Graham in right track of mind for Tokyo spot in Paralympic Games
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FIN Graham believes he has made a giant stride towards confirming his place in the Great Britain Paralympic squad after winning gold at a world cup event in Belgium last weekend.
The Strathpeffer para-cylist cruised to victory at the UCI Para-Cycling World Cup in Ostend.
He led a Great Britain 1-2-3 as the 21-year-old claimed top spot in the MC3 category beating Ben Watson into second and Jaco Van Gass into third place.
With the Paralympics three months away, Graham (21) knows he has to be on top form, and believes he has switched into the right gear to make it to Japan.
“We have only one or two races before Tokyo, so it is about getting as much done as possible and getting in the best shape as possible.
“Due to the Paralympics being postponed last year, it has given everyone an extra year’s training, and it is something that I have taken full advantage of.
“I feel that I have put myself in a really good place for selection.
“Hopefully, it will be good enough to put me on that plane with the rest of the squad.
“I have taken a lot of confidence from the race I have just won, as every race is important for selection.
“A win will not do me any harm at all.”
Graham is still in Belgium as he prepares for the second World Cup event taking place this weekend.
Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, last weekend was his first competitive road event for 20 months.
But he says he feels in great shape going into this weekend’s road race.
“We’ve been lucky as the velodrome has been open since July and we still get out training,” he said.
“But in terms of competitions and events, the virus has taken a massive hit.
“We have not had any road events since September 2019, and then track wise was January 2020 in Canada.
“It has been a long time, but it is encouraging to seeing things going in the right direction.
“I’ve been looking forward to competing again, but at the same time not getting carried away.”
Looking forward to this weekend in Belgium, Graham is confident a similar performance can lead to more success.
“It is a different course, and it will require a different sort of physicality to last weekend.
“But hopefully, I will be among the medals again, but the two other riders that I am up against are very strong, so it could be another GB 1-2-3.”