Sir Chris Hoy, Bradley Wiggins and Rebecca Romero will miss the World Track Championships in Poland, so Victoria Pendleton will be the biggest name in the squad, which was finalised by British Cycling’s management team yesterday and is set to be announced on Monday.

Sir Chris is ruled out by the hip injury he sustained in a crash during the Keirin final at the World Cup in Copenhagen. Wiggins is concentrating on the road this season, and Romero has not raced a bike on the track since the Beijing Olympics.

The absence of three world and Olympic champions means plenty of opportunity for Britain’s next generation to step up on the world stage. And although it won’t be a full-strength squad there is still bags of medal potential, particularly with the experience of Pendleton, Chris Newton and Wendy Houvenaghel, the dominance of the team pursuit squads, and the raw talent of Jason Kenny and Lizzie Armitstead.

British Cycling?s management team picked the squad yesterday and the entry was due to be made using the UCI?s online entry system today [Friday]. However, British Cycling looks likely to announce the squad on Monday.

WHAT DO WE KNOW?

Great Britain has qualified for every event at the World Championships. Reigning world and Olympic champions get an additional place, but they can only be allocated to those individuals, so Sir Chris Hoy and Bradley Wiggins, for example, cannot pass those spots on to other riders in their absence.

The squad is likely to feature a number of younger riders as the road to London 2012 starts here.

With Sir Chris injured, there is a vacancy in the team sprint squad alongside Jamie Staff and Jason Kenny, which could go to Ross Edgar, Matt Crampton or David Daniell. There is big competition for places in the men?s sprint events, but plenty of opportunities too, with three places in the sprint, two in the Keirin and one in the kilo.

Ed Clancy is likely to aim for a medal in the individual pursuit, but will have his work cut out to win gold if American Taylor Phinney reproduces the form he showed in Copenhagen.

The team pursuit looks set to feature Clancy, Chris Newton, Peter Kennaugh and Steven Burke, particularly with the news that Rob Hayles has not been selected for the Worlds.

Newton will aim for another world title in the points race, which would repeat his success in 2002. Kennaugh and Jonny Bellis look favourites take the Madison place and either Bellis and Burke look set to ride the Omnium.

Victoria Pendleton will certainly ride the sprint and Keirin and could also ride the 500 metres and team sprint.

Wendy Houvenaghel will have a great chance of gold in the individual pursuit, and should take her place in the team pursuit squad alongside two others, likely to be Lizzie Armitstead and Jo Rowsell. Armitstead could ride both the points race or scratch race.

NUMBER OF PLACES FOR GREAT BRITAIN

MEN

Sprint 3

Team sprint 1 team

Kilometre time trial 1

Keirin 2

Individual pursuit 2

Team pursuit 1 team

Points race 1

Scratch race 1

Madison 1 team

Omnium 1

WOMEN

Sprint
2 plus Victoria Pendleton

Team sprint 1

500m time trial 2

Keirin 2

Individual pursuit 2

Team pursuit 1 team

Points race 1

Scratch race 1

Omnium 1

RELATED LINKS

Cycling Weekly’s 2009 World Track Championships preview

International track results 2008-2009