WREXHAM cyclist Rob Partridge is preparing to push himself to breaking point this autumn after admitting October’s Commonwealth Games will make or break his Olympic dreams.
The 24-year-old Endura Racing rider watched on with envy as Sir Chris Hoy led Great Britain’s cyclists to their greatest ever Games in Beijing two years ago.
Partridge, who claimed back-to-back Welsh Road Race Championships in 2008 and 2009, will have the chance to boost his own profile when he spearheads Wales’ medal bid in India.
And with the countdown to London 2012 ducking under the two year mark this week, Partridge has vowed to seize his opportunity with both hands.
“Even though there is still so much between now and then, in everything I do I have been keeping one eye on London 2012,” said Partridge.
“It is already growing in momentum and is only going to get bigger as the time counts down and there is already a buzz about it.
“But I need to be selected first and you do that by performing well in the big competitions and that is why I need to prove myself out in Delhi.
“If I can put in a good performance there then it will be a huge boost that will propel me closer to London 2012.
“It is all about the little steps building up to the Games and you can't take your eye off the ball as everything adds up to it.
“I desperately want to be there because riding in your home Olympics will be a special once in a lifetime thing and I don't want to miss out. But I know I need to prove myself and that all starts in Delhi.”
Partridge established himself as one for the future by claiming the Under 23 British National Road Race Championship in 2007 after representing Wales at the 2006 Commonwealths.
And after claiming the Ryedale Grand Prix in the build up to this year’s Delhi Games, the Welsh flyer is desperate to ensure winning remains a habit.
“Everything is shaping up nicely for Delhi and I got a real boost from my win in the Rydale Grand Prix and I hope that will propel me to success in Delhi," added Partridge.
“It was nice to finally get the win and it was a bit of a breakthrough to be not just on the podium but at the top of it.
“It was nice to finally prove to people that I am capable of getting wins and it was a real mental breakthrough for me and something that I will take through to Delhi with me.
“I was almost surprised with the win but I suppose I shouldn't have been with the amount of times I have been on the podium.
“I could get used to winning though and now I feel like all the pressure is released and I can relax a bit more now I have that win.
“I think it is the same with the GB team where success breeds success so fingers crossed, I can be a part of that.”
See full story in the Leader