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  Amy Cure using London disappointment as she chases gold in Rio  
 
  April 20th 2016  
   
  Amy Cure wearing rainbow jersey in team pursuit trial at 2016 Australian Track Championships. PelotonWatch
 
     
  Amy Cure's Road to Rio started four years ago when she missed a ride at the London Olympic Games. While not riding was a disappointment for the then 19-year-old it has only fuelled Cure on.

The last four years has seen Cure, from Penguin, Tasmania develop in to one of the leading women's track endurance riders in the world. With world titles in the team pursuit and points race to her name, in addition to medals in all four pure endurance events on the track. Including eight medals from eight events between 2013 and 2015 at the World Championships. As well as two Commonwealth Games medals and four elite Australian titles.

The 2016 UCI Track World Championships in March marked the second time Cure had returned to the London track, looking to not only make up for the London Olympics but defend her team pursuit title from 2015.

Having sacrificed her own opportunities in individual events to focus on the team pursuit, Cure left London empty handed as Australia could only finish fifth in the team pursuit. Now less than four months out from Rio, Cure is back in Adelaide as she looks to secure her spot on the plane to Rio and what she hopes will be gold on August 13.

Four years ago you went to London but didn't get a chance to ride has that disappointment helped motivate you the past four years?

London has been the biggest motivator for me! I think looking back on things, I got a bit caught up in the moment of being so focused on making the team that I forgot to look beyond this. In London four girls made the selection, but at the end of the day you can only have three start on that start line at one time.

Rio will be a very different approach for me. The team pursuit has now changed to four riders after London. This means that there will be five positions for the Aussie endurance girls in Rio. This time I'm not just going just to make the team. Everything I do in training each and every day will be to be the best athlete I can be on and off the bike. I want not only just to be in Rio, but to line up on that start line and play my role in the team and help making all our dreams reality by winning that Olympic gold medal.

Won gold at the Cambridge World Cup in December how did it feel winning in the rainbow jersey?

It is always an amazing feeling honouring your rainbows, but it was very emotional win for everyone in that team. To win in Rainbows is something but to win with one of your closest friends on the birthday of her parents. We all raced in our black armbands in memory of Georgia's father Patrick Baker was something very special and a moment that I will never forget!


Amy Cure with Georgia Baker after winning World Cup gold in Cambridge. Photo - Amy Cure/Instagram

Had a quieter nationals this year just racing the IP where you claimed silver behind Ashlee Ankudinoff happy with your performance?

Yes, I was very happy with my nationals. I would have loved to win that IP being reigning national champion but Ash was just too strong for everyone. She had been training very good leading into nationals and I knew she would be very tough to beat. She raced two very good rounds and deserved the win. I did not race every event this year as personally I think it was a little bit too much for me last year and I wanted to try a quieter nationals.

Heading in to the World Championships as the defending champions did you feel any additional pressure having gone from the chasers to the chased?

There is a massive difference going into a World Championship as a defending champion as to going in an 'underdog'. Being a world champion you have a massive advantage of racing off last in the qualifying rounds but it can also have a disadvantage of going in to controlled. It's finding that balance. That's what being a great athlete is about. I have never defended a world championship title before and it was great to do so. However, we were still going into that race as chasers. We go into every day as chasers. Chasing to be the best athlete, team and coaches we can be. Chasing to be better than the day before. If you want to go better, you need to try different things. If you do the same thing each time, you need to expect the same result. We tried a few different things at the World Championships in trial for Rio. Some things worked very well and others did not. We did not get the overall result we were after, but we learnt a lot as a team. We have spoken about what worked and what didn't work. This just makes all of us hungrier for that gold medal in Rio. We know we have the right athletes, coaches, program behind us and we are all motivated more than we ever have been.

Not the perfect preparation for the team with Mel missing with illness and Nettie hit by a car two weeks out how was the team feeling ahead of Worlds?

It's always hard when you have these things happen. No, it's not the best preparation, but that's sport at the end of the day. Mel is an exceptional athlete, she is a very consistent rider, as we all know and she played a very strong role in the team last year when we won those rainbows. She has been going great in getting her health right back were she needs to be and I'm looking forward to having her in camp fit and healthy again. Nettie being hit by a car only a few days before we left for London was also not the best scenario leading into a World Championships. But it is what it is. We can only control what we can control at the end of the day. We started with the best team that could give us the best result at that time and we were beaten by some faster girls. Like the saying goes, 'You win some you lose some' and that's what makes us strive to be better athletes.

After qualifying fourth were you happy with how you improved through the next two rounds?

It was very hard for us as a team after we qualified fourth. I don't think anyone would like to go from reining World Champions and World Record Holders to not even riding off for a medal. However, I was exceptionally proud of every athlete in our team how we all coped with it. We were all very disappointed but we still came in with our head high, we knew it would be a very hard fight, but we refocused and took each round as it came and never had doubt in ourselves or our team.

The US came out blasting in qualifying and continued through the rounds setting the 2nd and 3rd fastest times in history did you expect that performance from them?

The US has been a team that is making big improvements each year. No, I did not expect them to go that fast but they were consistently the strongest team and truly deserve their stripes for the efforts they put in at London.

In the past the women's TP has often come down to a battle between Australian and GB now we have the US as world champions, Canada won two World Cups and New Zealand are in the mix as well. Do you feel the level has stepped up across the board?

Yes, I think the level in women's cycling has really stepped up a lot. It's so great to see for our sport. It's always nice to win but at the end of the day our competition is what pushes us all to achieve more as an athlete.


Gary Sutton talks to Rebecca Wiasak, Amy Cure, Georgia Baker and Nettie Edmondson. PelotonWatch

Former world champion in the points race and medallist in the scratch and IP but just rode the TP this year was it difficult decision to sacrifice your chances in individual events to just focus on the TP?

Yes it was very hard. I was in a lot better race condition this year than last. I would have loved to race the IP and scratch race but as they were before and in between the TP. I did not want to risk affecting my TP, as it's the only event at Olympic Games for me so it becomes my high priority. I really would have loved to race the points race as it was after the TP but with the new World Cup and qualifying system it's a lot harder for a NZ and Aussie to qualify without flying to Europe when not every World Cup has every event. At the end of the day rules are rules. I was in Europe last year and should have done a revolution, but I didn't think at the time it would be my only opportunity to qualify. I have no one to blame but myself for not having the qualifying points.

Spent the past month at home in Belgium and Tasmania after a busy period of racing and training in Adelaide how important has it been to have a break ahead of a busy few months leading up to Rio?

It is very important for me to have a little break. Unfortunately that break was a little bit longer than I expected due to illness. But when I finally got healthy again it was nice to be able to enjoy my time and spend some nice time with my family, sisters and nieces and nephews and just clear my head and relax.

Looking ahead through the next few months with the selection process do you think having been through it four years ago will benefit you this time?

For sure, I am going into Rio with a totally different mind set. I learnt a lot in London that has made me become a better athlete and in really looking forward to give everything my best shot.

Along with Ash, Mel, Nettie and yourself Australia has four world champions plus Georgia Baker and Rebecca Wiasak fighting for five spots how important is it having that depth? Keeps pushing you all?

We are a very strong team and yes we have a lot of world champions, but it does not mean we can relax. We all push each other to preform everyday and I think that is a great benefit we have. We have a great group of athletes that get along really well with each other and I think that is what helps us get over that line at the end of each day.
 
 
       
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