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Jess Varnish targets return to man one position in Colombia

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Jess Varnish has stated her intent of returning to position one in Great Britain’s women’s team sprint line-up, following selection for the final round of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup from 16-18 January.

Part of a three-woman sprint squad going to Cali, Colombia, the race will be her final outing before the world championships.

Also travelling are Katy Marchant and Vicky Williamson – the latter, like Varnish also targeting the man one position for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

At the previous round of the world cup, it was Williamson who led Varnish around London’s Lee Valley VeloPark, but Varnish wants those roles to be reversed when they visit the Velodromo Alcides Nieto Patiño in Colombia.

The venue of the 2014 UCI Track Cycling World Championships last saw Varnish take a bronze medal in the team sprint, albeit alongside Becky James.

With James out through injury since that race, Varnish has seen a variety of partners, positions and success.

Previously Victoria Pendleton’s lead-out woman, Varnish missed much of the 2012/13 season through injury and returned to a squad with Britain’s most successful women’s sprinter retired.

Her training continued alongside development riders, who are now fighting to make the grade to either be Varnish’s partner, or depose her should Becky James return to competition.

Undeterred, Varnish remains completely focussed on the man one position and gaining as much race experience as possible before Rio 2016.

“In Cali I’m hoping to be back in the man one position, because it’s something I’m training completely for and it’s where I hope to be in Rio,” said Varnish.

“With Cali I’m looking forward to just getting out and racing really, I think you gain so much more experience from going out and racing all the time and just from switching on your brain and racing and really feeling what works and what doesn’t work.

“I think you gain a lot from that; especially me personally, I really feel like I gain from that,” Varnish continued. “It’s not ideal going to a competition half way across the world before the world championships but for me I think it’s going to work well just to be out there and race more. The more racing I can get involved in before Rio is going to be a bonus.”

Reports, results and images will appear on the British Cycling website. The UCI YouTube channel will broadcast live from the event from 9:00pm to 11:45pm GMT.

You can also follow British Cycling on Twitter @BritishCycling for updates.