Olympian Last to have company from Gallagher says GB coach

28 May 2013 / 18:40

British Cycling coach Phil Dixon believes Kenta Gallagher’s exploits at the mountain bike World Cup in Nove Mesto can be to the benefit of London 2012 Olympian Annie Last.

Last became the first British woman to start an Olympic mountain bike race for 12 years at London 2012, finishing eighth around the Hadleigh Farm course.

The 22-year-old was joined by fellow Brit and three-time Olympian Liam Killeen but he was to suffer a broken ankle after a crash on the second lap.

The future appears bright though with Gallagher winning the cross country sprint eliminator race at the mountain bike World Cup in the Czech Republic.

Last achieved the same feat in Houffalize in April of last year and improved on her round one result of 25th to finish 12th in the senior women’s cross country race in Nove Mesto.

And British Cycling’s Olympic mountain bike coach Dixon believes Gallagher is now at a stage where he can act as a companion to Last.

“After the race Kenta told me he wanted to stand on a podium again and the podium of a cross country World Cup,” Dixon told British Cycling.

“He has that motivation now. The experience of racing in the final taught him about the mindset of lining up to win as well.

“He started that final wanting to win and ended it not satisfied to have the guarantee of the podium, but wanting the highest position.

“To have another athlete performing now gives Annie Last some company, but it will also build the spirit throughout the squad, continuing to build a good atmosphere.”

© Sportsbeat 2013