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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 March 2007, 17:35 GMT 18:35 UK
Hayles hungry for Worlds success
By Mark Barden

Rob Hayles
Hayles says missing out on the team pursuit is "very frustrating"
Rob Hayles says his non-selection for the team pursuit at the World Track Championships in Mallorca has served as a wake-up call for Beijing 2008.

The Team GB veteran won his specialist event at the 2005 Worlds, but has been chosen for the individual pursuit and madison in Spain this week.

He told BBC Sport: "It's taught me a lot about what I need to do to make the team for the Olympics next year.

"But I have two other events at these championships, so all is not lost."

Hayles, 34, admitted his personal training programme had left him struggling in team pursuit practice ahead of the competition.

"I base my programme on the event itself so a couple of weeks away from a competition I can be struggling," he explained.

"This time last week I missed two sessions because I just couldn't handle it, which went towards my non-selection for the team pursuit.

"But I know that once I go through my taper and rest, my performances come up, so five days later I'm ripping the track to pieces.

Team GB, including Hayles (second from top) won the World Cup team pursuit in Manchester in February.
We pretty much wiped the floor with most people

Rob Hayles on Team GB's World Cup success

"It's a massive disappointment, but the whole thing has made me even more determined to go out there and do well."

Hayles, who also won madison gold at the 2005 Worlds with Mark Cavendish, said confidence is high in a British team which blends youth and experience.

"We now go into competitions knowing that everyone is looking at us, whereas a few years ago it would be us looking at other teams.

"A lot of us have been world champions or on the podium at major events, and knowing we're among the favourites is a good feeling."

Team GB's morale has been further boosted by the return of triple Olympic medallist Bradley Wiggins for his first Worlds since 2003.

Hayles said: "We ride together in the madison for the first time since Athens 2004, and it's good to have Brad back. He's ready and raring to go."

Wiggins was part of the GB team that dominated the recent World Cup event in Manchester.

Hayles said: "We pretty much wiped the floor with most people, although not everyone was fielding their best team.

"But if we can carry that form through to this week and build on it, we'll be running pretty close for the top spot in most events."

Hayles would love to be in the hunt for the individual pursuit crown in Spain, having come close to solo glory on several occasions.

Bradley Wiggins and Rob Hayles
Wiggins (left) and Hayles won 2004 Olympic madison bronze
"I've come fourth at two Olympics, I just missed out on the world title in 2004, so it's definitely one that I would like to win," he agreed.

"With Bradley in the form of his life, it's a tough one, but I feel I'm in the form of my life, too, and I really want to do a PB and make the major final."

Whatever happens in Mallorca this week, the evergreen endurance rider believes he can compete at the highest level right through to the 2012 Olympics in London.

"At the moment, I'm getting quicker each year and I'm still enjoying it " he added.

"So until I feel I'm not improving any more or not competing at the standard I think I should be, I'll keep riding.

"I've always planned my career to have peaks and downtime, rather than just going from one season to the next.

"That's one of the reasons I'm still fresh and getting better. As I get older, I know more about myself and how to get things right when it matters."

  • Action from the World Track Championships can be seen on BBCi and the BBC Sport website, starting at 1800 BST on Thursday, 29 March.

    GB trio victorious in Manchester
    23 Feb 07 |  Cycling
    Wiggins gets back on track
    22 Feb 07 |  Cycling


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