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Trott to prioritise team pursuit defence over omnium in Minsk

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Double Olympic champion Laura Trott will prioritise the defence of Great Britain’s team pursuit crown over her omnium title at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships.

The 20-year-old travels to Belarus later this month to compete in the two disciplines having also considered the individual pursuit before dropping the event to ensure she will be in peak condition for the team edition.

There she is joined by fellow world and Olympic champion Dani King and world junior time-trial champion Elinor Barker, who replaces Joanna Rowsell as she focuses on the road.

Despite giving the three-woman event precedence, Trott has aspirations to make it back-to-back omnium wins on the world championship stage after her success in Melbourne last year.

“I obviously want to retain them both,” said Trott, who has won her last three outings in the omnium at Melbourne, London and Glasgow respectively.

“Team pursuit is still my main focus so we will get that one in the bag first hopefully and then that might spur me on to win the omnium.

“I wanted to ride the individual pursuit as well as because that is at the Commonwealth Games next year but there is not enough time because it falls before the team pursuit so I don’t want to be too tired before that.”

The Belarus capital will witness the last senior world championships for the three-woman team pursuit before it switches to a four rider format over a distance of four-kilometres, replicating the men’s version.

Great Britain’s women have dominated the discipline, only being denied the world title on one occasion since its introduction at the 2008 championships – when Australia won in Denmark in 2010 – before going on to take gold in London.

And Trott, ever-present in the line-up since her winning debut at the 2011 world championships, wants a fitting finale for Great Britain.

"For a junior to step into an Olympic team, that’s massive and she has done it with no problem at all. She just gets better and better, the more efforts we do."

Laura Trott on Elinor Barker

“Since it came into the Olympic programme, we have only not won it once,” Trott said. “That’s pretty amazing. It’ll be nice for people to say ‘we dominated’.

“We don’t know how we are going to go in the four-kilometre, it just means Joanna Rowsell will come back into the team and then we have got four world class individual pursuiters in one team.”

Rowsell’s replacement, 18-year-old British Cycling Academy rider Elinor Barker, makes her second competitive appearance with King and Trott.

Gold with the pair at the Glasgow track world cup last November underlined the Welsh youngster’s credentials and Trott has been impressed with her new teammate.

“For a junior to step into an Olympic team, that’s massive and she has done it with no problem at all. She just gets better and better, the more efforts we do,” Trott enthused.

“Elinor just improves and improves, she’s doing amazingly. In a way I guess it’s easier to step into our team because there are only two of us.

“It’s good that any of us can ride in any position, I can’t even tell you now whereas if Jo was in the team I could say ‘Jo is man one, I’m man two, Dani is man three’ for sure, that is how we ran it all the time.

“Now I haven’t got a clue which way it is. You could chuck us up in the up in the air and wherever we land is where we are going to ride. I am just as confident for sure.”


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