Published: 13 February 2013
Report: Scott Hobro
Video: Eddie Allen
Ed Clancy has refused to rule out a return to the team sprint in the future after a brief spell in the event post-London 2012.
The 27-year-old decided to try for the man three role vacated by Sir Chris Hoy, who is on a break from competitive cycling, after picking up a second team pursuit gold last summer.
Following a winter of training and a silver medal at the Glasgow track world cup with Jason Kenny and Philip Hindes, Clancy missed out on the spot for this month’s track world championships.
Instead, British Cycling Academy rider Kian Emadi was selected with Clancy to contest the kilo and team pursuit in Minsk, Belarus from the 20-24 February.
Whilst his immediate focus is on his native endurance event, Clancy intends to revisit the three-man sprint before the Rio Olympics.
“After the London Olympics I was going pretty quick in the kilo and the shorter timed events,” said a sanguine Clancy, who also won omnium bronze in London.
“After winning the gold medal in the team pursuit there I thought it would be easy to go ahead and keep team pursuiting or I could try and broaden my horizons a little bit and have a look at another event.
“Man three for the team sprint seemed the obvious one so I gave it a go. The Glasgow world cup went pretty well off the back of London and from then on I got my head down and worked hard at the team sprint.
“To be honest I didn’t see any gains at all which was a bit frustrating and demoralising but I kept at it until very recently they named the team sprint and I wasn’t part of it.
“I haven’t given up on the team sprint but it’s on the shelf, it’s one for the future.”
Clancy has since returned to the endurance squad, led by Chris Newton, for the immediate period ahead of the journey to Belarus. He concedes his sprint training is likely to have had an adverse effect on his pursuiting abilities in the short-term though conversely he insists pursuit training can benefit his future sprint aspirations.
“I think the best way about going about the team sprint now is just team pursuit, get really good form and you do plenty of sprint training in the team pursuit training these days.
“If I happen to be going really well, perhaps I will dip into the team sprint and go for trials and see what happens.”
Back in the endurance squad Clancy rejoins fellow defending world champions Steven Burke and Andy Tennant along with upcoming Academy riders Jon Dibben, Owain Doull, Sam Harrison and Simon Yates.
The strength in depth and added competition for places provided by British Cycling’s next generation of riders at the start of the Olympic cycle is something which Clancy, who will be 31 at the Rio Games, welcomes.
“It’s a good thing, the last thing you want to have is a pool of only four riders for the team pursuit,” Clancy states.
“As soon as you have got someone with an illness or injury, you can’t team pursuit with three and a half men, it just falls flat on its face. It’s good that we have got the sort of youngsters that all want to be a part of the team pursuit.
“They have not been drawn away to the road. Guys like me and Steven Burke love the team pursuit, we live for that, it’s what we specialise in but we can’t do it on our own. It’s important we have got new teammates, guys like Jon Dibben. He’s scary young, 18-years-old and already part of the worlds team, it’s exciting stuff.”