Upsurge in cycling’s popularity entices Ironman world champion
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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Upsurge in cycling’s popularity entices Ironman world champion

by Conal Andrews at 4:54 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Impressed by the success achieved by British Cycling riders in recent years, the triple Ironman world champion Chrissie Wellington is considering taking part in the road time trial in the 2012 Olympics.

Wellington, who has dominated triathlon in winning her world titles in 2007, 2008 and 2009, relishes the chance of a new challenge and chasing a gold medal on home soil.

"British cycling has achieved phenomenal and deserved success over the last few years,” the 32 year old is quoted as saying in the Telegraph newspaper. “It has gone from a minority to a mainstream sport.

"I really love triathlon and the challenges it affords me, particularly the long distance racing. Having said that, I would be foolish not to consider trying other things, other challenges such as the shorter distance time trials.

"I like new challenges, [in] 2012 potentially, but this is clearly the opportunity to try new things. I love to test myself and see what I am capable of."

British riders will be psyched to perform strongly in London, and the national media will generate huge attention for the country’s cyclists. At the last Games, its track cyclists dominated in the velodrome while Nicole Cooke (road race) and Emma Pooley (time trial) took gold and silver medals respectively.

Wellington is clearly strong on the bike, as her overall record time in the Hawaii world championship triathlon showed this year. Her biggest challenge may well be to go from the extreme endurance of covering a 112-mile time trial, a 2.4-mile swim and a 26.2-mile marathon run to focussing everything on a shorter, single discipline event.

“It [the Olympic time trial] would be 10-25 miles, which is relatively short compared to 112 miles which I currently do in the triathlon. Anything is shorter compared to that.

“I am under no illusion how much it would take to achieve something and the level of work it would need to be successful and competitive in the time trial.”

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