The Great Britain Cycling Team endurance squad travelled to their first qualification event in Valencia, Spain on the weekend to begin the process of attaining points allowing them to compete at the forthcoming track world cup season beginning in Manchester on 1 November.
In an encouraging first outing on the track for some time, Laura Trott won the omnium with Dani King placing third overall at the conclusion of the two day event. In the men’s event, Jon Dibben was third and Ed Clancy fourth overall.
“It was really good results from the whole team there,” said British Cycling’s men’s endurance coach Chris Newton at the conclusion of the event.
“The overall competition was good, the men’s was particularly hard fought and very close, with the quality across the field of a very high standard. It was good to see both Ed and Jon really making their mark on the solid competition in all six events.
"It was really good results from the whole team there. The overall competition was good."
“Similarly with the girls, it was good to see Laura and Dani showing their form. A lot of the teams had multiple riders; I think the Spanish had five riders there. I think it would have been easy to play tactics, with one working for another throughout the event but I think Dani and Laura both had the desire to do well and be up there and qualify.
“I wouldn’t say they didn’t help each other out but equally, there weren’t afraid to chase each other down either.”
“Laura rode really well in the flying lap as did Dani, They both rode a strong points race and fought hard in the elimination. The elimination didn’t have the usual digital readout to warn riders to leave the race. That led to a messy finish with riders not pulling out when they should have. Both riders did a solid individual pursuit with them finishing first and third there.”
“Ed was head and shoulders above everyone else in the flying lap. Jon was really good in the points race, he has come on leaps and bounds in the last four months, really starting to get a grasp of that event now.”
The qualification system has brought its own challenges with it for riders who are often in the middle of a road block at this point in their year. As such, they often find themselves approaching an event like this with limited amounts of track preparation in their legs. This is something that Newton sees as a mostly positive experience.
“As an athlete, you will always question your body and ask yourself how does it feel? It will feel different from having had a really big track block and a lot of track preparation but we did do some track preparation around the road and road racing.
“It’s really interesting for riders to see that and know what it feels like to race from short preparation. I think this gives them confidence to experiment and be open to new ideas surrounding preparation for an omnium based event.”
The next step for Trott and Dibben will be potential selection for the U23/Junior European Track Championships in Portugal next month. Newton commented on the extra experience this will give them.
“Although we have to travel a little further afield to qualify this time around it comes with the benefits of race exposure and experience and they are starting to learn valuable lessons from that.”