By Shane Stokes in Palma British rider Chris Newton knows what it is like to stand on the top step...
By Shane Stokes in Palma
British rider Chris Newton knows what it is like to stand on the top step of the podium, having won world points race and team pursuit titles in the past. He will compete in both events here and was in a confident mood prior to the start of the championships.
"My expectations are pretty high, really, especially for the team pursuit," he said. "We are expecting a lot there."
He wants to win gold, but sees it all as a stepping stone to the Olympic Games. "We are just aiming to go fast in both rides [qualification and final] and see how we get on, really. Almost like a training exercise, really. I suppose you can do that in training efforts, but if you can do it in competition it gives you a more realistic picture. That is something we have to work on, and that is what we are doing.
"I expect Australia to be up there, I guess, and maybe the Spanish will creep up. The Dutch have gone off the boil a little bit, but the Danes seem to be going reasonably well and obviously the Russians. There are always a few people who crop up, though, and things don't always go to plan."
He said the team has been working hard in the run up to the races. "All our training has been at or above world record pace. But when you go into competition and have to do full distance there is always a tail off. We have been doing rolling three kilometre sessions or rolling four, so you have got the distance but not the start. Then you start adding in things."
His second event is on Saturday and he will play it by ear, to an extent, but a second career gold in that discipline would be very special.
"As regards the points race, I will see how it goes, really. The form is good. I won it in 2002 and I have had three fourth places since then, missing a medal by a couple of points each time. I am confident that I am always in the mix. If it doesn't go my way, it doesn't."
He agreed that it is a bit of a lottery. "It is a bit harder to predict, it is like a criterium. Unless you have got somebody leading you out for the specific sprints, you have got to try to cover moves and that. There is not one particular point in the race where it is an obvious race decider, so you have got to watch everything and just see how it goes, really.
"The [GB] staff are really good and they have put no pressure on me. I know I can race well and will just leave it at that. I will do my best, that is what it is all about."
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