The BikeNZ Sprint squad are currently gearing up for the coming 2011-2012 international track season. This season is crucial as it hosts the Oceania Championships and the UCI World Cup circuit which all offer very valuable qualification points for the Olympic Games. All countries must accrue points over two years to earn their right to appear at the Olympics. To date, no country has all the points they need to qualify full teams, so we continue to work at the highest level to secure our spot.
There hasn’t been much down time for us since the end of the previous season in March. In April we took part in an Outward Bound course to further enhance the team culture and face adversities usually uncommon to track sprinters. After leaving Outward Bound's Anakiwa base, the squad headed to Cottbus, Germany which was the base for our European phase. The time spent in Europe was both productive and hectic. Some great racing was had in Germany and Russia but crashes marred progress temporarily. Luckily, all the injuries were dealt with in an efficient manner and we now have the team back on track, literally!
The next hurdle on our road to London is the Oceania Championships in Invercargill in November. These are an important event because the continental titles are on offer. Not only do they give you automatic qualification to the World Championships they also add a significant number of points to the nation’s Olympic qualification points tally.
A few weeks ago, the entire squad (bar Simon van Velthooven, due to unfortunate circumstances) competed at the Sydney Grand Prix as preparation for the Oceania Championships. At the GP in Sydney the racing was structured around the Olympic programme to allow riders to get a feel for what the Olympic programme is like. It was also a good indication of what our form is like before the season gets underway. The racing went well with all riders showing strong signs of a good season to come, and all of us discovering the areas we need to work on!
With the second half of our Olympic qualification procedures about to get under way, there is great feeling of determination within the team. There is a real hunger amongst us to better our best times and use our process orientated goals and unique methodology to gain a spot in the Olympics. It's about having no regrets on the start line, knowing we have done everything humanly possible to achieve at the highest level at the pinnacle Olympic event