Nelson eyes up track world championships after Cali world cup

Nelson eyes up track world championships after Cali world cup

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2016 was a good year for Emily Nelson - but the Great Britain Cycling Team Senior Academy rider is keen to make 2017 even better.

“The big goal for me - I really want to be at the world championships.”

Last year saw the 20-year-old win her maiden UCI Track Cycling World Cup medal in January in Hong Kong, joining Elinor Barker, Ciara Horne and Joanna Rowsell Shand to take silver in the team pursuit alongside points race bronze.

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Then in March, Nelson made her senior UCI Track Cycling World Championships debut in London, finishing an excellent fifth in the points race after leading the competition at the halfway stage.

Those performances spurred her on, and under-23 European gold in the team pursuit was followed by bronze at senior European level in October, before teaming up with Emily Kay in Paris to win silver in the Madison.

Then, the highlight of her season - gold in the team pursuit at the opening round of the 2016/17 Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup in front of a partisan home crowd at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow.

It is no wonder Nelson cannot wait to get back to world cup action by competing this weekend in Cali, Colombia.

“I'm really looking forward to starting the year off with another world cup because it's such good practice ahead of the world championships,” Nelson said.

“To go somewhere so far away - you get the practice with the time difference and the jet-lag, adapting to being in an aeroplane for so long and managing all that.

“It will be really good practice because the world championships are in Hong Kong so that's another big step of a time difference.”

Emily Nelson was part of the Great Britain Cycling Team quartet to win gold at round one of the 2016/17 Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Glasgow.

The return to Hong Kong is the major goal for 2017 for the rider from Lichfield. With a number of senior stars yet to make a full return after the Olympic Games, Nelson is determined to make the most of any opportunities that come her way.

“I think it's really good to see that riders other than the Olympic stars are coming through and doing great rides as well.

“It just shows our strength in numbers that we can be Olympic champions but we can also go out and win (the team pursuit at the) Glasgow world cup with no-one that was at the Olympics. It's really good to see.”

As well as lining up for the team pursuit alongside Emily Kay, Manon Lloyd and Neah Evans, Nelson is also expected to take on one event from the omnium, points race and scratch race - and she says she is relishing the chance for international competition.

“It’s really important. We don't get that much opportunity at all to practice team pursuit or even omnium bunch races (internationally). There aren't very many races around so that is our focus.”

The Great Britain Cycling Team will be in action at rounds three and four of the Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Cali, Colombia from 17-19 February and Los Angeles, USA from 25-26 February.

How to follow the Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup

  • Reports, results, images and reaction will appear on the British Cycling website.
  • Follow @BritishCycling on Twitter for updates.
  • Follow British Cycling on Instagram.
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