Hayden Godfrey has withdrawn his candidacy for BikeNZ’s Commonwealth Games squad, as he’s not satisfied he’ll be a medal contender. Godfrey said he’d rather a younger rider gain the experience in Delhi, India, if he’s unable to perform at his best level.
Godfrey’s withdrawal caps a difficult year for the 32-year-old, who was forced to skip the UCI Track World Championships this year after being struck by a car while training. The former world omnium champion has struggled to with injuries ever since the training accident occurred after the Chinese Track World Cup round.
“I have missed out on getting the consistent preparation required to be a medal contender for the Commonwealth Games,” Godfrey said. “I don’t need to go for the experience. I only want to go if I can win and I’ve just missed too much training and racing to be in medal winning form in October.”
Godfrey had suspended his road racing with New Zealand outfit Subway Avanti in order to focus on his recovery and performance in Delhi. While the early season injury had forced Godfrey to miss the Commonwealth Games selection event, he was added to the wider squad sent to the United States of America to train based off his experience.
“It’s been very frustrating. I would get some good training and racing in and then another minor injury would keep me from training at 100 percent for a few days,” Godfrey said. “Right now I need to take some time out and get my fitness and health back on track. Then I will sit down with my Subway Avanti team in New Zealand and evaluate things from there.”
The Christchurch-based rider has been training with the wider Commonwealth Games squad based at Trexlertown in Pennsylvania. Godfrey, who claimed a bronze medal at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006, believes it is better for a younger rider needing the experience to take his place.
BikeNZ high performance director Mark Elliott praised Godfrey’s involvement with preparing the squad for Delhi and his decision to stand aside.
“Hayden is a proven performer on the world stage and his experience and skill would have been invaluable for Delhi,” said Elliott. “He has already played a significant role with the squad in USA in terms of mentoring our younger riders. We really respect Hayden’s decision to withdraw at this stage which further confirms the quality of the man. This opens up a significant opportunity for a younger rider without Hayden’s vast international experience.”