Nine years after his last appearance at the UCI Track World Championships, Theo Bos returned to the podium in London with a silver medal in the kilometre time trial. After only returning to the track full-time this season, it was an important milestone in his hunt for Olympic selection.
It wasn't quite the triumphant return that he might have hoped, but he was able to take several positives from his performance. "I'm pretty happy. I hoped for more but when I crossed the finish line I knew that it would be difficult for the jersey, but I did everything but one rider was better," Bos told Cyclingnews after going to collect his medal.
The Dutchman was the second rider to post a time in the Thursday morning session and immediately went to the top of the standings. Bos' opening laps were nothing special but he turned up the pace to go a full second faster than the previous fastest lap. Several riders would go out quicker but would eventually fade in the latter stages. It wasn't until German Joachim Eilers, the final rider out, that his time would eventually fall.
"I made no mistakes, and I did everything I could," Bos added. "It was a good race. He was just too fast, and I think he deserved to win. Four tenths is a big gap. My endurance is good, my speed is good. I feel good on the track and on the bike. I'm happy with my time, and that's the main goal to make a good time."
Bos is also riding in the individual sprint this week, a discipline in which he won the first and last of his five titles on the track. Bos will have to face off against Eilers again in the sprint, which begins on Friday, as well as riders such as Gregory Bauge (France) and Dennis Dmitriev (Russia). There are some similarities to Bos' run to his first rainbow jersey, but he is not expecting a repeat performance.
"It's difficult to say, the first time I became world champion in the sprint I was third in the kilo before and the sensations were good, and I have those same sensations. I'm not going to be a world champion in the sprint, but I hope that I can do a good sprint," he said.
Bos has only been riding the track full-time since the start of this year after a strong performance in the Dutch national championships persuaded him to eschew the road for 2016. With very little major competition under his belt, his main aim at this World Championships is to prove himself against some tough international competition and to make his case to the selectors for a spot at the Olympic Games. With his compatriots taking silver in the team sprint it is going to be a hard-fought battle from here to Rio.
"For sure. They were second, and they have a good team, but I will try to do my best and to make some good results here."