Chris Hoy started 2008 in impressive form, winning sprints and keirin races in the Rotterdam Six-Days in Holland.
The Scottish track sprinter will target the two events and the team sprint at the World championships in Manchester in March and then Beijing Olympics in August. He is using the racing in Rotterdam to study his rivals and improve his technique.
After his years of success in the kilometre event, many of Hoy?s rivals do not considered him a major contender in the more tactical and technical sprinting events but he has quickly shown them he has the ability to compete with the best in the world and will be a medal contender.
In Rotterdam the sprinting races are held between the Madison and motor-paced races of the Six-Days. Sprint world champion Theo Bos is the local hero but faces some serious competition from Hoy, fellow Brits Ross Edgar and Craig Maclean, France?s Arnaud Tournant and Italy?s Roberto Chiappa. Hoy was dubbed ?the general? by organisers, with Tournant ?the Gladiator?, Chiappa ?il Padrino?, Maclean ?Sir Maclean? and Edgar ?Braveheart?.
Hoy won the keirin on the opening night and finished second to Bos in the sprint but showed he was the fastest on the track by recording a time of 10.60 in qualifying 24 hours later. The British trio lost the team sprint on the opening night to Holland but got revenge on the second night with a time of 33.03, beating Holland by just 0.02 of a second.
The sprinting is extra entertainment for the six-day crowd but is giving Hoy some precious racing experience against his key rivals.
?I?m fairly new to the sprint and the keirin and so hopefully the racing experience will help me in the future and help my chances in the world championships and Olympics,? Hoy said.
?The team sprint has always been my main target for Beijing. That’s where I think I have the best chance of gold. But the keirin has been going well. And if I do the sprint as well then it’ll be because I believe I can win that too.?
The Scot clearly enjoyed the atmosphere of the Six-Days in Rotterdam and spoke for many British track racing fans when he suggested a Six-Days should be organised in Britain.
?It?s a pity we don?t have a Six-Days like Rotterdam in Britain. We?ve got the Revolution events which get two or three thousand spectators but here there are ten thousand every night. It?d be great if we could have our own Six-Days.?
If Hoy and the other British track riders strike gold in Beijing in August, a Six-Days in Manchester, with events for sprinters like in Rotterdam, would be a great way to celebrate Britain being the best track nation in the world.
Hoy returns to Revolution