Photos by Kenza Barton Schlee
“Canada further showed our potential on the world stage. Qualifying fastest demonstrated our raw speed, we need to work further on our ability to execute great rides throughout a competition. Exciting times as we head in to a four week training block ahead of Berlin World Cup.” Dan Bigham
With back to back World Cups the team were able to get straight back out on the track and work on some different strategies for the Milton World Cup. Although things were clearly not dire, after getting a personal best of 3:53.826 in Paris, the team had targeted a number of things to work on to get back on that podium.
The team acclimatised to the time zone quickly with help from a copious amount of waffles and a trip to Niagra Falls before getting back out on to the track. It only took a few laps on the Milton Velodrome to realise rhythm would be tough to get this week. Red was certainly the new black. The velodrome in Milton had some warping in the wood on one side so it made it a tricky track to get the hang of. A few training runs in however, the team were quickly into hitting their targets.
Qualifying is fundamental for all teams but more so for Huub Wattbike. With only a ‘4 man big’ squad they don’t have the luxury to rotate like other nations. This meant going out and qualifying in the top two was even more crucial. In an extremely tight round of qualifying, with the top four teams all posting times of 3:56, Huub Wattbike took the top spot with a 3:56.628. A massive moment in the development of the team and the world cup series. To go out and beat the best nations in the world in a straight shoot out against the clock was exhilarating to say the least.
Qualifying first meant the team had a first round clash against Canada. After getting a national record the night before ( 3:56.931) Canada were buoyant and clearly in good form. The first round mimicked qualifying however, Huub Wattbike went out ‘slowly’ with Canada getting an early lead but as Harry, John and Dan settled into their rhythm they pulled back the Canadians to win with ease (with a 3:55.022).
This set up a gold medal final versus the in form Denmark. Huub Wattbike were down on time in the opening few laps but on this occasion Denmark just had more fuel in the tank and Huub Wattbike could not reel in the deficit. The final finished Denmark 3:53.499 v Huub Wattbike 3:56.699. So similar to Paris, another big success for the team, this time qualifying fastest, then picking up a silver medal but the team are ready to grab that gold in Berlin.