Milton Keynes’ Ryan Owens realised a dream as Great Britain took silver in the men’s team sprint at the TISSOT UCI Track Cycling World Cup in London.
Owens, alongside Joe Truman and Philip Hindes, was edged out to glory by the Netherlands - who claimed gold in a repeat of the previous World Cup meet in Berlin.
But Owens was upbeat about the performance and praised the amazing opportunity to ride at the Lee Valley VeloPark - home of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Owens said: “Overall we’re pleased with the performance.
“We’ve had a few silvers and bronzes this World Cup season and it would have been nice to get a gold at home but we’re happy with how we raced.
“The atmosphere is amazing. I grew up just south of Milton Keynes, not far from here, and I was training here twice a week before I made it onto the GB team.
“So, to come back and wear the GB colours in front of a crowd like this, in front of my Mum, Dad and girlfriend cheering us on, it’s a dream come true.”
Owens again fell foul of a Netherlands rider in the individual sprints – the fearsome Jeffrey Hoogland beating him 2-0 in their quarter-final meet on Sunday.
And while silver has very much been the colour of the GB men’s sprint team during 2018, Owens believes they are in a strong position to go one step further next year.
“This year we’ve pushed the Dutch much closer than we did last year,” added Owens. “We came away with a silver last year and we were happy with that, but we were a way off them.
“Now, we’re starting to turn our times into sub-43 performances now which is right up there, we’ve never been so quick and consistent before. So, it’s a real positive for us this year.
“We’re going on a warm weather training camp to Australia and we’ll hopefully come back with a sun tan and some good form for the Worlds.
“We’re really happy with our 2018. We’ve had a silver at the Worlds, a silver at the Commonwealth Games, and then a good showing through these World Cup events.
“So, it’s been really positive and hopefully we’ll continue to build on this.”
PLEASE LEAVE IN FINAL PAR - The next TISSOT UCI Track Cycling World Cup on UK boards takes place at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow from 8-10 November 2019. Sign up now at bit.ly/NextStopGlasgow to access tickets before they go on sale to the general public.