Talking Shop: Liam Killeen racing towards London 2012

VeloUK speaks to Olympic Cross Country Mountain Biker Liam Killeen about his preparations for London 2012

Liam was 7th in Athens (2004) and then 5th in Beijing (2008) and so the race is on for a medal in London. That’s still nine months away though and for now, its winter training and taking things one step at a time.

A winning start to the race preparation for lots more racing to come in 2012 before he races the Olympics.

The first thing I said to Liam was how impressive his form looked considering he’d just ridden away from a nine time champion in cyclo-cross, Roger Hammond. Liam’s reply was “we have just started the winter training and I haven’t done too much race conditioning yet… well none actually, so I’m pretty positive about the coming few months.”

“I sat down with the group of guys who help coach me and we have worked out a plan for the period up to the Olympics. There are always tweaks to be made but we have a good plan in place and mentally, that takes the pressure off going into the winter because you know what the next few months hold.”

Liam is from Malvern, not a million miles from Shrewsbury and paid tribute to Dave Mellor (Dave Mellor Cycles and former Great Britain coach and manager) who organised the event. “I really enjoy this race. I have known Dave a long time and raced it last year in six inches of snow so while it was muddy today, it was good to see some woodland!”

Liam Killeen puts the hammer down in a knock out blow for Roger Hammond who finished second to the Malvern rider.

Liam confirmed he’s doing the National Trophy in Bradford next week which should make it an interesting race considering how well he rode at Shrewsbury. How well the likes of Jody Crawforth (Hargroves Cycles) and Paul Oldham (Hope RT) fair against Liam will make the race all the more interesting especially as there’s no Belgium contingent to run away with the race.

After Bradford, comes a training camp before he returns for some more racing in the UK and then a tilt at the British Cyclo-Cross Championships in Ipswich.

Finally, asked if he feels more relaxed going into London having done the Games before, Liam replied, “I felt in Beijing, having been to Athens, it was easier and it didn’t feel like a huge event because you’re racing with the same group of guys you race with week in, week out on the World Cup Scene.”

“Being a home games though, there are more media commitments but it’s an opportunity to race at the Olympics in front of your home crowd and so there is lot to do between now and then. Sure, the Olympics is in the back of your mind but I don’t think it’s healthy to focus on it daily as there is a lot of racing to do between now and then, plenty of stepping stones…”

Good luck to Liam…

Dave Collins of Hope racing along with Luke Grivell-Mellor (Dave Mellor Cycles) and Roger Hammond lead the rush from the start line with Killeen coming at them.

Interviews from VeloUK

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