The final round of the 2011/2012 UCI Track World Cup gets underway on the evening of Thursday 16 February with the qualification rounds of the Women’s and Men’s Team Pursuit, the beginning of four days of action that will see the London 2012 venue host top-class racing for the first time.
The final round of the series also doubles as the Olympic test event and a honed, 16-rider GB team looks every inch like an Olympic squad. The Women’s Pursuit squad, now confirmed as Wendy Houvenaghel, Joanna Rowsell and Laura Trott, will be first to grace the London boards, and speaking to British Cycling earlier in the year, Houvenaghel said, “We’re very much looking forward to competing there in a month’s time. We’ll endeavour to get used to the track as much as possible in the timeframe we have left”. Laura Trott will be representing GB in the Omnium, with Joanna Rowsell also doubling up and racing the individual pursuit, while Dani King will contest the scratch race.
The female pursuiters will be followed by their male counterparts, with the team pursuit squad confirmed, subject to illness or injury, as Steven Burke, Ed Clancy, Pete Kennaugh and Geraint Thomas. Ben Swift will ride the men’s Omnium event. In a recent interview with the Press Association, Thomas spoke of him and the team relishing the prospect of meeting their rival pursuit outfits; “It will be good for us to get a race under our belts under the same roof as the Aussies and the Russians. They've been producing fast times over the winter, so have the New Zealanders. It will be good to see where everyone is. Everyone's going to be looking at each other and we want to go there and do our best and hopefully win, but we'll see how it goes.”
Joining the endurance squad is a full strength male sprint squad of Sir Chris Hoy, Matt Crampton (who will be representing Sky Track Cycling), Ross Edgar and Jason Kenny. Like Geraint Thomas, Jason Kenny is keen to get racing experience on the London boards ahead of the summer. Speaking to British Cycling recently Kenny said, “The world championships are the main short term goal but I think with the London World Cup and the Olympics being on that track later in the year it’s obviously going to be important for everyone. It would be nice to turn up there in form, to be competitive and get stuck into the racing to get a feel for the place.”
The confirmed line-up for the men’s team sprint will be, in starting order, Ross Edgar, Jason Kenny and Sir Chris Hoy. Hoy and Kenny will also contest the match sprint, with the Scot the lone GB rider in the Keirin. Matt Crampton however, riding under the colours of the Sky Track Cycling trade team, will contest the kilo, the Keirin and the individual sprint.
The male sprinters will be joined by Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish, both of whom will represent GB in the sprint, team sprint and Keirin.
GB Team by Event
Women’s Team Pursuit - Laura Trott, Wendy Houvenaghel, Joanna Rowsell
Women’s Omnium - Laura Trott
Women’s Scratch – Dani King
Women's Individual Pursuit – Joanna Rowsell
Men’s Team Pursuit – Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Peter Kennaugh, Steven Burke
Men’s Omnium – Ben Swift
Women's Sprint – Jess Varnish, Victoria Pendleton
Women’s Team Sprint - Jess Varnish, Victoria Pendleton
Women’s Keirin - Jess Varnish, Victoria Pendleton
Men's Team Sprint – Man 1 – Ross Edgar, Man 2 – Jason Kenny, Man 3 – Sir Chris Hoy.
Men’s Sprint – Sir Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny
Men’s Keirin – Sir Chris Hoy
NB: Matt Crampton riding for Sky Track Cycling will ride - Kilo, Keirin and Sprint