time I went in the first four laps of the pursuit yesterday would have been good enough to win kilo gold – I have never been in such good form and the times I have been doing in training are the best I have ever produced. Then that happens.
It was soul destroying – I know I could have won gold. And it is not just about gold, it is about winning gold in London, your home Games, and everything that goes with it, the recognition, the coverage, the opportunity to put yourself on the map. It still hurts and it will for a while but of course you move on and I now have the motivation to keep going for Rio – just as long as my body keeps going too!
I will treasure the bronze I won yesterday, really treasure it. It may have only been bronze but this was a home Games and those 6,000 people in the Velodrome both yesterday and on Friday produced such an incredible level of noise and support. I have never heard anything like it and I am thankful for the opportunity to have ridden here.
The kilo had been my absolute focus so much so that I'd only done one training session since February in the pursuit. But as soon as you get out in this Velodrome, hear the crowd you are lifted. I had qualified eight seconds faster than Diego Duenas Gomez for the bronze ride off so we decided to go for it in the medal race. I went off faster than planned and after a while it started to hurt but I could see him, I knew I was catching him and the roar of the crowd made sure I would not let him go.
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