Published: 6 February 2013
Report: Scott Hobro
Video: Eddie Allen
British Cycling coach Iain Dyer is optimistic about Great Britain's future sprint prospects after a youthful squad was named for the 2013 track world championships.
Six sprinters are heading to Minsk, Belarus for the competition and between them have an average age of just 22 with Victoria Williamson (19) and Kian Emadi (20) making their senior world championship debuts from 20-24 February.
They are joined by London Olympians Philip Hindes (20) and Jason Kenny (24) as well as Matt Crampton (26) and Becky James (21) with the squad currently making its final preparations at a training camp at the Newport Velodrome.
Dyer, who has worked with the Great Britain Cycling Team through the Athens, Beijing and London Olympics has been buoyed by the atmosphere within the group before GB's first major test on the boards since London and the chance for riders to lay down an early marker on the road to Rio 2016.
"With the young people in the programme you can't help but get wrapped up in their optimism and positivity," said Olympic Programme sprint coach Dyer.
"I think everyone sort of moves along with that, it generates a really good morale and I think we are in a really good position and looking forward to it.
"I have got absolutely no doubt that we will be talking about these guys with six months to go towards Rio so that's going to be a good thing at this stage."
After winning six titles with a full strength squad at last year's championships in Melbourne, which acted as the last major event before the Games, Dyer accepts that GB are unlikely to repeat the feat.
Instead the Rio 2016 Games is at the forefront of the selection and the chance to hand development opportunities to British Cycling Olympic Programme riders.
"We may not necessarily hit the podium as often as we have done in the past but there is no question that this is a young team that is moving forward," Dyer commented.
"It's a great opportunity this early in the next Olympic cycle to see all the guys getting really good experience at such a high level.”
Becky James will compete in the sprint and keirin in addition to the team sprint alongside Victoria Williamson with London Olympian Jess Varnish missing out with a back injury.
“Jess has had an ongoing back complaint for quite some time,” Dyer explained. “It started off as a bit of a rumble in her lumbar spine and we were able to manage that through soft tissue therapy.
“After the Olympics she had a break and got back into training and we were particularly mindful we needed to take things pretty steady getting back into the gym and back on the bike. But by the time the end of the year came around and we’d finished the Perth training camp her back had clearly become a lot more troublesome.
“We’ve done the best we can to manage and treat the issue but ultimately something like a disc fissure is hard to treat with anything other than rest.”
British kilo champion Kian Emadi, having only made his track world cup debut in Columbia in October, will end an encouraging campaign with the chance to impress in the 1km time-trail, an event in which he won silver in Cali last year.