RESULTS may not show it, but Portsmouth’s Joe Truman is right to be in confident mood as the sprint cyclist prepares for the second round of the TISSOT UCI Track World Cup.
The 20-year-old set a personal-best time alongside Ryan Owens and Jack Carlin at the opening round of the series in Poland, last weekend.
That was enough to earn the young trio a bronze medal – and despite it falling short of the gold they won in each of the first two World Cups last season, Truman was more proud of it than his 2016 successes.
Those gold medals followed a surprise silver in the European Championships last autumn, and when the trio failed to make the medal rides at the same event this year, some onlookers could have questioned what had happened.
But the recent personal best is proof that progress is being made and Truman is in buoyant mood ahead of his first ever Manchester World Cup this weekend – the first time the National Cycling Centre has hosted the event in four years.
He said: ‘I’m really excited, I’ve always wanted to have an international race in Manchester and I’m just happy to finally have the opportunity.
‘The Europeans and first World Cup have been positive in some ways and negative in some others.
‘Our legs are all there, we’ve all got really good speed and we can be happy with how our form is, but there are some things to clean up technically in the team sprint.
‘Plus individually, tactically, so hopefully this weekend will give us the opportunity to do that.
‘We’ve come off a high with that team sprint, we all had a good performance in Poland – we were buzzing to be able to take the medal there.
‘It wasn’t the gold that we wanted but the whole standard has stepped up this year, so for us to be able to get a PB, we were pretty proud of ourselves for that.’
Truman, the third man in the team sprint and therefore possessing the ability to maintain his speed for a prolonged period, will also contest the keirin this weekend.
However, following in the footsteps of British cycling greats such as Sir Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny in not limiting himself to the team sprint, Truman knows he still has a lot to learn.
‘In the keirin you’ve got to have a cool head and make your way through to the finals,’ he added.
‘It’s not something you can really teach, it’s something you learn as you go, so hopefully I can do as many as possible, get as much experience as possible and come out a better rider for it.’
But while he is happy to wait for success in the keirin, Truman is eager to show the Manchester crowd what the team sprint trio are capable off this weekend.
‘I’m looking forward to putting down some good performances,’ he concluded.
‘Last year I think we could never have expected the step up that we had.
‘This year we’ve maintained it for most of the season and then picked it up again in Poland a little bit – which is really good to see.
‘We’ve still got a lot more in the tank that we can pick up at this World Cup, so hopefully we can see something in Manchester.”
n On November 10-12, incredible riders like Joe Truman will compete on the Manchester Velodrome in one of the most anticipated events on the track cycling calendar. Buy your tickets http://www.trackworldcup.co.uk/tickets/