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22 Aug 2007

Swansea’s Jody Cundy last night announced his candidacy for the gold medal at next summer’s Beijing Paralympics when he blitzed the opposition to defend his World title and smash the World record at the UCI Para-Cycling Championships in Bordeaux.

In obliterating the rest of the men’s LC2 kilometre time trial field, the former swimmer – who only made his international cycling debut last year – overwhelmed cycling chiefs when he cropped one and a half seconds off his previous World record, registering 1:08.719 on the clock.

Team manager Dave Mellor described the 29-year-old’s performance:

"He's amazing, absolutely amazing! I believe that he and the Australian Michael Gallagher are the two most outstanding Paralympic cyclists in the world at the moment. He is self confident, but he doesn't say boo to a goose, just comes in and does his job. Nothing seems to bother him - his Mum and Dad are the ones who get nervous!"

Cundy’s masterful execution of the time trial was all the more extraordinary as he is suffering from a heavy cold. He explained:

"That was the most pain I've ever inflicted on myself."

British Cycling believes the rider will be a household name by the time Team GB touch down in the UK on the return leg from Beijing. He already boasts four Paralympic medals – three gold and a bronze – as a result of his exploits in the pool.

"To be on the Paralympic squad you have to be a top three finisher at the Worlds. If you perform well here, it’s almost like booking your ticket to Beijing," explains Cundy.

Cundy is one of four Welsh riders in the GB squad. On Monday, Wrexham’s Ellen Hunter defended her World title in the Women's 1000m Tandem Time Trial with Scotland’s Aileen McGlynn.

The Welsh riders have been catapulted to the top thanks to the successful set-up at the Wales National Velodrome in Newport which is headed up by Neil Smith and supported by Disability Sport Wales.