Nineteen year old Philip Hindes is set to make his World Championships debut tomorrow as man one in the team sprint.
Hindes was named on the provisional start list given out by British Cycling yesterday. The young sprinter has dual British and German nationality, and rode
for Germany as a junior. He joined the British Cycling academy in October 2010 and has shown rapid improvement of late.
He will ride with Jason Kenny and Sir Chris Hoy, and although he’s an exciting prospect, both for this week and the London Olympics, Matt Crampton may still ride if the team qualify for the finals.
The crucial man one position has been a troublesome one since Jamie Staff retired. Staff was the fastest man one in the world, consistently dipping below the 17.5 second barrier for the opening lap of the team sprint, and the British team have struggled to replace him ever since.
“It’s one of the areas we struggle with, but it’s not a done deal,” said head track coach Shane Sutton. “If we get through to a second ride, we could even make a change then. We’ve obviously still got Crampton who’s gone 12.8 [seconds] in man two. “We’ve still got [Ross] Edgar at home preparing for London, we’ve got a good core of five guys, we’ve just got to find the right combination.”
“To be honest we’ve got the best man two in Kenny in the world and the best man three in Chris. We’ve just got to find a front end for it. This World Champs is part of the process to get the outcome we want in London and that is to be successful. And we will, I’m sure we will.”
All four riders will start the sprint competition while Hoy, Kenny and Crampton will ride the keirin.
Busy endurance programme
Andy Tennant was named in the team pursuit quartet, after originally not being named in the British team when it was first announced. Six endurance riders travelled to Melbourne, but the only two ‘definites’ for the squad appeared to be Ed Clancy and Peter Kennaugh.
“I don’t mind saying that Andy’s not always the easiest of characters but I’ve always supported him,” Sutton said. “When he was a reserve, and he wouldn’t be travelling, he did what you want to see every athlete do and said, ‘right, I’ll show you. I’ll roll my sleeves up, get on with it and I’ll show you’.”
“That’s what he’s done. Now he’s named on the start sheet. That’s testimony to him. A lot of other people would have capitulated and thought ‘I’m going back to ride the road’. Good on him.”
For the first time in several years the team has entered riders in to the non-Olympic events. Ben Swift and Geraint Thomas will ride the Madison on Sunday while Steven Burke will ride the kilometre.
Swift will also ride the points race and Thomas the individual pursuit. Although the British team is not going to shift its famously strict focus off the Olympic events, the riders were entered due to the length of the trip to Melbourne and time away from competition in Europe.
The starting line-up for the women’s team pursuit was named as Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell and Dani King, the trio that set a world record in London this February. Wendy Houvenaghel may yet drop in to that line-up for the final.
Houvenaghel will ride the individual pursuit, along with Jo Rowsell, while Dani King rides the scratch race.
Omnium spots all but decided
Although no Olympic selection has yet been made, the fact that Ed Clancy and Laura Trott have been entered for the omnium virtually confirms their ride in the Olympic Games.
Clancy has won both the world and European title and no one else from within the British team has challenged that spot. Trott is the reigning European champion and, as she continues to improve, is unlikely to be shifted from that spot.
The full provisional line up is:
Team pursuit: Ed Clancy, Pete Kennaugh, Andy Tennant, Geraint Thomas
Omnium: Ed Clancy
Individual pursuit: Geraint Thomas
Madison: Ben Swift, Geraint Thomas
Points race: Ben Swift
Scratch race: Ben Swift
Team pursuit: Joanna Rowsell, Laura Trott, Dani King
Omnium, Laura Trott
Individual pursuit: Wendy Houvenaghel, Joanna Rowsell
Scratch race: Dani King
Team sprint: Philip Hindes, Jason Kenny, Sir Chris Hoy
Sprint: Sir Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny, Matt Crampton, Philip Hindes
Keirin: Matt Crampton, Sir Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny
Kilometre time trial: Steven Burke
Team sprint: Victoria Pendleton, Jess Varnish
Sprint: Victoria Pendleton, Jess Varnish
Keirin: Victoria Pendleton
500m time trial: Jess Varnish
2012 Track world championships coverage index
NB: This story was amended on April 3