Jody Cundy targets 2014 Commonwealth Games because of ‘obscene’ lack of Para-cycling competitions
JODY Cundy says he has launched his ambitious bid to ride for England in the 2014 Commonwealth Games because of an “obscene” lack of competitions for Para-cyclists.
The Walpole St Andrew star admits that pipping able-bodied athletes to make the squad for the Glasgow Games will be “almost impossible”.
But after a heartbreaking London 2012 Paralympics and with no World Championships for the track Para-cylists, Cundy said he had to have something to aim for.
“At the moment, the next major competition I have is Rio 2016,” he said. “That is obscene.
“For the track Para-cyclists to have nothing to aim for makes it really hard work and I’m hoping it will change.
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“We had four days in London when there were sell-out crowds of 6,000 people to watch Para-cycling, so obviously there is a demand for competitions.
“If we have got no races, we have got no chance of an Olympic legacy.”
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Cundy would need to improve his times by more than two seconds a kilometre to make the Commonwealths squad. If he pulled it off, he would emulate fellow TeamGB Para-cycling star Sarah Storey, who competed for England in Delhi 2010.
“The Commonwealths are an absolute pipe dream,” he said. “It’s in Glasgow so it’s essentially a home Games and the nations will put out their strongest field.
“British Cycling has such strength in depth so for me to make the team is almost impossible. But if I set my goal high, hopefully that will keep me ticking over for the next two years.
“I’ve got to set my target somewhere and trying to make that team is a target and a half.
“I’ve tried to emphasise how impossible it is. The fact that I’m missing a leg means that things are just a bit harder.”
Cundy was forced to settle for bronze in the 4km Pursuit after a London 2012 which left him with “unfinished business”.
The 33-year-old had previously launched an expletive-ridden rant at officials who denied him the chance to defend his 1km Time Trial (kilo) title by ruling he had made a faulty start.
Cundy said: “Five minutes before I was about to race I thought I had it in the bag and then it was all gone and I had to re-evaluate what I needed to do.
“Now, it’s like Rio is a definite as long as the body can stand it.”