The British team for the track world championships in Apeldoorn in the Netherlands has been announced, with few surprises in the line up. With the London 2012 Olympics a little more than a year away, the Worlds will be an important test site for the British squad.
“These world championships are a further stepping stone towards the Olympic Games in London, and whilst the team is building momentum there's still plenty left in the tank,” British Cycling’s Performance Director Dave Brailsford said. “There's a great mood in the camp and the riders are very much enjoying the process of competing.”
As expected, Sky’s Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas do not feature in the team pursuit squad for the Worlds, although they had a pre-Olympic test at the track World Cup in Manchester last month. Ed Clancy will lead the men’s endurance squad as he seeks to defend his omnium world title, while Chris Hoy will aim to do the same in the keirin. Both Hoy and Jason Kenny will be among the main contenders in the sprint.
Victoria Pendleton is the star name in the women’s line-up as she looks to retain her sprint world title, while the solid contingent of endurance riders includes Lizzie Armitstead and Wendy Houvenaghel.
Although the Manchester World Cup was a huge success in terms of attendance, the British team did not have things all its own way out on the track. Brailsford acknowledged that France and Australia’s recent performances underline that Great Britain is not alone at the top of track cycling’s hierarchy.
“For us it’s a real positive to be going into the world championships as the hunters rather than the hunted,” Brailsford said. “The pressure is really on the Australians and the French to deliver, and it’s a nice feeling for us to be going out there as the challengers.”
Complementing the wealth of experience in the British team are three riders making their debut at the world championships, Sam Harrison, Dani King and Laura Trott. The Worlds take place from 23-27 March.
Great Britain squad for track world championships, March 23-27:
Men's Sprint: Matt Crampton, Ross Edgar, Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny
Men's Endurance: Steven Burke, Ed Clancy, Sam Harrison, Pete Kennaugh, Andy Tennant.
Women's Sprint: Becky James, Victoria Pendleton, Jess Varnish.
Women's Endurance: Lizzie Armitstead, Wendy Houvenaghel, Dani King, Joanna Rowsell, Laura Trott.