Olympic stars take on national track championships

The road to London 2012 starts in earnest with the National Championships today.

A host of Olympic stars and hopefuls will be racing at Manchester Velodrome over the next five days, looking to get their track seasons to a good start by claiming national champion jerseys.

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Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton, Jason Kenny, Lizzie Armitstead, Wendy Houvenaghel, Rebecca Romero, Laura Trott and Ben Swift are among the big names taking part.

Results here will be important for European track championship (October 21-23) selection.

Team Sky riders Swift and Pete Kennaugh come in off road seasons, while fringe competitors will be eager to force their way into the reckoning by knocking the established order off their perch. The Academy talents always pose threats too.

The first two days of racing are free and unticketed for spectators. Competition starts at 5pm tonight.

Riders to watch
Becky James, keirin and sprint
Still only a teenager, this will be the first chance to see if James is any closer to usupring long-established sprint titan Victoria Pendleton.

Rebecca Romero, individual pursuit
After three unsettled years, struggling with injuries and motivation, Romero has a real job on her hand to leapfrog the established order and make it into the Olympic team pursuit line-up.

She needs to be flying in a quality-packed women’s individual pursuit field, which contains no fewer than seven world team pursuit champions.

Sam Harrison and Simon Yates, scratch race and points race
Harrison shot to prominence with World Cup omnium gold in February and will be looking to continue his rise this winter.

Yates took two silver medals as a junior last season and enjoyed a fine road season as a first-year senior, culminating in a Tour de l’Avenir stage. This pair could be vying for Olympic places, if they continue their timely break-throughs.

Peter Kennaugh and Ben Swift, individual pursuit
The team pursuit line-up is far from a set in stone. Both Kennaugh and Swift entertain ambitions to be in the Olympic quartet; indeed, both have had encouraging results on the road this season that will tempt them to focus on that discipline for the future.

This winter is crucial for both riders, as they weigh up whether it’s worth putting an emphasis on the track in 2012.

Lucy Garner, points race, scratch race, Madison

It’ll be intriguing to see if newly-crowned junior world champion Garner can add to her rainbow jersey with a gold medal here. Either way, racing here beats doing schoolwork…

Peter Kennaugh and injuries, Revolution 30, November 20 2010
It’s a big winter ahead for Manx talent Kennaugh

British National Track Championships 2011: Schedule

Day one, 28 September (starts at 5pm)
1. Men’s individual pursuit qualifying
2. Women’s 500 metres time-trial final
3. Paracyling 500 metres time-trial final
4. Men’s individual pursuit final

Day two, September 29 (starts at 2pm)

1. Women’s pursuit qualifying
2. Men’s point race qualifying
Evening session (starts 6.30pm)
3. Men’s 1km time-trial final
4. Paracycling 200m fs time-trial
5. Women’s pursuit finals
6. Men’s point race final

Day three, September 30 (starts at 1pm)

1. Women’s sprint qualification
2. Men’s scratch race qualification heat 1 & 2
3. Women’s sprint – first round, repechage, quarter final matches
4. Men’s kern – first round and repechage
Evening session (starts 6.30pm)
5. Women’s sprint semi finals
6. Men’s keirin semi finals
7. Women’s sprint minor final
8. Women’s point race final
9. Women’s sprint final
10. Paracycling pursuit final
11. Men’s keirin final
12. Men’s scratch race final

Day four, October 1 (starts 9am)

1. Men’s sprint qualification, first round and repechage
2. Men’s B sprint qualification, first round and repechage
2. Men’s youth madison qualification
3. Men’s sprint and B sprint quarter final matches
4. Women’s team sprint qualification
5. Women’s youth madison final
6. Men’s team pursuit qualification
Evening session (starts 5pm)
7. Women’s scratch race heats
8. Men’s sprint and B sprint semi finals
9. Women’s team sprint semi finals
10. Men’s sprint and B sprint minor finals
11. Men’s sprint and B sprint semi finals
12. Men’s team pursuit minor finals
13. Men’s youth madison final
14. Women’s scratch race final
15. Men’s sprint and B sprint finals
16. Women’s team sprint finals
17. Men’s team pursuit final

Day five, October 2 (starts 9am)
1. Men’s omnium flying lap time-trial
2. Women’s team sprint qualification
3. Men’s team sprint qualification
4. Men’s omnium 15km points race
5. Women’s keirin first round
6. Men’s junior madison final
7. Women’s team pursuit final
8. Men’s omnium elimination race
9. Women’s keirin repechage
10. Men’s team sprint semi finals
11. Women’s madison final
12. Men’s omnium scratch race
13. Women’s keirin final
14. Men’s team sprint finals

Related links

British National Track Championship winners: the winners since 1995