Charlie Tanfield and Dan Bigham’s impressive winter on the track has seen the Team KGF duo muscle their way into the Great Britain team for the UCI Track World Championships in Apeldoorn – a squad which also includes the returning Laura and Jason Kenny.
Tanfield became the second-fastest Brit ever in the individual pursuit when he won gold at the Track World Cup in Minsk, before beating Bigham to the national title last month.
Tanfield told RCUK how both his and Bingham's form had resulted in them being invited to train with British Cycling, and they have now been confirmed as the only two non-programme riders to be selected for Apeldoorn.
Taking place from February 28 to March 4, Great Britain’s 22-strong squad will also see the return to elite competition of husband and wife duo Laura and Jason Kenny, for the first time since the birth of their son.
Performance director Stephen Park admitted the selectors had some tough decisions to make, but hopes Tanfield and Bigham’s selection will serve as inspiration for other riders outside of the British Cycling programme.
“Dan and Charlie have made their mark on the track cycling scene this season and what they have achieved is commendable," he said.
“I hope their efforts encourage others outside the centralised British Cycling system to follow their example.
“They are currently on a training camp in Mallorca with the men’s endurance squad and it’s a really exciting time for us to have an expanded pool of talent to select from."
The Kennys are two of seven Olympic champions selected, meanwhile, with Jason joined in the men’s sprint squad by Phil Hindes and Callum Skinner (the trio won team sprint gold together at Rio 2016), while Laura joins the women’s endurance line-up alongside Katie Archibald and Elinor Barker (three of the four women who, along with the now-retired Joanna Rowsell Shand, won team pursuit gold in Rio).
Ed Clancy is the seventh Olympic champion and part of a men’s endurance squad which also features Kian Emadi, Ethan Hayter, Chris Latham, Mark Stewart and Ollie Wood.
Ellie Dickinson, Emily Nelson and Emily Kay – who all rode at last year’s worlds – complete the women’s endurance squad.
"It’s a really exciting time for us to have an expanded pool of talent to select from" - Stephen Park, British Cycling performance director
Lauren Bate – one of two debutants alongside Hayter – pairs up with Olympic bronze medallist Katy Marchant in the women’s sprint squad.
And the squad is completed by the men’s sprint team, with Olympic champions Kenny, Skinner and Hindes joined by Jack Carlin, Ryan Owens and Joe Truman.
Two-time Olympic champion Steven Burke and Scottish star Neah Evans are notable absentees – both despite being part of Britain’s gold-medal winning team pursuit squads at the Manchester round of the UCI Track World Cup.
With a young team at last year’s World Championships, Great Britain returned with two gold medals, and Park hopes points race champion Barker and omnium winner Archibald will both be able to retain their rainbow jerseys in Apeldoorn.
“Both have enjoyed a successful World Cup campaign in the build up to these World Championships, winning nine medals between them, and it would be great to see them finish off their season with some more strong performances as they continue to build towards Tokyo 2020," he said.
On the squad as a whole, he added: “Looking at the squad list for this year’s UCI Track Cycling World Championships, we have a really strong line-up of riders which should translate into some good performances by the Great Britain Cycling Team.
"The selection panel had some very tough decisions to make in selecting this team, but it’s a good problem to have and is testament to the strength in depth in British track cycling talent"
“The selection panel had some very tough decisions to make in selecting this team, but it’s a good problem to have and is testament to the strength in depth in British track cycling talent.
“There’s a lot to look forward to at this year’s competition; obviously seeing Laura and Jason’s return to the world stage will be a special occasion, they’ve both shown they are back on form during training sessions and I know they’re excited to be competing in this year’s World Championships."
Great Britain team for the 2018 UCI World Track Championships