Australian Para-cycling duo Jessica Gallagher and Pilot Madison Janssen will fine-tune their final preparations for the 2019 Track World Championships at the UCI World Cycling Centre in Switzerland after the pair received an invitation to attend the International Training Camp.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to train in a new environment and experience the high-performance centre,” said Gallagher. “We are looking forward to training alongside and learning from the international riders and in particular tandems as we don’t get to experience this in our daily training environment in Australia.
“The centre encompasses all the facilities an athlete needs which will allow us to focus on our final preparations and being based in the Swiss Alps, we think it will have some pretty nice views too!”
The trip will provide another opportunity for Janssen to hone her skills in the specialised Pilot role and the Victorian is aiming to absorb as much as possible across the two-week camp.
“I have been blessed to have some great coaches in the past such as Jason Niblett and Alex Bird and currently I have been under the watchful eye of one of the best sprint coaches Shane Kelly,” Janssen explained. “So for me, it will be taking in how others coach a tandem, and it will be nice to pick up some new things and bring them back home.”
The duo won dual silver at the 2018 World Championships in Rio, and are chasing their own personal best in Apeldoorn while watching for the strong British outfit.
“Coming off two second places at both the World Championships and the Commonwealth Games in 2018 we are looking to bridge the gap between us and Great Britain who took home all four gold in 2018 (in World Record times),” said Gallagher, “While also knowing there are some teams hot on our heels, so it’s going to be a tight competition!
“Personal best performances will put us in strong contention.”
Janssen is confident the team can deliver following a solid build up in Australia prior to the camp.
“I think for us as a pairing; it is an excellent opportunity to nail everything that we have worked on over the past few months,” said Janssen. “And if we execute these things then I can see us achieving our goals, any time less than previous is one step closer to the top step.”
Gallagher is also excited about a new opportunity to race in the Tandem team sprint which will be held for the first time at the 2019 World Championships.
“While it is an exhibition event this year we are excited the UCI is acknowledging the incredible spectator events that tandem sprint racing is and giving us the opportunity to show it to the World in the hope that it may become a Paralympic event in the future. “
Gallagher and Janssen will depart Switzerland on March 10 to join the Australian team in Apeldoorn for the Championships which will be the first Paralympic qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
“It’s exciting to think of the big 18 months ahead, Tokyo is firmly in sight, and with the World Champs being the first qualification opportunity, the whole Australian team is focused on putting their best foot forward,” Gallagher added.
The 2019 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships will be held in the Netherlands from 14-17 March and offers valuable qualification points towards the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, with the Australian team to vie against 200 of the world’s best from 30 countries. Website.