Former Olympic champion Jason Queally has confirmed he is aiming for selection for the British team pursuit squad for this month's International Cycling Union (UCI) Track World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark.
News of Queally's proposed return from retirement and move from sprint to endurance racing follows on from the stunning success of South Australian kilo rider James Glasspool's inclusion in his state's team pursuit squad at the recent Australian national track titles. While Glasspool was used to establish a fast base for his teammates in the first half of the 4000 metre event, Queally indicated to The Guardian that he will be looking to make a more complete transition to the discipline.
"It's tough making the transition but my physiological make-up lends itself to it. As a kilometre rider my strength was the last lap," he told the newspaper. "The big issue for me is pacing, because you need to ride at a consistent pace and I tend to go too hard, which has an impact on the guys behind me."
Queally, 39, was the winner of the penultimate Olympic kilo in Sydney, in 2000. After missing out on selection for the event in Athens four years later, and his nation's sprint squad for the Beijing Olympic Games, Queally announced his retirement from international competition and had been aiming for London's 2012 Paralympics as a tandem pilot for Anthony Kappes. However, Queally is now firmly focused on making the cut for the Olympic quartet in three years time.
"It's going to be really tough because there are riders like Geraint Thomas and Bradley Wiggins who are not in contention for places at present and guys like Andy Tennant are going faster all the time," he said.
But the temporary absence of Thomas and Wiggins does open a window of opportunity for Queally to break into the British team pursuit squad at an international level. He is likely to have two bites at the apple this year, through the English team for the Commonwealth Games in New Dehli, India, in October, and the British selection for the World Championships in Denmark, March 24-28.
Queally, who was last month inducted into British Cycling's hall of fame, will know soon whether he will make the journey to Copenhagen, with Britain to name their squad for the World Championships this week.