Great Britain’s Ed Clancy believes that both Mark Cavendish and Jon Dibben can succeed in the Omnium at Worlds and Olympic level. Clancy, who won a bronze medal in the event at the London 2012 Olympics, has been selected for the team pursuit at the London UCI Track World Championships after only recently recovering from back surgery.
Twelve weeks ago Clancy’s career lay in the balance. The three-time Olympic medallist was lying in a hospital bed after his surgery and even returning to the boards at all seemed a long way off. Since then, with the full support of some of the best surgeons in the land, British Cycling and his fellow team pursuiters, Clancy has relearned how to walk, returned to the Manchester velodrome – albeit with a different position on the bike – and gained selection for the Track World Championships.
Cavendish has been selected to ride the Omnium in London this week as he looks to gain a spot in the event for the Rio Olympics. However Clancy, Cavendish and Dibben are set to fight for places in the five-rider Team Pursuit squad for Rio, with only one of them also being selected for the Omnium.
“If anyone can do it, Mark can and the challenge with him is if he can pursuit well,” Clancy told Cyclingnews and other journalists at a pre-worlds event in Manchester, explaining that whoever is selected will have to be good in both the Team Pursuit and the Omnium.
“You know that he can hustle and ride a good bunch race but we’re yet to see if he can ride a good team pursuit and I guess that will play a role as we only have five guys for Rio. I wouldn’t put it past him.”
Clancy also tipped Dibben, who at just 22 has already competed in several major championships and picked up a bronze in last year’s European Championships in the Omnium. Dibben is also a former junior silver medallist in the testing six-discipline event.
After recent changes to the Omnium, the points race is now the final decisive event, with every point they score added to their final overall Omnium points total.
“With the new format and the points race as it is, I think Dibben or Cav are going to be just as good at riding the Omnium as me,” Clancy suggested modestly.
“I’ve not qualified for Rio but as far as Tokyo goes, I’m a big fan of Dibben and I think he has what it takes to win it and he’s only going to get better with age.”
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