By Steve Thomas
As the World Track Championships approach,British Olympic and World Champion Chris Hoy has his plans set for his coming title defences and beyond. Formerly dominant in his pet event, the kilometre time trial, he must now test his Olympic mettle in new events.
It's been a strange and transformational couple of years for Scottish fast man Chris Hoy. After many years he had attained the honour of being the fastest kilometre rider in the world, and had become practically unbeatable in the solitary and punishingly pure discipline - an event which is renowned as one of the toughest in bike racing.
Then out of the blue the event was demoted, losing its Olympic championship status; a devastating blow for the powerful sprinter, who had pinned almost his entire career on this race of truth. "At first I was devastated, it was really demoralising," Hoy admitted. "But, although I think it was still wrong demoting such a classic event; for me it turned out to be a new challenge, forcing me to change disciplines. This took a little while, but has been really refreshing."
Last year Hoy bid farewell to his beloved kilo by winning the world kilo title in Palma de Mallorca and running so close to the all out kilo world record in La Paz. He left the event with the legacy of 4 world titles, an Olympic gold and record and the sea level world record, not half bad!
The event still carries World Cup and World Championship status, but no longer shines quite so brightly for Hoy; "It's a shame, it seems to of lost some of its sparkle. It seems to have become more of an event for up and coming riders stepping towards bigger Olympic goals."