Ed Clancy motivated to lead team pursuit squad to Cali gold

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Ed Clancy is looking forward to leading a young Great Britain team pursuit squad at the forthcoming UCI Track Cycling World Championships, which take place from 26 February to 2 March in Cali, Colombia.

The 28-year-old from Barnsley hopes that his experience and an ideal preparation phase will yield the medal that eluded the team in Minsk twelve months ago.

"We're all pretty motivated”, said Clancy, speaking a few days before flying out the Colombia as part of a 17-strong squad. “We've had good competition to try to make the line-up for a start. All round we've had a more consistent run-in.”

Clancy’s preparation for the 2013 event in Minsk was far from traditional; the rider having spent part of the post-Olympic season training as a potential team sprint man-three.

“I remember I jumped aboard ship after my team sprint failed to materialise close to the worlds last time,” said the rider. “So it's been a little bit more of a traditional building, not so close to the Olympics and everyone's had a good run-in this time. I think we'll give it a go.

"There's good competition out there; Aussies, Danish, Kiwis, the usual lot - we're definitely going out there and aiming for a gold."

Clancy is the oldest and most experienced rider in the five-man endurance squad also including Steven Burke, Sam Harrison, Owain Doull and Jon Dibben and explained the extra responsibility that this position brings with it.

At 20 years old, Owain Doull and Jon Dibben are the youngest in the men’s endurance squad and Clancy’s role is both teammate and mentor is to the two young riders, who both made their worlds debuts in Minsk.

"I guess being the old man of the team it’s my job to put a little more input into the training. I work together with (coach) Paul (Manning) to finalise the training plans sometimes.

“I guess I've been there and done that. I don't know how many times I've done a world championship now but I can guide them through what to expect, how to approach it.

"Selection day - was a stressful thing for those guys so I try to guide them through as best as I can."

Clancy also revealed that the team pursuit squad for the 2013/14 season has a feeling of cohesion and chemistry, a result of a studied build-up and time spent together as a unit.

"The team's gelling pretty well this time,” said Clancy. “We've spent plenty of time together in the hotels and a few Majorca camps so it's good to get to know them because to be honest I didn't know Owain Doull and Jon Dibben so well before this winter.

“It's been nice to spend a bit more time around them. We feel like a proper unit this time."

Clancy is also selected to ride the omnium, an event in which he claimed the world title in 2010. However it was clear that the more predictable, clinical world of the team pursuit will always be favoured over the often chaotic environment of the omnium.

“It's a tough event but I'll give it my best”, said Clancy. "The team pursuit training does take up 85% of your time. We've done little bits of specific omnium training.

"The thing with team pursuit is it's a more dependable medal so it makes sense that we put the majority of our effort into that one."

Clancy revealed that a heavy summer of crit racing with road team Rapha Condor JLT had an effect on his team pursuit starts in the early stages of training but is confident that his form is emerging ahead of Cali.

“I've struggled a bit off the starts, peak power-wise this winter but it's all coming together now which is nice.

"We're in that period now we're starting to freshen-up and feel good and go quick so, yeah, we're enjoying it."


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