GALLERY: Jody puts the tears and tantrums behind him, wins bronze, apologises, and concedes it was after all ‘just a bike race’
TEARS, tantrums and a torrential outpouring of expletive ridden angst gave way to a more circumspect and tranquil approach as Jody Cundy reflected that it was, after all, “just a bike race”.
The 33 year old five times Paralympics gold medallist put the momentous moments from yesterday behind him as he pulled off a remarkable come back to clinch a bronze medal at the London 2012 Paralympics.
Jody, controversially disqualified in his time trial yesterday where he was favourite for gold, triumphed today in the men’s C4 individual pursuit. In today’s race he started quickly and overlapped his Columbian opponent.
He took just five laps out of 16 to chase down Diego German Duenas Gomez and secure a bronze. The double Beijing gold medallist was on a mission to claim his medal as he overlapped his opponent and punched the air in victory as the gun sounded to signal the end of the final
All a far cry from yesterday when he was disqualified after expecting a re start when he slipped at the starting blocks. It was ruled the fault was rider error so the judges ruled him out.
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Cundy was furious shouting that “I’ve wasted four years of my life to ride in front of 6,000 people,
“Do you know what it’s like to dedicate four years of your life? I can’t even express it. I’ll never ever get this opportunity again, never, ever, ever again. Never. What am I supposed to do now?”
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Last night Jody apologised for his outburst – and language- and later told journalists that it felt like “someone has died, but they haven’t, it is just a bike race.”
Channel 4, who broadcast the rant live, may have provided Jody with some consolation since viewers 85 per cent of viewers polled supported him and said they would have reacted similarly.
A race official said that to have a restart “you have to have had a recognised mishap: a puncture, a fall or the breakage of an essential part of the bicycle.
“There was nothing wrong with the gate.”
Jody said tonight that he rode the first four laps of today’s Pursuit in 1:05.317; which, had he been allowed to ride the Kilo yesterday, would have won him gold.
Jody said:” I was starting to panic because my legs were completely gone after four and a half laps, but I couldn’t let the crowd down and they carried me home”
“The support here has been more incredible than anything I’ve experienced before! It really has been amazing, thank you to everyone for cheering me on”
He added: “I’m fully committed to Rio in 2016 as I still have unfinished business.”