Germany has established an historic record by winning â€“ for the eighth time â€“ the UCI Track World Cup presented by Samsung. Thatâ€™s one more than France, and three more than Australia. â€śWe are very happy with this result, and our athletes are very proud,â€ť commented Patrick Moster, Performance Director of the German Federation (BDR), after the final round contested last weekend in Aguascalientes (Mexico).
This success is the fruit of sustained consistency throughout the 2012-2013 season, the Germans having gleaned points over each of the three meetings. However, behind these results, the BDR is pursuing an ambitious strategy for track cycling, oriented towards the long term. â€śThe World Cup is an important objective because it enables us to develop our young athletes,â€ť explains Moster.
This opinion is shared by other federations, such as France. In contrast, Great Britain â€“ second in the table and never having won since the creation of the competition in 1993 â€“ is not shining in the World Cup, and only seems to be firing on all cylinders in the World Championships and the Olympic Games.
â€śEach nation has a different approach to track cycling,â€ť notes Patrick Moster. â€śWe believe that the World Cup is an ideal platform to develop at a high level. Thatâ€™s how we are managing to get our place back in the top rankings in track cycling.â€ť
This struggle to compete with the two best current nations â€“ Great Britain and Australia â€“ isnâ€™t just a matter of pride or an attachment to a certain tradition. Germany is indeed using track cycling as a tool to train a solid generation of road riders, but also for its own sake, capable of financing German cycling in its entirety. â€śOur funds are mainly provided by the government according to the number of medals obtained at the Olympic Games,â€ť explains Moster. â€śTrack cycling, which includes many specialities, offers more opportunities than road racingâ€ť [in the latter discipline, four titles are up for grabs, in the road racing and the time-trial, in both the womenâ€™s and menâ€™s competition â€“ Ed.]
The BDR thereby gets the resources it needs to fulfil its ambitions. It regularly organises training programs abroad, since only one German velodrome is available throughout the season, at Frankfurt (Oder). Before the round at Aguascalientes, the track riders prepared in South Africa. â€śOur Federation is investing a lot in this operation, but this increases our chances of winning the World Cup,â€ť notes the Performance Director.
The BDR is also working towards a renewal of its staff. Under the leadership of Detlef Uibel, responsible for track events, who was 3rd in the UCI Track World Championships in 1997, two coaches concentrate on detecting new talent in schools, mainly in the east of the country.
According to Moster, this is responsible for the successes gained in the European Junior Championships and the Under-23 group.
â€śWe can count on having the talent for sprint, team sprint and the Keirin,â€ť he insists. â€śOn the other hand, we are struggling to get back to the level we had in the 90s in the endurance trials. Those athletes who could perform well often prefer road racing.â€ť
The BDR has found a solution for 2013. Itâ€™s launching a Continental UCI team, called Rad-net ROSE, which includes 13 riders, among them Pascal Ackermann, World Junior Champion 2011 in the team sprint and Lucas Liss, European Omnium Champion. These promising young riders will be able to do road racing while still keeping track cycling in their sights.
Under these conditions, the German Federation can hope to excel in the World Cup, while awaiting its stated objective â€“ Rio 2016.