ED CLANCY does not remember too much about the heady days after he struck Olympic gold in Beijing.
After climbing to the top of the podium with Great Britain’s team pursuit quartet the former Holme Valley Wheeler and Geraint Thomas were on a mission, they drunk almost as quickly as they pedalled as they found their Olympic spirit at the bottom of bottle after celebratory bottle.
Clancy and Thomas were indulged in their alcoholic excesses by teammates Bradley Wiggins and Paul Manning but now, four years on, they have stepped up into the senior roles.
Manning retired after Beijing and is now a team coach, while Wiggins has found an alternative road to further storied success.
But Clancy and Thomas are determined to make there’s a double in London, with the team pursuit including two of Andy Tennant, Peter Kennaugh and Beijing bronze medallist Steven Burke.
“We’re ready to get it on, things are looking good and everyone is riding well and can’t wait to put it together on track and see if what we’ve got is enough,” said Clancy.
“I’m under no illusion that it’s going to be a battle. Australia beat us at the test event, we beat them at the World Championships, this is going to be the mother of all deciders.
“In Beijing we took the mick a bit, but we’ve got a fight on our hands this time. It’s going to come down to a few tenths of a second, stupid errors will be very badly punished.”
Clancy, who will also compete in the men’s omnium event in London, in which he won bronze at this year’s World Championship, admits he struggled for motivation after his Beijing success.
After dominating the world in the build-up, Great Britain quickly slipped off the podium top spot in the events that followed.
But after beating Australia, their chief rivals for gold in London, at the World Championships in Melbourne earlier this year, momentum has swing back in their favour.
“I was on a bit of a downer for two years after Beijing. I thought things would just keep getting better and better but I was naive and too unrealistic,” adds Clancy.
“Track cycling is an Olympic programme, everything is geared towards the Olympics and success there. Now the Games have come around again it’s no surprise that we are back where we were four years ago.”
Indeed, these are heady days for British cycling, following Wiggins’s performance in the Tour de France for which no superlatives can describe.
Some believe track cycling could suffer if Dave Brailsford, who divides his time between the Olympic track programme and Team Sky, concentrates on the road, but Clancy is confident that the master planner won’t quit his role without having a well-planned strategy for his successful succession.
“It will be hard to replace him if he goes but we aren’t thinking about that until after the Games,” said Clancy.
“He’s got a lot of plates in the air but there is a great support team at British cycling.”
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