Owens laments team sprint in bronze medal race

Ryan Owens is a relative newcomer to the senior British Cycling team but he's already accustomed to podium finishes.

Monday, 13th November 2017, 4:03 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 1:01 pm
Ryan Owens (second) SWpix.com

However, it’s a familiarity that can be detrimental, a disappointing blow when things don’t go entirely to plan.

That was the case at this weekend’s TISSOT UCI Track World Cup in Manchester, where Aspley Guise’s Owens - alongside Jack Carlin and Joe Truman - missed out on team sprint bronze at the track they call home.

The trio had won World Cup bronze only the previous weekend in Poland, but couldn’t replicate that on British soil, missing out on a medal by just 0.149 seconds to the Netherlands.

But results like this are a rarity for the Brits, and the 22-year-old is confident it won’t become a regular occurrence.

“It was one of our more disappointing sprints from the three of us,” he said. “We had it in us to do better than that.

“I had such a bad slip off the line at the beginning, I was fighting to recover it the whole time and I never really got back on it for the rest of the team.

“To come away with fourth is a bit disappointing but looking back, with the training we’ve put in and everything else, I don’t think we can be too disheartened.

“The bronze last weekend adds to the disappointment a little bit, because it showed what we could be capable of.

“We set a new best time as a trio which was a fair bit quicker than we did tonight, but we wouldn’t have been far off it had that single little mistake not happened.

“It’s the first team sprint in probably 30 that something like that has actually happened, so we’ve done well up until this point.”

The boards of the National Cycling Centre are well-known to Owens and co as the place they train day in, day out - the velodrome hosting its first World Cup since 2013.

And while they may not have been able to produce a medal for the largely partisan crowd looking on, Owens insisted their support did make a difference.

“I think the one thing that did spur me on when I slipped was the crowd,” he added.

“I fought harder than I ever have before to get back on it and it was like a wave of noise following us around.

“It’s an unusual feeling, it’s our home venue that we train at every day, so seeing it transformed in this way is great.

“It really does motivate you. I had my own little supporters’ club here and you want to do well for them.

“It takes me back to the days when I was on the other side of the barriers.”

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