The Manchester track series Revolution will host a special event to help British Cycling decide which rider to put first in the men's team sprint at the Track Cycling World Championships. Organisers have agreed to host a 500m standing start time trial in the February 23rd event to test the three contenders for the crucial lead-out position. Held on the same track as the worlds, the event is designed to simulate the race conditions of the first lap of the team sprint.
Craig MacLean led the team to silver at the 2007 World Championships, but Jamie Staff has always been snapping at his heels and now emerging star Jason Kenny is proving a serious threat to the lead out position.
Kenny stormed to victory in the sprint omnium at Revolution 19, beating World Sprint Champion Theo Bos and clocking a remarkable 10.178 time in the 200m time trial.
"The event will have a massive impact on who will be first man at the World Championships," commented British Cycling head coach Shane Sutton. "It is being done at Revolution specifically to simulate the competition environment."
"We will have riders running behind the lead out men to really simulate the team sprint," he continued. "This is crucial as it will give an edge to it and really test how the riders peform under pressure."
The riders are under no illusions on how important their performances will be with Olympic selection potentially on the line. "This is serious head to head stuff and the cold face for selection for the Worlds," confirmed Sutton. "The rider who rides the worlds will definitely have a head start on Olympic selection, so the riders know how important it is."
The time trial is scheduled to take place at the beginning of the Revolution programme. Jason Kenny will be riding with Matt Crampton, Jamie Staff with Ross Edgar and Craig MacLean with Jason Queally.
More Team Sprint action will follow later in the programme with the French squad of Arnaud Tournant, Gregory Bauge and Mickael d'Almeida taking on the team of MacLean, Edgar and Hoy, who the French beat by two hundredths of a second at the Worlds in 2007.