After not winning a medal at the Copenhagen Track World Cup in the team sprint, Great Britain's riders will be feeling the pressure to make the team sprint squad for the upcoming World Championships. British Cycling is using the upcoming Revolution on February 23 to help select the lead-out man for the team.
At the Revolution, Jamie Staff, Jason Kenny and Craig MacLean will simulate a standing start Team Sprint riding a two man 500m time trial. Staff seems to be the favourite after his lead out ride in Copenhagen, which placed him fastest first man in qualification.
"My form's good at the moment, the standing start at Revolution should be exciting!" said Staff. "In training and prior to Copenhagen I'd been doing some good times on the track. In Copenhagen, I was lucky enough to get two rides and in the first one, did the fastest time out of anyone. The track conditions weren't great so I can only really compare myself to other riders. Going on that beating Gregory Bauge shows my form is really good."
"Now its crunch time for Worlds selection and I'm extremely confident that I'll be chosen to lead out the team," said Staff. "My hard work's been paying off; I beat Jason by three tenths of a second and Craig wasn't on great form either so for the team, Copenhagen was disappointing."
Both Kenny and MacLean know they have to raise their game for the selection event at Revolution. "My form's not too bad at the moment," said Kenny. "I've been resting since getting back from Copenhagen and trying to get fresh for the weekend's competition. My form was really good before I went out to Copenhagen but to be honest I was disappointed with my standing lap. But I'm back now and I'm hoping it'll all come good this weekend."
MacLean will be relying on his experience and motivation from the crowd to help him perform.
"My form's not the best it's ever been. But given the pressure of Worlds selection I can raise my game a little hopefully. Jamie and Jason have been going well so it'll be tough. I'm not a million miles away though so we'll just have to see on the night; with the crowd behind me and a number on my back it can make all the difference."
The special selection event will come first in the race programme, so that the riders can recover and participate in sprint events later in the evening.
In the women's sprint competition, Victoria Pendleton will face Dutch Sprinter Willy Kanis, who dominated at Copenhagen beating Pendleton to win both the sprint and keirin. Kanis and Pendleton will race in a sprint omnium which will also feature Holland's Yvonne Hijgenaar, French sprinters Sandie Clair and Virginie Cueff and Britain's Anna Blyth.