British Cycling technical director Shane Sutton admits he is disappointed with Joanna Rowsell’s performance at the UCI Track World Championships.
Rowsell went into the competition as the reigning team and individual pursuit champion, but came away from Paris with only a silver medal in the team pursuit.
Sutton told Sky Sports News HQ that several members of the squad seemed to lack the ‘hunger’ to win at the Worlds, and said Rowsell performed below her normal standards.
“I’m not going to hide behind the fact that we didn’t perform on the medal table as well as we would have liked, but there were a lot of good individual performances,” Sutton said.
“Time has moved on and going in I stated I was looking for attitude and progression and no disrespect to Jo, but Jo Rowsell wasn’t on her game at this World Championships.
“I’m about to go and meet Jo now and she didn’t perform at the level she would normally set herself to perform. That’s disappointing from her point of view and ours so we are going to discuss that.”
After the championships, Sutton said there is no need to worry about Britain’s Olympic medal chances just yet, but failure to win a single gold for the first time since 2001 is surely a cause for concern.
“We just need to galvanise and it is a hunger-meter,” he said. “Where is the hunger in these guys? We need to know where it’s at for them and if you’re not hungry enough then there is no point in turning up. We have got to get that back.”
Rowsell told Cycling Weekly in Paris that she wasn't at the peak of her form, saying she peaked too soon on a training camp.
“This winter has not gone as well as last winter,” she said. “I've sort of been playing catch-up a bit. We had a training camp in Tenerife before Christmas and then in Majorca after Christmas.
“Both went brilliantly and if anything I think I peaked in Majorca. I was setting PBs left right and centre, getting up Sa Calobra four minutes quicker than in previous years.
“You can't get it right every time. Since then I've been struggling to hang on to that form.”
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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.
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