PARALYMPIC cyclist Jody Cundy put yesterday’s Velodrome outburst behind him to win a London 2012 bronze medal in the C4 men’s 4km individual pursuit.
The former University of Hertfordshire student created headlines for all the wrong reasons on Friday after seeing his 1km time trial dream dashed in controversial circumstances.
The defending champion was effectively disqualified from his strongest event after a problem with his start – and an angry Cundy let rip with a torrent of expletives after not being given a second chance.
However, the five-time Paralympic gold medallist – who competed at three Games as a member of Hatfield Swimming Club before switching to cycling – let his ability on track do the talking in the London Velodrome today (Saturday).
He took bronze in the men’s individual C4 pursuit with a storming performance worthy of a champion, catching his Columbian opponent after five laps out of 16.
After winning a richly deserved medal in his home Games, Paralympic GB star Jody said: “I needed to prove a point and show my speed.”
He did exactly that, and has vowed to carry on cycling for four more years to Rio 2016 as he “has unfinished business”.
Having been denied the chance to ride in the 1km time trial, Jody was determined to give it his all on the track today and show his fans what he could really do.
Taking to social networking site Twitter last night (Friday), the 33-year-old tweeted: “I’m not the best pursuit rider in the world, it’s about 12 laps too far, but I hope the crowd can help when the going gets tough tomorrow.”
A former fitness instructor at the Furzefield Centre in Potters Bar, he went off at a lightning fast pace in his heat but faded towards the end.
Cheered on by the fiercely patriotic crowd, it still took a world record of 4 minutes 40.315 seconds from Carol-Eduard Novak from Romania to beat him in his qualifying heat this morning, Jody recording a new personal best time of 4 minutes 42.005 seconds.
He then proved a point in his medal race, chasing down his opponent, Colombia’s Diego German Duenas Gomez, around the 1,000m mark with a blistering turn of speed.
The double Beijing gold medallist was on a mission to claim his medal as he lapped his opponent and punched the air in victory as the gun sounded to signal the end of the race.
Incredibly, he rode the first four laps of the pursuit in 1 min 05.317 secs which, had he been allowed to ride the kilo yesterday, would have won him gold.
Speaking after the race, Jody spoke of his gratitude for the home support.
“I was starting to panic because my legs were completely gone after four and a half laps, but I couldn’t let the crowd down and they carried me home,” he said.
“The support here has been more incredible than anything I’ve experienced before! It really has been amazing, thank you to everyone for cheering me on.”
And he added: “I’m fully committed to Rio in 2016 as I still have unfinished business.”
Novak took the gold, with Jiri Jezek, from the Czech Republic, the silver medallist.
Jody later tweeted: “It may not be gold, but it goes a long way to heal the wounds of yesterday. Again the support was amazing. Thank you.”