US rider Taylor Phinney is looking to claim two gold medals at the Track Worlds Championships, which began today in Copenhagen. Phinney will compete in the Individual Pursuit – as the defending champion - and the Omnium, but with the Pursuit having been culled from the Olympic programme for 2012, he admitted that it could be the last of his career, even if he breaks the world record.
Phinney arrived in Copenhagen on Sunday, having spent a week in Italy training on the track and getting used to the shift in time zone. "We came for week before worlds," he told Cyclingnews. "It's just me, my coach and my mom."
Phinney was shocked when the men's Individual Pursuit was dropped from the Olympic programme last year's, signing a petition to keep it alive. When asked if Copenhagen could be his last pursuit outing he was unsure but unable to rule out the possibility.
"It depends on how fast I go. If I go really fast and I win then it could be my last and I just focus on the road and the Omnium but I haven't thought that far ahead yet. I'm just looking at going as fast as I can here."
And going as fast as he can might mean breaking the world record still held by Chris Boardman who raced using the now-illegal Superman position in 1996 and posted a time of 4:11. Phinney believes that Boardman's time is out of reach but that a non-Superman time is possible.
"I think that the non-superman position record is something I can do but the superman record… I'm a little bit doubtful about that one. Unless superman himself lined up at the race I don't think it can be beaten. But the non-superman position is something think I'm aiming for and in my second ride, not my qualifying round. That's when it matters the most."
Phinney might not have everything all his own way though. Jack Bobridge posted a scintillating time of 4:14.4 last month and goes into the pursuit as a real threat to Phinney's championship bid.
"He's posted the best time of the year with 4:14 but I'm focussed on beating him - but you never know, Jesse Sergeant from New Zealand has the capability to go really fast too. You never know with him."
The men's Individual Pursuit is on Thursday, with the Omnium held a day later.