Ed Clancy admits he will be venturing into the unknown at this weekend’s Track World Cup in Glasgow having swapped the team pursuit for the team sprint.
Having won team pursuit gold over 16 laps of London’s Olympic velodrome in the summer, Clancy will line-up for the three-lap team sprint in Glasgow.
Clancy will team up with Philip Hindes and Jason Kenny, replacing six-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy as man-three in the line-up which claimed gold in London.
And Clancy believes a strong showing could see the trio continue on to February’s Track World Championships in Belarus.
“[I’m] going into new territory, I don’t know what to expect,” Clancy told British Cycling. “The big thing is trying to get on the wheel at the start, not so much the first quarter but the second and third quarter of the first lap. It’s going to be quite interesting to see whether I can match those boys for acceleration when they get going.
“In terms of how fast I’m going to go on my last lap I’ve got no idea of what I’m going to be able to do. Whether getting on at the start will take too much out of me, I guess I’ve got nothing to lose and we’ll soon find out.
“I think Plan A is that the team sprint will go well in Glasgow and hopefully I’ll ride the team sprint at the worlds as well as the kilo just as a little sort of side project; a bit of a break from the team pursuit. I’ve nothing against it, I love riding team pursuit but sometimes a change is as good as a break, that’s the idea behind it.”
Clancy is no stranger to riding quickly over short distances. The 27-year-old won both the flying lap and kilo time trial en-route to claiming omnium bronze in London.
But Clancy insists he is going into this weekend’s World Cup meeting at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome with no expectations.
“I think Phil and Jason are the two more sprint based guys, they’ll come up a lot more in the taper perhaps more so than I will, again that will move it on a level when trying to get onto the start,” said Clancy.
“So yeah we are going into the unknown but what is the worst that could happen? I get dropped and ride for three laps on my own, I’ll never do team sprint again and go back to the team pursuit.
“As much as I’d like to stay on there and do a good last lap and open up another doorway, another option for someone to look at in the future, I wasn’t a team sprinter before this little journey, there’s no worst case scenarios really.”
Meanwhile, British Cycling academy riders Elinor Barker and Joe Kelly have replaced Jo Rowsell and Steven Burke in Great Britain’s squad.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for these two youngsters to step in and experience the GB competition environment at an elite level,” said British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford.
With Clancy switching to the team sprint, Team Sky duo Geraint Thomas and Peter Kennaugh focussing on the road, and Burke on the sidelines, the men’s team pursuit line-up will be unrecognisable from that which lined up in London.
Dani King and Laura Trott remain from the triumphant women’s team pursuit trio, however, and are among five London 2012 gold medallists in Great Britain’s 15-rider squad along with Clancy, Hindes and Kenny.
Great Britain squad for UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Glasgow