Jason Queally is not the only renascent rider in Great Britain’s pursuit squad for Copenhagen. In the space of a year, Andy Tennant has refound his track roots and gone from unsuccessful Academy graduate to an integral part of the line-up.
After becoming junior world individual pursuit champion in 2005, Wolverhampton-born Tennant spent several years fighting to establish himself on the road. After failig to make the grade with the Academy in Italy, he returned to race in the UK last winner facing a crossroads in his career.
However, he found both good results and morale racing with Halfords Bikehut last year, notably winning the Tour of the Reservoir and comprising part of their winning Tour Series line-up.
The real evidence of his transformation came on the track at last October’s Manchester World Cup. After months of training on the boards with the team, he was slotted into the line-up for the final and helped to bring Team GB to a 3.54 ride.
In the run-up to these World Championships, Tennant has even been singled out for praise by Sir Chris Hoy. So, what exactly has changed in the last twelve months?
“It’s come around quite quickly,” he said. “I had confidence in myself coming away from Italy; riding with Hayles and Clancy at Halfords last year gave me a lot of confidence, as well as morale.
“They’re good friends of mine and really help to bring me on. I owe a lot to them. Matt Parker helped me a lot last year coaching-wise, and Darren Tudor has taken over this year and stepped it up a gear. So, yeah, it’s been quite a change but I’m really enjoying it.”
The difficult transitional years have also helped Tennant to both identify and improve his own weaknesses. “I’ve just become a lot more relaxed. I can put a lot of pressure on myself easily, and the coaches have identified and helped me with that.”
Tennant also feels that off-the-bike camaraderie is crucial; fellow pursuit members Ed Clancy and Steven Burke are his house-mates, as well as being team-mates on Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta.
“As a unit, we’re really good, tightly-knit. We all get on and want to do it for each other, and I think that’s one of the main factors in wanting to go fast.”
“I’ve ridden with everyone before on the Academy bar Jason Queally, and I knew him really well before. It just shows that’s what that’s done for us,” he added.
Though the team pursuit has been one of Great Britain’s strongest events in recent years, victory is far from a foregone conclusion. Lest it be forgotten, the Great Britain pursuit team uncharacteristically finished fourth at last year’s world championships in Poland.
However, it sounds like they’re going to go better this time round. “Fourth from last to go off isn’t the ideal position, but training has gone well for all of us, morale is good and we’re all really up for it as a team, ready to compete.”
The men’s team pursuit takes place on Friday.
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