The World Track Championships in Copenhagen next week is another big step on the road to London 2012 for Great Britain’s track riders.
A strong squad has been named for the championships which start next Wednesday (March 24) and run until Sunday, with the emphasis firmly on the events that will feature in the Olympic Games in a little over two years’ time.
That is why there is not going to be a British entrant in the men’s individual pursuit, a discipline that has been dropped from the Olympics.
However, there are plenty of medal chances among the squad. Sir Chris Hoy is back after missing the Worlds in Poland last year because of injury. Victoria Pendleton will be among the strong favourites in her events and both team pursuit squads are strong.
The men’s team pursuit squad is without Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas, who are concentrating on the road with Team Sky, but they’re still going to be the favourites. The most intriguing thing will be seeing how Jason Queally does if he gets a ride in the qualifying round – which looks more likely because one of the pursuiters will also be riding the omnium. Queally, the former Olympic kilometre champion, has switched disciplines. He explains how it happened in this interview with Cycling Weekly.
The women’s team pursuit trio of Wendy Houvenaghel, Lizzie Armitstead and Jo Rowsell, go into the championships having won both world titles since the event’s introduction in 2007.
The line-up is subject to change, but it seems the only decisions still to be made are whether Clancy or Burke rides the omnium – which features five events, the individual pursuit, kilometre time trial, scratch race, points race and flying 200m sprint.
The other decisions are who rides the women’s omnium and points race. It seems likely that Lizzie Armitstead and Anna Blyth are the strong candidates but it’s a question of making sure no one is overloaded with a jam-packed programme. Riding the omnium makes for a very busy day’s racing which, on top of other endurance events, may be asking too much.
GREAT BRITAIN’S LIKELY LINE-UP FOR THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Subject to change
Individual pursuit No entry
Omnium Ed Clancy or Steven Burke
Points race Chris Newton
Scratch race Chris Newton
Team pursuit Ed Clancy, Steven Burke, Andy Tennant, Ben Swift, Jason Queally
Sprint Chris Hoy, Matt Crampton, Jason Kenny
Keirin Chris Hoy, Matt Crampton
Team sprint Jason Kenny, Ross Edgar, Chris Hoy
Kilometre David Daniell
Individual pursuit Wendy Houvenaghel
Omnium To be announced
Points race To be announced
Scratch race Anna Blyth
Team pursuit Jo Rowsell, Wendy Houvenaghel, Lizzie Armitstead
Sprint Victoria Pendleton, Jess Varnish, Becky James
Team sprint Victoria Pendleton, Jess Varnish
Keirin Victoria Pendleton
500m Jess Varnish, Becky James