The Manchester round of the UCI Track World Cup will take placed between December 9 and 11. It's expected to be a quality competition, especially in the endurance stakes, where the world's top riders will be fighting it out for qualifying points ahead of the World Championships next year.
In the women's events, the star attraction will be Britain's Nicole Cooke, who will be racing the scratch and points races. Following her amazing display to destroy the field in the endurance omnium at Revolution 10, she is certainly on track for a podium place in both events and will provide tough competition for the international challengers. In the scratch race, World Championships bronze medalist Lyudmyla Vypyraylo will pose the greatest threat with Katherine Bates of Australia and Olympic silver medalist Belem Guerrero of Mexico the riders to beat in the points race. Cooke will be joined by either Kate Cullen or Nikki Harris from the GB squad with Rachel Heal to race the individual pursuit.
In the men's events, the points race features the three medalists from the Athens Olympics. Olympic Champion Mikhail Ignatiev from Russia, Olympic silver medalist Joan Llaneras from Spain and Olympic Bronze medalist Guido Fulst from Germany will be the riders to beat. They will come up against some young faces from the Great Britain squad with Ben Swift, Geraint Thomas, Ross Sander and Ian Stannard vying for the place. Add into the mix Ioannis Tamouridis of Greece, who was the 2005 World Championship silver medalist, Sean Finning of Australia, Iljo Keisse of Belgium, Czechoslovakia's Martin Blaha and Sweden's Magnus Backstedt, and this should be one of the highlights of the weekend.
The men's points race final will take place on Saturday, December 10, with the women's points race on Friday, December 9.
More information: www.worldtrackcycling.com