Cycling

Ed Clancy using British Cycling 'family' to fuel Tokyo Olympics dream

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Ed Clancy

Image credit: Getty Images

BySportsbeat
18/07/2020 at 09:54 | Updated 18/07/2020 at 10:09

Ed Clancy says he views British Cycling as his 'family' and is using that relationship to fuel his pursuit of Tokyo glory.

The evergreen cycling star already boasts a brilliant treble of Olympic gold medals, having reigned supreme in the team pursuit event at Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016.

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And those triumphs were supplemented by an individual bronze in the omnium on his home boards eight years ago, capping a scintillating career in the velodrome that's made him a British Cycling legend.

The 35-year-old has cherished his storied career and after postponing his retirement for a further tilt at Games glory, says it's that relationship with his team-mates that's spurring him on.

"I still feel motivated and I still want to do this," he said.

"Different things motivate you at my age, though - when you're 22 or 23 you want to go there, win, and celebrate the aftermath, but now I'm older I'm more interested in helping my team-mates.

"I view British Cycling as my family now - I feel a bit more responsibility and ownership for the success and the wellbeing of my team, even though I'm not in a position of power.

"That's a big part of my motivation these days, so I do feel motivated, but it comes from a different place and I try and be a good influence on my team-mates.

"Another 12 months isn't going to be a bad thing for British Cycling, and the dream is to go and win another gold medal."

Three Olympic golds, one bronze, 12 World Championship medals and a Commonwealth Games silver would probably be enough for most athletes to call it a day, but not the effervescent Clancy.

The Holmfirth-based star was initially due to retire after this summer's Games before the coronavirus-enforced postponement made him reassess his options, weighing up the choice between hanging up his lycra or eyeing up yet another Games success.

Clancy thought long and hard about the decision but concluded there was still life in the old dog yet, as he took to the Yorkshire roads in lockdown to remain fighting fit for sport's resumption.

That choice was the product of a couple of factors and Clancy is determined to go out on a high.

"I spoke to a lot of people about it just to try and gauge as many different opinions as possible, as the truth is, I just didn't know what to do," he added.

"It would have been a shame to have come this far, and I want to be part of the Games next summer as it would mark being back to normality.

"It will be a good show of strength to the world if we can get the Olympics to go ahead, so that's part of the reason I want to carry on.

"I also wanted to do it on my terms - I'd love to get there and have closure on my career and in an ideal world, I'll get a medal in the sharp end in the team pursuit and say my goodbyes.

"When I do hopefully get there and achieve that dream, I'm sure all the hardship beforehand will make it all the more worthwhile.

"It's just about thinking logically and thinking about the bigger picture - when you're telling your grandkids a story about Tokyo, it's something that you can look back on and be proud of."

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