Reigning sprint world champion, Theo Bos (Netherlands), heads an all-star field of the world's fastest sprinters at the 2005 UCI Track Cycling World Championships at the ADT Event Center in Carson, California, USA. March 24-27. However, the hoped-for rematch between Bos and his 2004 world and Athens Olympic rival Ryan Bayley will not be on the program as the Olympic champion is out with an injury. Of the 32 athletes registered for the sprint event, five have medaled in previous world championship sprint competitions and three of them are former world champions.
Bos has proven his strength throughout the 2004/05 world cup season. In the two events attended by the 22-year-old he was able to win the 1km TT in Los Angeles and both the sprint and keirin in Sydney.
His toughest competition will likely come from Arnaud Tournant and Mickaël Bourgain of France and Jobie Dajka of Australia. Tournant, the 2001 world sprint champion, is always a threat with lightning fast speed and excellent bike handling skills. Bourgain, with two wins against tough opposition that included Dajka and Tournant in the world cup season, may also be prepared to take on the young sprinter. Dajka, the 2002 world keirin champion, placed second in the world championship sprint in 2002 and 2003. His recent world cup performances may represent his return to the top.
Riders not to be forgotten about include 2004 Olympic sprint bronze medalist René Wolff (Germany), 2000 world sprint champion Jan Van Eijden (Germany), Grégory Bauge (France), Chris Hoy (Great Britain), Stefan Nimke (Germany), Moscow world cup winner Sergey Ruban (Russia), Kazuya Narita (Japan), and Lukasz Kwiatkowski (Poland). Each has the ability and speed to surprise the frontrunners in the one-on-one match-ups of the sprint.
In the keirin, Jamie Staff (Great Britain) comes into the event as the reigning world champion. He is exceptionally quick having come from a BMX racing background, but in the chaotic keirin final it could be anyone's title for the taking. Other top competitors in the 2km (8-lap) event include: Shane Kelly (Australia), Dajka, Wolff, Ivan Vrba (Czech republic), Jose Escuredo (Spain), and Tournant.
The 2004 world and Olympic 1km TT champion, Chris Hoy, appears to be in perfect form having won the event at the Manchester World Cup with a time of 1:01.671. Hoy's greatest competition is expected to come from Tournant, a four time world 1km TT champion and the current world record holder (58.875); Theo Bos, the Los Angeles world cup champion; Jason Queally (GBR), 2000 Olympic 1km TT Champion; and Nimke, the 2003 world 1km TT champion and bronze medalist at the 2004 Athens Games.
Is the team sprint, the French (Bourgain, Tournant, and Laurent Gané) proved victorious at the 2004 world championships after taking on Spain (Jose Escuredo, M. Salvador, Jose Villanueva) in the final round. With Laurent Gané not returning for the French 2005 team (Hervé Gané, Bourgain, Bauge, and François Pervis) it may open the door for the Dutch (Bos, Teun Mulder, and Tim Veldt), British (Hoy, Craig McLean, Queally, and Staff), Germans, or Spaniards to take the top podium position in the three-lap all-out sprint affair.