Glasgow’s Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome is set to stage its first international event tomorrow with the opening of the second round of the 2012/13 UCI Track World Cup.
The event is significant for British fans for the opportunity it will afford to see double Olympic champion, Ed Clancy, whose greatest successes have come in the men’s team pursuit, make his debut with the men’s team sprint squad.
Clancy will ride with Olympic champions, Philip Hindes and Jason Kenny, who won team sprint gold with Sir Chris Hoy in August.
Offering a typically realistic assessment, Clancy told British Cycling if he was dropped by the two sprinters tomorrow, he would return 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.
The women’s team sprint will reunite Becky James and Jess Varnish, who won the opening round of the world cup in Cali, Columbia, last month.
James is enjoying a scintillating run of form that saw her add two British titles to her palmares in September, beating Victoria Williamson in the finals of the sprint and 500m time trial.
World junior time trial champion, Elinor Barker, is another young rider in superb form, having pulled on the rainbow stripes a little over a month ago, and will race with Olympic champions, Laura Trott and Dani King.
Barker rode with Ciara Horne and Amy Roberts in a Welsh trio in Cali last month, finishing with a silver medal after a close final with the Italian squad.
Great Britain’s dominant men’s team pursuit team will also see fresh faces in Glasgow. None of the quartet that won Olympic gold in London this summer will ride.
Steven Burke has been replaced by Britsih Cycling Academy rider, Joe Kelly, who wil fight for a place in the final quartet with Jon Dibben, Owain Doull, Sam Harrison, and Simon Yates. Andy Tennant, who was selected for the Olympic squad, but did not race at the Games, is the most experienced of the quintet picked for Glasgow.
The three-day meeting starts tomorrow (Friday November 16) with men’s competition in the team pursuit, scratch race and opening three rounds of the omnium, and women competing in the team pursuit, team sprint, and 500 metre time trial.
On Saturday (Nov 17), the women’s sprint and opening three rounds of the omnium will be held, while the men will compete in the individual pursuit, keirin, and final three rounds of the omnium.
The men’s sprint and women’s keirin will be held on Sunday (18) with the concluding races of the womens’ ominium.
Check back for full reports of the action from each of the three days.