Rowan targets two race titles when cycling season starts

First published in Sport

A MAN who cycles to work in Knutsford is training to win two national titles on his bike this year.

Rowan Elliott, a personal trainer at Elite Health on Princess Street, hopes to be best over both 800m and 400m at British Cycling’s National Grass Track Championships.

He has been champion at both distances, but not in the same season.

“There are only a handful of people who have won both races in the same season,” he said.

“It’s not an easy thing to do because the preparation and tactics for each one is so different.

“I want to give it my best shot though.”

The 28-year-old, a keen cyclist as a boy, only returned to the sport four years ago after a shoulder injury preventing him from playing rugby.

In that time he has won two gold, plus three silver medals, in pursuit of a grass track double.

“It is competition that gets me going,” he said.

“I travel all over the country to race; that’s the exciting bit.

“I’ve always been a fairly powerful athlete, so I’m suited to the burst of speed needed to get around a track.”

His preparation for this season started not long after the end of the last one, although the poor weather has disrupted a carefully-planned schedule.

Elliot said: “There is a lot of work to be done because the events require different strengths.

“The start is so crucial over 400m, followed by a relentless push all the way around. But it’s impossible to go flat out for 800m; it takes much more out of the legs.”

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