Entries for the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Manchester 23rd -25th February have served up an intruiging match-up between Bradley McGee and Bradley Wiggins in Friday's men's 4,000m individual pursuit (similar to their head-to-head battle at the 2004 Olympics).
Olympic team pursuit champion McGee will be hoping for an early celebration by winning the event on the day before his 31st birthday on Saturday. Sydney's McGee was part of the world record breaking Aussie quartet that won the gold medal in the Athens Olympics leaving Great Britain with the consolation silver.
McGee is a world class act having led all three Grand Tours, taken stage victories in the Tour de France and Giro D'Italia and has been Commonwealth, World and Olympic champion. Wiggins rides the event as the current Olympic individual pursuit champion. He was also the first Briton in over 40 years to win three medals at the same games. The Cofidis professional has already targeted victory on British soil in the Tour De France prologue this year and victory in Manchester would certainly show that he can produce form when he needs it for key events.
Wiggins has been training in Manchester and Newport and feels that his preparation is going well. "I think once you come here on race day and you have someone on the other side of the track and the crowd behind you, that everything will come together," Wiggins told British Cycling. "I have put a lot of emphasis on doing this round of the World Track Cup because I can see it is such a big event. I was commentating on it last year and I was sitting there wishing I was riding. So I am looking forward to it being as big as it was last time."
The men's individual pursuit starts with qualifying on the afternoon of Friday 23rd February with the head to head medal rides in the evening. Chris Hoy will also be in action for Great Britain on Friday night in the men's kilometre time trial.
Tickets are still available for the event. Full details can be found on www.worldtrackcycling.com.