Cyclists look to emulate rowers
Fri, 17 Aug 2012 6:45p.m.
By Adam Hollingworth
New Zealand's elite cycling programme is looking to emulate the success of our rowers by building a one-stop centre of excellence in Cambridge.
Today our Olympians had their first look at the site where a new covered velodrome will be built, while they also visited a nearby school whose children will have every chance to follow in the slipstream of their heroes.
Olympic dreams are often forged at school, and today some of our London 2012 heroes showed the next generation that they really can come true.
Everyone wanted a piece of their heroes and their medals.
The man they call 'Rhino' was still coming to terms with his success
"I mean, less than a year ago I never thought I'd go to the Olympics," says Simon van Velthooven, "let alone win a medal, so anything can happen and dare to dream."
"I still think that I'm one of those kids sitting there, and so yeah, for me to give something back to them like that is just simply amazing."
Cambridge Primary School will probably end up being the local school for these cyclists since, like rowing, Bike New Zealand's also centralising its operations here.
"I love training hard and when we train together we train even harder so, for me, I'm just excited to train harder with all the New Zealand riders and hopefully more will come together," says van Velthooven.
"Velodromes like this cost around 3$0 million," says Simon Perry, chair of the Home Of Cycling Trust. "You can't put them everywhere, so we're better to have one top quality resource, get the best coaches, the best administrators, get all the athletes together, competing against one another, you just have to look at the rowing programme to see the success."
One hundred and fifty cyclists will use the facilities, but Hamish Bond's presence was no coincidence. There'll be cross-pollination between rowers and cyclists and the high performance gym will cater to both.
Bike NZ insists this doesn't mean a downgrade for Invercargill's indoor velodrome, with national events set to be shared between the venues.
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