Ed Clancy’s fast track to gold

Golden boy Ed Clancy may be under the weather but he has his sights set on the road to Rio. Catherine Scott speaks to him

Ed Clancy

Ed Clancy just loves anything on two wheels.

If the two-time Olympic Gold medallist, Olympic Bronze medallist and five-time world champion isn’t out pedaling then he is racing bikes with an engine.

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“I just love anything to do with bikes I suppose, “ says Barnsley-born Clancy who now lives in Holmfirth.

Clancy was one of the golden boys of the velodrome in both the Beijing and London Olympics and he, and his teammates are now on the road to Rio.

“It is always hard after you have done something like the Olympics. Some people come down with a bump straight away, others it takes a bit longer. But now we are definitely looking to Rio.”

However when we speak Clancy isn’t well. He is recovering from a virus which has seen him pull out of a number of competitions including next month’s track World Cup at the London Olympic velodrome.

“I spent a week in bed feeling ill and then travelled to Mexico for the World Cup and ended up doing the same there,” says Clancy.

“Because we are training and racing a lot we probably do get ill more often than a normal person who stays at home, but I am on the mend.”

Despite his optimism Clancy has not been included in the forthcoming World Cup event in London.

While being ill and injured is frustrating for any professional sportsman, Clancy says it can also be a time for reflection, which can turn out to have positive benefits.

“If you are forced to take time off, I think it makes you hungrier to get back out there and win,” says the 29-year-old.

“Even though you might be physically out of action, you are mentally still going. It gives you time to reflect, which you just don’t get when you are fit and training all the time.”

Being an athlete, Clancy says means when he is fit it shouldn’t take long to get back to full strength.

“I find if you have two or three weeks of then it will take about that long to get back into top form.”

Missing next month’s event in London will be a bitter blow to Clancy, however, whose memories of events there is 2012 are still fresh.

“Riding in your home Olympics is amazing. The support we had was tremendous and of course its always difficult following that sort of success but you never really stop wanting to win and move forward.”
Clancy got into cycling at the age of six when BMX was all the craze. “I got into it mainly because of my big brother.”

But it was when his step dad Kevin bought him a racing bike for his 16th birthday that Clancy took to road racing.

“He was a great role model although I don’t think I’ve ever seen him riding a push bike. He never pushed me into cycling he took me to a few races and I thought ‘I could do this for a living.’ “

How right he was. After joining a club and starting to race a young Clancy was spotted. He rose through the ranks of the national junior, then senior squad and the rest they say is history.

Cycling, in one form or another, is his life, although he does admit to playing the guitar in his odd moments of down time. But most of the time he can be seen pounding the roads around Holmfirth, with on his way to the velodrome in Manchester or just pounding the hills in pursuit of excellence.