Joe Truman has stated his desire to cement his position as one of the world’s best track sprinters ahead of Tokyo 2020, writes Max Chesterton.
The 21-year-old, from Petersfield, has already had a taste of success – clinching team sprint silver medals at the World Championships and Commonwealth Games this season.
But with the Olympics only two years away, the 2016 European silver medallist has not shied away from stating his lofty ambitions as the clock ticks down to Tokyo.
Truman, who was born in Portsmouth and remains a member of Guy Watson’s city-based i-Team club, said: ‘For me, the motivation is getting in that team.
‘You want to be in the team for Tokyo because when Tokyo comes around, we’re going to be one of the strongest squads there.
‘So, if I’m getting into that team, you can take a lot of confidence you are going to be among the best in the world.
‘It started off as being fun, when you’re an early teenager, just mucking about on your bike and now you just want to be the best.
‘You go to training because that’s what you want to do, you want to prove to everyone you can be the best, by getting into that team and winning medals – it shows you’re on your way to proving that.’
Should Truman feature at the TISSOT UCI Track Cycling World Cup at London’s Lee Valley VeloPark in December, he will follow in the footsteps of cycling legends Sir Bradley Wiggins and Sir Chris Hoy in going for gold on the famous Olympic track.
Keen to evoke their medal-winning success, Truman – already a two-time World Cup gold medallist – issued a rallying call to ensure Britain’s success continues.
He said: ‘London is special. Even on the approach to the velodrome you can see the building’s shape and you know the history of it.
‘Even though it’s new, so much has been achieved there. It’s exciting and of course I’m buzzing for that.
‘I’m hoping it will be packed and it’s a real wall of noise. So that will be good.
‘I think it will be one of the last chances for us to show some form before we turn our focus towards the World Championships.
‘Hopefully we can produce some good performances there.’
Truman raced to Track World Cup gold at Glasgow in 2016 to clinch his first career senior medal – a feat he is aiming to replicate.
A former student at The Petersfield School, he added: ‘I don’t think we really ever expected it and I’d only been on the squad for a year or so at that time.
‘So to come away to a packed stadium and do a personal best at the time and get a World Cup gold was really great.
‘I think that was the one race that year my parents didn’t watch but it was a fantastic atmosphere!
‘It was the first time Twitter went a bit crazy as well afterwards because it was the first big win we had and shows the media attention surrounds cycling in the UK which was exciting.’
See the stars of British cycling get #BackToTheTrack at the TISSOT UCI Track Cycling World Cup at London’s Lee Valley VeloPark from December 14-16. For tickets and more information, visit trackworldcup.co.uk