Peloton Watch
  Tirian McManus satisfied after strong 2014/15 track season  
  February 10th 2015  
  A strong middle of 2014 including 2nd in the omnium at the Japan Cup and top 5 finishes at the Adelaide Cycling Grand Prix South Australian Track Classic saw Tirian McManus on track for a strong 2014/15 season. Gold in the team pursuit and silver in the points race at the Oceania Championships in October got the former Junior World Champion off to a good start.

McManus' results saw him selected for the opening World Cup of the season in Guadalajara, only for a crash in the opening round Bowden Elite Team Series saw those plans change. Nine weeks off the bike but a determined McManus bounced back to have one of his best campaigns to date.

A third World Cup gold medal at the final World Cup of 2014/15 in the team pursuit was evidence of McManus's form ahead of the Australian National Championships.

The opening day saw McManus qualify fastest in the individual pursuit with a personal best of 4mins 23.405secs. Despite a strong ride in the final McManus had to settle for silver behind Alex Morgan. McManus added bronze in the team pursuit before narrowly missing another medal finishing fourth in the scratch race.

Below McManus talks his 2014/15 season, development in the elite ranks and his eyes on next track season.

PelotonWatch: It was a disrupted start to the 2014/15 season for you with a wrist injury just before the Guadalajara World Cup. How long did the recovery take?

Tirian McManus: It was a very disrupted start to the 2014/15 track season for me and really couldn't kick off in a worse way after such a hard preparation for the season. After breaking my wrist in that crash before the Guadalajara World Cup I was forced to have nine weeks off the bike. I used this time to really focus with my strength and conditioning Coach David Young at NSWIS to hit the gym and tried to get a bit stronger. David did a fantastic job in adapting my program and getting me race ready again without the ability to even ride my bike. Without him I wouldn't be in the form I had at Cali and Nationals.

PW: Selected for the final World Cup in Cali. What did it mean to be able to pull on the green and gold again?

TM: To be selected for this World Cup was huge for me. I was a little worried heading into camp that I didn't have the form or endurance to be able to Team Pursuit up to par with the other guys, but that quickly went away after the first training session. For me there is no bigger honour than to be able to ride in the Australian colours of the green and gold. The chance to be linked to every other Australian ever to represent their country is as big as it gets in my eyes.

PW: Gold in the team pursuit happy with the ride?

TM: The Gold medal result in Cali was a result of three rides where we rode really well as a team and rode as one when we really needed it. The track in Cali is the most difficult track to ride a team pursuit on in the world. The difficulties of the wind to the bumps, you have to be switched on all the time. Our Gold medal result really represents our ability to work as a unit, dedication and ability to dig deep.

PW: Fastest qualifier at the National Championships in the individual pursuit with a PB. How much of an improvement was it?

TM: My result in the individual pursuit at the National Championships was of a bit of a shock to myself. I came into the day feeling very good, as a couple of days out after a hit out at the track I told my coach Brad McGee that I was onto something good, my legs just felt perfect. My schedule for the individual pursuit was actually to go out on a 4mins 27secs but I got out on the track and started quick and didn't want to slow down. My time of a 4mins 23secs is a five second PB which for me is huge!

PW: Is the IP something you have been working on improving?

TM: To be honest with you it isn't at all. I have been really focusing on just my team pursuit work with the focus on speed for the delivery of the rider behind me. Apart from the basic behind the motorbike pacing work the individual pursuit has not really been on the cards.

As I didn't have the ability to back up for the finals after qualifying at first I was quite disappointed with myself, after thinking about Cali and the effort I have been though before the finals I was quite happy with the result. I have always wanted to do well in the individual pursuit and I will have a focus on it this year and see what I can produce next year.

PW: There is such depth in men's endurance cycling with 14 riders participating across the 3 World Cup rounds. Is it hard continuing to produce strong results and win medals internationally but not quite make a World Championships team?

TM: Australian track endurance is in the best place it has been for a long time, Australia has won just about every Team Pursuit since the London Olympics and this reflects the AIS Men's Track Endurance Program. The riders in the World Championships team are the best team pursuit riders in the world as they are 100% spot on with their technique, power and endurance every time. I have had the opportunity to ride with these guys and learn from them lately and I know exactly where I need to be and what I need to improve on to be able to earn my spot in that team.

PW: Happy with how you are developing in the senior ranks?

TM: My development in the senior ranks as been a journey that's for sure, I have been flown around the world twice and having a great time whilst doing it. The year of 2014 was huge for my development as I consider it a huge learning year with my World Cup wins in the omnium and team pursuit and travelling to Europe by myself for the first time in my life (which is a learning moment in itself). I see 2015 as a year where I know exactly what I need to do to achieve my goals, if all goes smoothly I'm look forward to the 2015/16 Track season already.

PW: Besides the silver in the IP and bronze in the TP what else can you take away from the National Championships?

TM: As this was my ninth Track National Championships throughout my career it's nothing new to me as I have learnt to back myself and I have confidence in my preparation. The thing I can take away from this year's Nationals is that when you do all the little things right big things pay off. After returning home from the long haul travel of Cali and straight into the championships I was aware I may not be 100% right and expected to wake up sick any day. I did all the little things right to prepare myself from my recovery to my staying healthy, all of it payed off as I had a very good National Championships.

PW: What is ahead for you in the next few months?

TM: In the next few month I have the chance to lock in another strong strength block of training, I will be putting in the hard hours of training in the gym and the long hours on the road in all search of a few seconds come the end of this year and can't wait to do it all over again. I am more motivated than ever and cannot wait to start off the season with my new NRS team NSWIS Subaru Development Racing Team that will include racing some of the starting rounds of the NRS series.

Tirian McManus in action in the individual pursuit.
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