Ryan Bayley and Theo Bos are shaping up for a Sydney showdown this week at the opening round of the four round UCI World Cup Classics at the Dunc Gray Velodrome. A talented list of 250 track cyclists, from 32 countries, will kick off the international season contesting 16 events.
Bayley and Bos are set to go head to head in the keirin event, continuing the rivalry which has delighted fans around the world. Although friends off the bike the pair are fierce rivals on the track and both are seeking a win to start the season. The pair's sprint match ups are renowned as some of the closest fought, with Bayley upstaging the then reigning world champion at the Athens Olympics but here in Sydney it will be the keirin and teams sprint events where they'll be up against each other.
Bos is the current world champion for both the sprint and the keirin but missed a medal in the teams sprint at this year's world championships in Bordeaux when the Australians defeated the Netherlands in the bronze medal ride.
Both Bos and Bayley have been in training camps in the lead up to this week's event with Bayley in Adelaide and Bos training with the Dutch team for the past three weeks on Bayley's hometown track in Perth.
"I had a good camp in Perth and I'm looking forward to the first racing for the season," said Bos who arrived in Sydney on Sunday. "I think I will be good and as the world champion in the keirin I want people to see that I deserve to be wearing the jersey."
Bos' victory in the keirin in Bordeaux was one of the most dominant rides ever seen but he acknowledges the competition in Sydney will be tough. "If Ryan [Bayley] is in form he will be the major threat and we also have the world cup champion, Josiah Ng from Malaysia, and the Great Britain riders, so it will be a pretty hot competition," continued Bos. "I have raced in Sydney many times and I really enjoy it because the crowd, even if they cheer louder for the Australians, they always respect the visiting countries and know a lot about their cycling."
Bayley says he's ready to take on all comers in Sydney. "The camp has been going really well and it's an added incentive to beat the internationals when we face them on Australian turf," noted Bayley. "Being the first major race meeting of the season means everyone will be unsure of the form of their rivals so there'll be a fair bit of tactics coming into play."
Bos believes the Australian and British riders will be the ones to watch in the three man teams sprint event. The Netherlands will be going into the round as the reigning overall world cup champion nation and the team has put in the training which Bos hopes will see them in the medals in that event and several others.