i-Team boss targets more national glory

The stars of tomorrow in action.  Picture: Allan Hutchings (131196-576)

The stars of tomorrow in action. Picture: Allan Hutchings (131196-576)

The Tandem Men George Agate, left, and John Whybrow greeted by friends, family and members of Portsmouth North End Cycle Club just outside the city's ferry port. 
Picture: Habibur Rahman

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Guy Watson is aiming to make the most of the cycling boom and bring national honours back to Portsmouth.

The i-Team/KSL/InTandem founder played a part in the early development of London 2012 gold medallist Dani King.

The team pursuit star began pedalling to stardom during his sessions at the Mountbatten Centre – on the same track where Rob Hayles started his race to multiple world and Olympic honours.

Another i-Team product, Jon Dibben, is well on his way to fulfilling his Olympic dream at Rio 2016.

And with Chris Froome’s Tour de France success on Sunday ensuring the sport continues to capture the nation’s imagination, Watson is keen to see it translate into local success.

The head coach said: ‘We have got lots of riders who are there or thereabouts and hopefully this is the year they will start to break through.

‘Last year (when Dani King won Olympic gold), we said “right that is brilliant, how do we do it again?”

‘We have put a four-year plan in place. We are on year one and this year we have targeted a national medal.

‘And then next year we want a national champion.

‘So we will keep the pressure on but it is keeping things fun as well.

‘It is exciting times for the club and whether we make it or not, we are going to have fun doing it.’

Petersfield’s Joe Truman, 15, heads the current crop of i-Team hopefuls.

The track sprinter embarked on his final British Cycling Talent Team camp this week as he gears up for the National Youth & Junior Track Championships which will be held in Manchester from August 13-18.

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