GB cycling coach adamant crash will spur Capewell onto success

·3-min read
The team of Great Britain in action during the Woman’s Team Pursuit track cycling at Messehalle during the European Championships 2022 on August 11, 2022, in Munich, Germany. Photo: Thomas Niedermüller / Munich2022 (Thomas Niedermüller / Munich202)

By Will Jennings in Munich

Sophie Capewell's dramatic high-speed crash at the European Championships will intensify her hunger for success and propel her career forward, insists women’s sprint coach Kaarle McCulloch.

The former Loughborough University cycling star, 23, was involved in a serious incident during the second lap of the team sprint event when her wheel slipped at her ‘highest speed’ and caught teammate Emma Finucane’s bike.

Both took a dangerous-looking tumble at Munich’s Messe Velodrome but emerged without a serious injury and should still be fit to race in tomorrow’s individual event.

Australian coach McCulloch, a four-time team sprint world champion and London 2012 bronze medallist, says spirits in the camp remain high and the experience of ‘adversity’ can boost Capewell’s prospects on the track.

The 34-year-old said: “Sophie just had a bit of a wheel slip up on the home straight and at those speeds, you can’t really correct that.

“’Unfortunately, she came down and Emma had nowhere to go.

“But the girls are in good spirits and there’s no serious injuries right now.

“We’ll assess them again tonight but I feel like they’ll be back out again tomorrow, so that’s exciting.

“I think adversity is sometimes the thing that brings people together more. It shows that they’re going to want it more now, so I’ve got no concerns at all.

“It was just an unfortunate incident – this is a really exciting young team, I’ve also got another seven or eight at home who are chomping at the bit to get out there.

“In terms of where we’re at with women’s sprinting, I’m really excited and the future looks really bright for us.”

Capewell, Finucane and Bell successfully navigated their way through Thursday’s qualification after finishing fourth behind host Germany, the Netherlands and France.

That set them up for an individual heat to book a spot in a medal final on Friday but just nothing went to plan’s for Britain’s newly-assembled team.

They false-started on the opening lap and as soon as they let rip at full speed on the second, Capewell’s calamity triggered heartbreak in Munich.

McCulloch says they came flying out of the blocks at the second attempt and is urging the team to take the positives ahead of the weekend.

She added: “I think they’re just a bit disappointed as they had a really good execution in that first lap – Sophie really got the line right.

“In terms of the things that we can control, we controlled them really well, but sometimes you crash in races.

“This is what we do, this is bike riding and it is what it is.”

The multi-sport European Championships Munich 2022, featuring Athletics, Beach Volleyball, Canoe Sprint, Cycling, Gymnastics, Table Tennis, Triathlon, Rowing, Sport Climbing, takes place 11th-21st August on the 50th anniversary of the Olympics Games in the Germany city. Watch daily live coverage across BBC One, Two, Red Button, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website.