Hoy ready for competitive comeback
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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Hoy ready for competitive comeback

by Conal Andrews at 2:42 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track
 

Triple Olympic gold medallist Chris Hoy returns to racing at the British national championships towards the end of this month, and feels psyched to exchange his recent high-paced time off the bike for the more familiar – but equally speedy – life on it.

The Scottish rider was sidelined by a crash during the Copenhagen World Cup in February, hitting the deck after a clash with the Frenchman Kevin Sireau. It gave him an enforced break and, with interest in him at a high after Beijing and his knighthood, he got a view of a very different lifestyle.

"It was an experience to deal with a little taste of celebrity and a world that as a cyclist you'd never normally see," he told the Guardian newspaper. "It was enjoyable and exciting in some respects and also difficult and just bizarre in others, to be in an environment that seems so alien to me.

"I'm used to getting up in the morning, training, having my lunch, training, having my dinner and going to bed. That's pretty much it. And then all of a sudden they put you on TV shows, they want you to be at the opening of events, they want you to endorse their products. It's very nice but it can also be a distraction."

Hoy suffered a problem with his hip due to his crash and spent a long time away from training. However one side effect is that it has renewed his motivation, helping to overcome the sense of a loss of direction and goals that very successful Olympic athletes can often experience after the Games.

“I think that it's given me a new enthusiasm,” he admitted. “I came back just desperate to get back on the bike and to get back with my team-mates in the track centre. I'd missed it so much. If I hadn't, if I'd got used to that lifestyle and just relaxed a bit and thought that getting back to training was a bit of a bind, that might have been a sign to hang up my wheels. But that couldn't have been further from the truth."

Hoy launched his autobiography today and it will hit the shops on October 15th, five days before the national track championships start in Manchester. He’ll compete there and then at the end of the month he’ll ride the World Cup event being held in the same venue. He can’t expect too much of himself, but feels satisfied with his form and also the thoughts of aiming for more gold medals in London in less than three years time.

“Technically and tactically I'll be a little bit rusty, which is only to be expected when you haven't raced for a long time," he told the Guardian. "You need to sharpen up your skills, and you can only really do that in competition. But in terms of speed and physical power, I'm really happy with the way things have gone."

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