Cycling Weekly is counting down the top 30 British Riders of the Year thoughout December.
NUMBER 6: LAURA TROTT
World team pursuit champion and world record holder
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Would it be exaggerating things to say that Laura Trott is the most exciting rider in British cycling?
Every time she gets on the track, the spectators know they are in for an electrifying experience. The scratch race in the omnium competition at the recent Manchester World Cup was a fine example of the spectacle that Trott can be relied upon to deliver. Trott attacked early, gained a lap, then outsprinted the only other rider who was able to lap the field to set up another overall victory in the omnium.
After winning two Olympic titles in London last summer, Trott deserved some down time but her competitive instinct meant she felt she had to give everything she had at the World Championships in Minsk.
She joined forces with Dani King and Elinor Barker to win the team pursuit ahead of the Australians and, despite not being at her peak, took the silver medal in the omnium. A rocky ride in the points race, in which she was 10th, was all that stood between Trott and another world title. Sarah Hammer of the USA beat Trott by seven places in the points race, and only four overall.
Trott’s track pedigree is beyond doubt. She collected four national titles, in the team pursuit, the points race, the individual pursuit and the Madison (partnering Dani King). Then she went to Apeldoorn and won two European Championship gold medals, making her the most successful athlete in the event’s history as an elite competition.
It was on the Apeldoorn track that the women’s team pursuit discipline adopted the men’s format, with four riders competing over four kilometres. Given their dominance over three kilometres, it was not a surprise that the British quartet won the gold medal and set the event’s first world record.
It is a team event but Trott is the beating heart of the squad, the rider who takes on some huge turns when the going gets tough.
British Riders of the Year 2013: Related links