South African Jay Thomson has received a last-minute call-up for the elite men’s race at the UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire, UK, on Sunday.
Non-travelling reserve Reinardt Janse van Rensburg could not arrange a visa at such short notice, which led to Thomson’s selection.
“To be honest it all happened so fast, but I said yes because I think I’ll be ready to do the job at hand,” Thomson told In the Bunch.
“The conditions are going to be super tough with a lot of rain predicted, so it will be a big mental game.”
Thomson said their strategies and objectives for the race would be discussed over the next couple of days, but he felt teammate and fellow countryman Daryl Impey would be their best bet to get a good result.
“He has shown this year how good he is and I believe in him, so I’ll definitely be going in there to give him my 100 per cent support,” said Thomson, who will compete in his second elite road worlds. His first was 10 years ago when he was a first-year U23.
Regarding his current form, Thomson said he felt it was not quite where he would have liked it to be for worlds.
“I would probably have done a few things differently if I had known longer in advance – 290km of racing is a long way, but I’m ready to fight and give everything I’ve got.”
Thomson said he hoped to grow as a support rider from his experience at this year’s event.
“It’s hard to say how it can fully change your career unless you win, but of course I’ll hopefully show that I’m good enough to be there when it matters to give Daryl the support he deserves.
“Personally, it’s always an honour to pull on the national jersey.”