Great Britain has named a strong squad for the London track World Cup (December 5-7), including Jason Kenny, Steve Burke, Ed Clancy, Joanna Rowsell, Phil Hindes and Laura Trott, who all won gold medals on the same track during the 2012 Olympic Games.
The second of the three World Cup events will be important for qualification for the 2015 track World Championships, and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Points scored by riders in events in the World Cups are used to create a ranking and so decide the limited number of places available for events in Rio.
The Great Britain team came home from the first round of the World Cup in Mexico in November with two gold and two silver medals, which placed them second on the medal table behind Australia. Great Britain will be hoping to do even better at home in front of a packed velodrome and has named a very strong squad for the men's and women's sprint and endurance events.
"The home round of the World Cup series is a competition the whole team looks forward to and the fact that this event is taking place in the Lee Valley VeloPark makes this event extra special for us," Great Britain technical director Shane Sutton said in the statement announcing the team.
"The crowd support during London 2012 was phenomenal and gave the team a huge lift so hopefully the public will get behind us once again and support us on our journey to Rio. We set ourselves in good stead at the Mexico round of the World Cup with some solid performances across the board and we’re entering a similar strength team in London with the aim of continuing the momentum and gaining valuable Olympic qualification points early on."
Olympic sprint champion Jason Kenny leads the Great Britain men's sprint squad. He will be joined by Matt Crampton, Phil Hindes and Callum Skinner for the team sprint, sprint and keirin events. Kenny inspired the Great Britain team in Mexico, finishing a close second to Oceania Champion Matthew Glaetzer of Australia in the individual sprint event in Mexico and was part of the team that won the team sprint, beating Germany and New Zealand.
"You need your big players and when you see someone like Kenny step up you'll see the whole team step up. It reverberates through the whole squad," Sutton said.
Great Britain will also target victory in the men's and women's endurance events. Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker, Ciara Horne, Joanna Rowsell and Laura Trott have been named in the women's squad and will want continue their domination of the women's team pursuit. Trott will no doubt target the Omnium event after snatching Olympic gold on the London track in 2012.
Ed Clancy anchors the men's endurance team and especially the the team pursuit squad. Great Britain won the gold medal in 2012 but Australia won the 2013 world title and got the better of Great Britain in the final in Mexico last month. London will offer a chance for revenge. One omission from the team is Bradley Wiggins, who had targeted the event as he looks to return to the track at Rio 2016.
The third and final round of the track World Cup will be held in Cali, Colombia between January 17-18, while the world track championships will be held on the new Saint-Quentin-En-Yvelines velodrome near Paris, France between February 18-22, 2015.
Great Britain team:
Men's sprint: Matt Crampton, Phil Hindes, Jason Kenny and Callum Skinner.
Women's sprint: Danni Khan, Jess Varnish and Vicky Williamson.
Men's endurance: Steve Burke, Mark Christian, Ed Clancy, Jon Dibben, Owain Doull and Andy Tennant.
Women's endurance: Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker, Ciara Horne, Joanna Rowsell and Laura Trott.
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