Darren Kenny made a flying visit to China to check out the road course for the Paralympics. The multi-discipline World record holder will ride the road race, time trial and up to three track events at the games in August.
Kenny spent a day trying out the rolling circuit 50 kilometres outside of Beijing in testing conditions.
?It is the ?sandy season? over there,? said Kenny. ?It was pretty windy and 34 degrees, plus I was breathing in sand and dust, which was unpleasant.?
The dust storms that affect large swathes of China are a springtime phenomenon and will not be an issue in August, but air quality is still a matter that concerns Olympic athletes.
?There was no problem with pollution at all,? said Kenny. ?It is a long way out of Beijing and the circuit runs round the edge of a reservoir. It is all part of the Olympic triathlon course ? the swim starts near the start of the time trial.?
?It has a beautiful road surface and follows the contours of the lake ? either up or down or round a corner ? and a fairly hard one kilometre climb.?
It may sound like a long trip for a brief recce, but Kenny found the travelling worthwhile. ?My coach, Gary Brickley, came with me? he said, ?and we were able to change a few things around ? change some aspects of the training. We now know what the course is and we know what we have to do.?
After an extraordinary day during the recent World Cup event in Manchester when Kenny set new World best times in the kilo and pursuit with just minutes to recover between heats, the itinerary in Beijing seems very civilised.
?The pursuit is on the first day, kilo on the third and ? hopefully [if selected] ? the team sprint on the fourth,? explained Kenny. ?Then I think it is two or three days before the time trial and another couple to the road race.?
Kenny now heads to races in Germany, Spain, Slovakia and Norway in the build up to the summer games.