British track legend Jason Queally is targeting a sensational return to top-flight competition with the aim of making the Team Pursuit squad for the London 2012 Olympics, when he will be 42 years of age.
According to a report in the Guardian, Queally, who won Britain’s solitary cycling gold in the kilo at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and also picked up silver in the Olympic Sprint with Chris Hoy and Craig MacLean, could even compete in the World Track Championships in Copenhagen the week after next.
Queally retired after failing to make the team for the Beijing Olympics in 2008, and has subsequently been focusing on acting as a tandem pilot for Britain’s Paralympic squad, but training on the track with the country’s team pursuit riders to help prepare him for that role has apparently led to his having second thoughts.
Now, the Lancashire cyclist if focusing on forcing his way back into the national squad for London 2012, but he also believes that with the some of Britain’s top names on the track currently focused on their road careers, he can win a place in the team for Copenhagen.
He has no illusions that it will be an easy ride, however, telling the Guardian: "It's going to be really tough, because there are riders like Geraint Thomas and Bradley Wiggins who are not in contention for places at present (the pair are focusing on their road careers with Team Sky) and guys like Andy Tennant are going faster all the time.”
Queally continued: "I was certain that my full international career was over, and I had no regrets. My wife and I have a young son, there were other things I was doing, I felt I had moved on.
"But I began training with the team pursuiters as the pursuit was a discipline I was going to do with the Paralympians and people began saying I had a potential future there,” he added.
"It kept niggling, niggling at me. I spoke to my wife and she said I should go for it. It will be tough, but London is a once in a lifetime opportunity."
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.