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Varnish ready to rip it up
9:00am Monday 30th July 2012 in Sport
Halesowen cycling queen Jess Varnish is ready to rip the Olympic track apart in Thursday’s women’s team sprint.
That’s the view of her dad Jim, who as a former cycle speedway world champion, knows a thing or two himself about competing under pressure.
He believes his daughter has the skills and the mindset to deliver a big performance alongside team-mate Victoria Pendleton when her Olympic moment arrives.
Jim said: “Of course I’m positive, I think Jess is going to rip the place apart.
“On current performances you would say it’s going to be between four or five teams and Jess and Vicky are definitely in with a shout.
“Jess is an incredible athlete.
“From a personality perspective she is really focused and committed when she wants something.
“She has the ability to break things down and learn from her mistakes.”
Varnish will ride the first lap in a discipline making its debut on the track cycling Olympic programme, meaning competition is particularly fierce.
The Australian duo of Anna Meares and Kaarle McCulloch will start as slight favourites but with times constantly plunging and the world record broken three times already this year — once by the British pair — it promises to be fascinating viewing.
While Jim and the rest of the family will be at the velodrome to cheer Jess on, her performance will also be watched avidly by fellow members of Halesowen Cycling Club after taking her early steps to glory on the Manor Way track.
Club coach Carl Gregory says Jess’ potential was evident from an early age.
He said: “You always knew she would go on to better things, I would have been very surprised if she hadn’t.
“Athletes like Jess have got something extra to their character, the winning instinct and desire which you simply can’t teach.
“You’ve either got it or you haven’t and Jess certainly has.”