Michael Hepburn on Individual Pursuit Gold

Sat 23 Feb 2013

After leading the Australian team pursuit squad to gold on Wednesday, Michael Hepburn successfully defending his individual pursuit world title on Thursday. The win is Hepburn’s fifth rainbow jersey at the senior track world championships.  He took time after his race to describe the day in his own words. 

After winning the qualifying round, I was fairly confident that I would be able to lift but it certainly wasn’t a given. I knew Martyn Irvine (Ireland) would be super motivated for the win, so I wanted to go out there on a 4:15 schedule and put him under pressure from the start. I accomplished this and handily defended my title.

It’s been a very successful two days of racing. My goal coming into this week was to walk away with two rainbow jerseys, so satisfaction is probably an appropriate word to capture how I feel right now. A lot of the time, it just doesn’t work out exactly how you plan. I’m very excited that it did for me this week. 

Our ride in the team pursuit provided extra motivation for me in the individual pursuit the following the day. The guys lifted even more than we hoped for, so all of us were on a real high afterwards. I was also really happy to see Alex Morgan getting a ride in the finals in his first year in the seniors.

Obviously this week was about winning. For me, it was also about riding at a higher level than I did last year. My time in the individual pursuit wasn’t quite as quick, but last year’s track was considerably faster. The important thing is that I feel great on the bike at the moment. The work over the Aussie summer is paying dividends. The individual pursuit is one of my favourite events, and I’m really pleased to have it twice now. 

Thanks for all the support during my two days of racing. Special shout out goes to all the coaches, soigneurs, mechanics, Ian McKenzie, Paolo Menaspà, ORICA-GreenEDGE for allowing me to race on the track, and, of course, my mum and dad.