Track Worlds: Final Training Before Competition
Story posted March 23. 2010; by Larry Hickmott
With competition starting on Wednesday, it was the final chance for riders to get some track time on the World Championship velodrome and a small group from the Great Britain team rocked up to the Ballerup track at 4pm for some efforts on the boards.
The endurance riders had already been out on the road for an hour during the day and Chris Hoy did a roller session back at the hotel with the Sprint coach Iain Dyer right alongside on a bike and feeling the pain too.
Above: Slideshow of photos from the final day of training.
Back at the track however, Olympic Silver medallist Wendy Houvenaghel was getting in some work for the Individual Pursuit which takes place on Wednesday. Not a lot as most of her training is aimed at the Team Pursuit, but today Wendy did a standing start kilometre to get a feel for the pace of the track and came off it with a smile.
This may well be her final opportunity to do this event as priority is sure to be given to the Olympic disciplines in future championships. Wendy was certainly looking fit during her efforts after what her coach calls a very professional job during the winter with her training. Wendy’s challenge perhaps highlights a challenge for the UCI and that is to schedule the events so Olympic disciplines are not compromised by those now not part of the Olympics. IE, give some space between the Individual Pursuits and Team Pursuits in the programme.
With the Men’s Team Pursuit not until Friday, GB’s Endurance coach Dan Hunt had the men down at the track for another effort, a rolling 3K one, before their final taper for the big race at the end of the week. Three sprinters, Matt Crampton, Victoria Pendleton and Ross Edgar were also putting the final touches to their taper with Edgar due to be racing on Wednesday in the Team Sprint.
The riders in the GB Team Pursuit bring it home in a sprint for the line.
Bring it on!
With training over, the riders can now look forward to competition day on Wednesday while those not racing , will have a long day at the hotel in between any road or roller sessions they may have been given by their coaches.
On day 1 of the championships, there is the Women's 500 Metre Time Trial where Becky James will make her debut at this level alongside her academy teammate, Jess Varnish.becky will be off second in the event whilst Jess is off 14th in the field of 21 where Anna Meares of Australia will be one of the favourites.
In the Men’s Points race, former World Champion on this very track, Chris Newton will look to try and repeat that feat as he continues his training for the Men’s Omnium which this year will be ridden by Ed Clancy.
As mentioned above, Wendy Houvenaghel rides the Women’s Individual Pursuit, one of two chances she has of winning a Rainbow jersey and after a Silver in the Olympics, Wendy has to go into the race as one of the favourites. She will be in the second last heat.
Wendy looks happy enough with the draw where she will ride in the second last heat. It will mean there is little room for pacing her ride with two more riders to follow and only the two fastest going through for Gold.
Finally, the man mountains built from solid muscle will be coming out to entertain the crowd in what will perhaps be the highlight of the evening, the Men’s Team Sprint. This event really does make the boards roar along with the crowd. Legends like Sir Chris Hoy will be on the track in the Team Sprint racing against the big French riders like Gregory Bauge and the Germans who the Brits beat so well at Revolution recently.
The British team of Jason Kenny (man 1), Ross Edgar (man 2, above) and Chris Hoy (man 3) is a revamped team after the injury to Jamie Staff but his young replacement from Bolton has not been hanging about lowering his times for the standing start first lap and that will be one of the key moments of the night, seeing how Jason fares and how close he can get to the blistering times of Staff. The latter will be watching from the commentary box for Eurosport and feels his young teammate may well be recording the times Staff was doing in Beijing by the time London comes around in 2012.
All in all, the Team Sprint, has in the latter years, ended up being a France versus Great Britain race and that may well be the case on Wednesday evening. GB is off in the second last heat. Those wanting to see the action can do so on BBC and Eurosport and British Cycling will of course be bringing you reports and photos from the track centre long after the tele has cooled down.
To see the start sheets, click here