Academy talent Sam Harrison is ready to contend for a European team pursuit spot after getting over a summer spate of injuries that left him unable to pedal.
“I crashed at the end of May in a Dutch race [the Olympia’s Tour] and broke my collarbone. Then I started getting knee and back problems, because of a leg difference,” he told Cycling Weekly at the national track championships.
“From all that I was leaning a bit. It built up and my knee and back went, I couldn’t pedal.”
Harrison was forced to “basically start from scratch”. “I got my position right six weeks ago and I’ve done a real tough block. I’m in a real good place now, a real good level of fitness” he asserted.
Considered a big talent for several years, Harrison broke through in February, winning omnium gold at the Beijing World Cup.
Having forced himself into the reckoning, his aim is to make it into the 2012 Olympic team pursuit quartet.
“I see myself as a bit of an outsider, but twelve months ago, I never thought I’d be in this position. I’m going to give it absolutely everything I can now.”
His revelatory showing in the last track season has given him the confidence that he can now “be in the team and not stand out as weak.”
With the physical problems hopefully ironed out, Harrison is confident he can improve. “I’m only going to get stronger now, I’m only 19. If I keep putting the work in here, it’s natural that I should develop. It’s all to play for.”
National track championships 2011: day two round up
National track championships 2011: day one round up
Sam Harrison scores World Cup omnium
British National Track Championships 2011: Results