2018 Track Worlds: Alyda Norbruis eyes title double

Dutch Para cyclist starts quest for world glory with return to Rio 22 Feb 2018 By Poppy Penny | For the IPC

“I am on the hunt for a world title, on the road and the track. That is the highest goal I can set as a Para cyclist this year.”

Alyda Norbruis is hoping to return to the track at the 2018 UCI Para Cycling Track World Championships in Rio de Janeiro on and pick up where she left off in 2016 – at world number one.

The 28-year-old claimed a gold medal in in the women’s 500m time trial C2 and a bronze medal in the 3km pursuit in the Brazilian city at the 2016 Paralympic Games.

The Dutch cyclist chose to focus on the road events in 2017, and it seemed to pay off after she finished the year as the world number one on the road.

“We choose not to ride the Track World Championships in 2017, because it just was announced seven weeks before competition. At that time, I already had my mind made up to focus on the road competitions.”

In 2016, Norbruis won the world title on the track and in 2017 was the world champion on the road. This year she is hoping to claim the world title in both, starting at this year’s Track World Championships from 22-25 March.

“I am on the hunt for a world title, on the road and the track. That is the highest goal I can set as a Para cyclist this year.”

Competing in both track and road events means Norbruis’ training has to differ from event to event, but her motivation is higher than ever. Her road training is heavily focused on endurance, whereas success on the track needs high intensity interval training.

“I am very excited to be back on the track this year, and really motivated to go for the best. I get up every day with the next big competition in my mind and train as hard as I can to get ready for the next races.”

The Dutch team will be hoping Norbruis taking some time away from the track hasn’t given her competitors a chance to catch her.

While she is looking forward to returning to the Rio Olympic Velodrome where she won two Paralympic medals, but doesn’t believe it will give her any edge over her competition.

“Every race starts with new chances for everyone, also for me. I haven’t raced against them since Rio, so I wouldn’t know at what level everyone is. Plus, you always have to think about new competition. I see everyone as main competition at World Championships – you never know what can happen.”

Her success in recent years can be put down to a strong support network keeping her happy, healthy and in peak condition.

“My friends, family, medical staff, physiotherapist, mechanics, cycling colleagues and of course, my coach. All these people each contribute on their own way to get the best out of me.”

Looking ahead she is already focused on the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games, hoping to compete in as many events as possible in the lead up. Winning gold at the 2016 Paralympic Games has only added to her motivation to head to Tokyo and defend her title to experience that winning feeling again.

“Winning a gold medal was everything I dreamed of. It felt like relief that I was rewarded for all those hours of training, work and dedication over the last 4 years. I was overwhelmed with joy.”

More information about the 2018 UCI Para Cycling Track World Championships is available on UCI’s website.