Chris Newton has expressed his excitement as he attempts to help an all conquering Great Britain women’s pursuit team raise the bar even higher.
It was Paul Manning who coached the trio of Laura Trott, Dani King and Joanna Rowsell to six consecutive world records, ending with gold at London 2012.
But with Manning now switching over to coach the men, Newton, who had previously overseen the British Cycling men’s Olympic Academy Programme and coached the men’s team pursuit to silver at the 2013 Track World Championships, has stepped into the breach.
It is all change for Newton and his squad as the event moves from three people over three kilometres to match the men’s distance of four kilometres with four riders.
And while admitting he faces a challenge of living up to high expectations, Newton is adamant he has the talent at his disposal to do just that.
“It’s really good, I’m very excited for the future and it’s a great group to work with,” Newton said.
“Obviously, with the history of the team, I’ve got some big shoes to fill there but the way we have restructured this, we will be working closely together and Shane [Sutton] is more closely involved too so we have got a really tight group there. Looking at the next three years, it’s exciting times.
“Obviously we have got to increase our pool of riders as a starting point. We have enough numbers now but we really want to push that on and we obviously want the level to move on again.
“We are still in a bit of an unknown as to what this line-up is going to look like with regards to four-kilometre until we get onto the boards, when we will certainly see that. I think it’s a good opportunity and it opens the door for more riders to get more experience racing.
“We have Laura [Trott], Dani [King], Joanna [Rowsell] and Elinor [Barker] who are all proven champions in their own right but we also have Amy Roberts, Lucy Garner and Emily Kay.
“I would say that there is a lot of experimentation to be done but it has come around quite early and we have got three years to work at it so I think we are in a good place in that sense.
“There are also riders from the Olympic Development Programme coming through and we have even had a few athletes from other sports who have expressed their interest.
“Ideally it would be nice to have around ten riders to help push things on. I think every rider needs to feel pushed, not necessarily threatened, but to know that there is a need to perform.”
© Sportsbeat 2013