|2013 Daily Peloton
Interviews with GB Track Stars Philip Hindes and Vicky Williamson
With the British National Track Championships taking place this week from the 25 to 29 September DP had a quick chat with two of Britain's top track riders, Philip Hindes and Vicky Williamson.
Philip Hindes, 21
Hindes specialises in the sprint, team sprint and occassionally the Keirin. He was born and raised in Germany by his English Dad and German Mum. Hindes started off sporting life as a rower but switched to the track eventaully representing Germany at the 2010 Junior World Track Championships. After a frustrating time in Germany at 19 Philip made the transistion to GB Cycling and almost immediately made an impression, culminating in winning team sprint gold at London 2012 with Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny. The win wasn't without incident. Hindes crashed at the start of the Gold medal round, and initial quotes gave the impression that the crash was deliberate. GB Cycling later stated that Hindes mispoke, a claim that was accepted by the IOC. After a golden 2012 Hindes has had an up and down 2013 which included a debilitating back injury. The National Championships will be a key indicator of his return to form.
Happy 21st Birthday for yesterday (Sunday 22nd)! 21? How did you celebrate it?
I spent it with my girlfriend. I didn't have a big celebration with the Nationals coming up this week.
How has life been since London 2012
I pretty much straight back into training. I was at the Revolution Series but then I had a back injury over the summer. It started in the gym with this sharp pain. I am not sure what caused it† but It is just something that happens as an athlete.
Has the Revolution Series Helped Track Cycling in the UK?
It was really good. It is great for the public to see the stars and it is good to get track racing across to people.
You were born in Germany. What made your mind up switching from Germany to Team GB
I wanted to be on the British system. The German system wasn't right. In West Germany it is organised on a regional basis with regional teams. The† main team is in East Germany. In the UK it is very well organised.
What did you mum think about you switching to GB?
She was happy. She just wanted the best for me.
Who is your biggest inspiration, if anyone
Chris [Hoy]was a big inspiration to me at the beginning, but now it is me. I want to do my best.
What is the process of creating a team sprint 'machine'
It is quite straightforward. They pick the quickest men, especially† the quickest starter.† We start to do team training about a month before the competition really just to train the second man and keep the right gap.
What are your aims for the National Track Champs?
With the injury my aim is just to do well and keep getting fit. I am not doing a taper so I will be training right through the competition.† Next year's World Championship is a big aim, then the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow
Thank you Philip and Good Luck
Vicky Williamson, 20
Norfolk-born, Williamson's big break came at the Wolrd Championships in Minsk in February this year. After Jess Varnish pulled out with injury Willimason joined Becky James for the team sprint. The result was a bronze, which took most people, including Williamson, by surprise. Williamson came into the sport at 15 after switching from track and field to be selected for the Girls4Gold programme. Despite her success at the World Championships there is fierce competition for places as part of the two-person sprint team, especially with Jess Varnish returning to form.
You made the switch from athletics to cycling - apparently it was hurdling, what happened to make you switch?
I was doing a number of events, including† the heptathlon. The javelin coach suggested that I try another sport so he put be in touch with [GB National Coach] Iain Dyer. I did some power tests and† ended up in the Girls4Gold programme.
You were living in Norfolk. What was involved in making the switch - did you have to move?
The [Girls4Gold] programme was dispersed so I stayed in Norfolk until I finished my A levels. Then I moved to the Academy programme and moved up here [to Manchester]† where I stayed in the flats they have. I have just bought my own house.
How did you find the difference between the Junior Championships and the Senior?
It was more surreal than anything because of the big names that were there. The change in standard and the neatness of everything. There are far fewer mistakes, and itís a lot† faster. Tactics make more of a difference to the racing.
You won bronze in the team sprint with Becky James at the Minsk World Champs in February - how did that feel?
I looked up at the board and I said 'what?'. I couldn't believe it. To come out with a medal was wow.
What's the best thing about being in the Team GB programme?
It is efficient. From the staff to the riders it is so well organised. It is also the dedication of the riders themselves.
So, the National Championships - what's your main aim?
It would be nice to get PB. I was knocked off my bike three weeks ago.† I was filtering and a passenger opened on their doors and I went over the top of it. I just now want to do my best.
What are you going to have to do to make sure you on the squad for Glasgow?
Becky [James] is representing Wales. So it is Jess† [Varnish] and me so I hope I have a good chance of being at Glasgow.
Thank you Vicky and Good Luck
There are still tickets available for the National Track Championships: Visit Ticketmaster
Philip Hindes - Twitter
Victoria Williamson - Twitter
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