Former Caisse d’Epargne rider Alexei Markov says that the demonstration of force by the British national team at this year’s world championships in Copenhagen has helped to raise the value of team pursuit riders.
"I think team pursuit riders are becoming more valuable assets to road cycling programs," Markov said to Cyclingnews. "In Copenhagen you saw the British team made up of many former and current team pursuit riders riding what was basically a team time trial.
"Teams like Katusha have expressed interest about picking up a few of the team pursuit guys next year, perhaps after the Olympics. The skills from an effort like a team pursuit translate really well to the road. I think more teams are realizing that."
In Markov’s current RusVelo team, which is supporting the Russian in his bid for next year’s games, the team has a split roster of road and track riders.
"By the same token, it’s important for us track riders to have some road races to help with our endurance efforts," said Markov.
The comments mirror those of Jonathan Vaughters in 2006 when the Slipstream sports manager identified Bradley Wiggins as a future road talent based on his dominant performances in the pursuit discipline at the Beijing Olympics.
Markov is currently in Australia using the warmer weather to help his training for the upcoming track world cups - a critical part of his preparation for next year’s Olympic Games in London. He'll be riding this weekend's NSW Grand Prix Series as part of that build up.