Great Britain’s track cycling superstars will roll out at London’s new velodrome for the closing round of the UCI Track World Cup next month.
Sir Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny, Victoria Pendleton, Geraint Thomas, and Ed Clancy will be among the heavyweights deployed by British Cycling’s performance director, Dave Brailsford, at the meeting from February 17 to 19, which will double as the Olympic test event.
The five Olympic gold medalists will be accompanied by a mix of established stars and developing talents in what will be the clearest opportunity yet to assess the readiness of the Great Britain team for April’s world championships in Melbourne and the summer Games in August.
Brailsford said: “The World Cup in London has added significance given that it’s the first major event to be held at the Olympic venue. We are using the test event as a learning opportunity for our Olympic preparations and have selected a full-strength squad accordingly. The riders and staff are looking forward to gaining race experience at the London Velodrome and it’s always fantastic for us to have the support of a sell-out home crowd.”
The sprint team includes some of the biggest names in British cycling. Four-time Olympic gold medalist, Sir Chris Hoy, leads a men’s team including world sprint champion, Jason Kenny, and Ross Edgar, the man British Cycling hope will fill the void left by the retirement of Beijing Team Sprint gold medalist, Jamie Staff.
Beijing gold medalist, Victoria Pendleton, a four-time world champion leads the women’s sprint squad, accompanied by developing talent, Jess Varnish, who narrowly missed out on a bronze medal in the women’s team sprint at the opening round of the world cup in Kazakhstan.
The endurance teams are also packed with proven talent.
The men’s team pursuit line-up includes Beijing gold medalists, Geraint Thomas and Ed Clancy, and Team Sky’s Pete Kennaugh and Ben Swift. Reigning British and European individual pursuit champion, Steven Burke, and Andy Tennant, who won the under-23 European team pursuit championship with Burke, Kennaugh and Mark McNally in 2008, complete the line-up.
Wendy Houvenaghel, three-times a world champion with Great Britain’s team pursuit squad, and a silver medalist in Beijing, heads a women’s team pursuit squad laden with developing talent that includes Dani King, Joanna Rowsell, and Laura Trott.
BBC Two will screen live coverage of the London round of the track world cup on Friday February 17, Saturday February 18, and Sunday February 19.