Team GB has announced a stacked squad for the upcoming UCI Track World Championships with Olympic gold medal winners and reigning world champions filling the 16-rider team. The start of new Olympic cycle sees revised rosters for the defending men's and women's team pursuit while Laura Trott and Dani King return to the boards in an attempt to retain their rainbow bands.
With Sir Chris Hoy sitting out the championships to focus on next year's Commonwealth Games and Victoria Pendleton announcing her retirement following her London success the team has given a number of fresh faces the opportunity to step into the World's squad.
There is still plenty of depth in the selection with Olympic gold medal winners in the team sprint Jason Kenny and Phil Hindes making the trip to Belarus while Ed Clancy switches back to the endurance squad after filling the sprint role at last year's Glasgow World Cup.
Clancy's position will be filled by Matt Crampton while Kian Emadi continues his bid for a spot in Sprint Group for the 2016 Games. GB representatives from Glasgow Jonathan Dibben (omnium) and Simon Yates (scratch race) have been selected again while the men's team pursuit trio of Owain Doull, Samuel Harrison and Andrew Tennant will seek to make amends after crashing during qualifying at the second round of the World Cup in Glasgow.
The women's squad sees last year's omnium champion Trott return to competition with the familiar Dani King and Elinor Barker set to join her for the team pursuit. As Team GB performance director Sir Dave Brailsford explained, the start of the New Year and Olympic cycle means there will be plenty to learn from the championships but as always, the major objectives lie on developing the best athletes for the next Olympic Games.
"The first year of an Olympic cycle is always an interesting one as it gives the opportunity for our young riders to compete alongside the world's best and experience the competitive environment which is crucial for their development," said Brailsford. "With that in mind, the focus for the team is to perform to the best of their ability as the route to Rio firmly begins."
Men - Matt Crampton, Kian Emadi, Jason Kenny and Phil Hindes
Women - Vicky Williamson and Rebecca James
Men - Steven Burke, Ed Clancy, Jon Dibben, Ouain Doull, Sam Harrison, Andy Tennant and Simon Yates
Women - Elinor Barker, Dani King and Laura Trott