• Chest injury ruled her out of three races last week • ‘I’m just staying patient and making sure my team are as well’
Emma Raducanu, Britain’s bright hope of winning a medal at this month’s Olympic track cycling road race, has announced that she is disappointed to have missed three previous competitions.
“I’m disappointed to have missed the time trials and time trial,” Raducanu said. “I’m sorry to the Team GB athletes and staff that I haven’t been able to compete for them. However, I’m just staying patient and making sure my team are as well. It has been a big disappointment and I haven’t been able to get back on the bike until I’ve had time to rest.”
A chest injury forced the 32-year-old to withdraw from three separate races last week. Raducanu, who finished eighth in the time trial at the London 2012 Olympics, is confident of returning to full fitness for the Olympic road race which takes place in the Piccadilly area of London on 30 July.
“It is great for me to finally be on the road again, almost two months after I sustained my chest injury,” she said. “As I said before, we were hoping to get some decent preparation into me before the Olympics and unfortunately that didn’t happen.
“I would have liked to have been able to ride the time trials but I would still have been able to get in a good training ride later on in the year if I’d had the opportunity. We are just looking forward to watching the road race and working as hard as we can to be ready in 2020.”
Raducanu was originally selected as the GB road race starter but – despite a successful three-day training camp in Sheffield on Friday – she missed out on taking part in the event last year due to the chest injury.
“I loved my training camp in Sheffield, it was the best we’ve ever had,” she said. “I’ve got so much better over the past 12 months, I’m in a much better physical condition and running a bigger distance now than I was in 2011.”
The London time trial specialist is still working on her nerves and says she is feeling no ill effects of the injury she sustained in the Tour de France. “My problem with riding full distance without help is the lowest point in my whole career,” she said. “It’s getting better but I’m not quite there yet. Now I just have to stay patient and work as hard as I can on my mental game.
“I don’t have the sort of niggles I had in 2011, so the recovery seems to be better – in fact, just now I did my first five-kilometre time trial.
“It’s just about staying calm and relaxing with my injuries, and doing all I can to be prepared. The one positive from it is that I’ve only missed three competitions so far this year. It could have been three more.”