Published: 13 December 2011
Report: Scott Hobro
Andy Tennant has backed fellow team pursuit rider Ed Clancy to compete in the omnium at London 2012 as Great Britain endurance coach Dan Hunt paid tribute to Clancy’s team ethic.
Tennant (right) believes Clancy (left) could ride the omnium at next year's Games
Following the European Track Championships in October, Clancy had said he would consider dropping the omnium at next year’s Games to focus on retaining the team pursuit title. Clancy has since competed in the omnium at the opening UCI Track World Cup in Astana, Kazakhstan, finishing fourth.
Tennant, who rode alongside Clancy as Great Britain won team pursuit gold at the European Track Championships, believes Clancy has earned the right to participate in the event which is making its Olympic debut at London – providing it doesn’t distract him from his team pursuit performance.
“In my personal opinion if it doesn’t affect his pursuit then I’d want him to go for it and win gold. I don’t see why he should miss out on his own glory - he has sacrificed enough for the team in his life,” Tennant said.
“He’s sort of been pushed as the captain of the team pursuit and speaks his mind which is good and he usually says what we are all thinking. He’s quite useful in that role. He’s got massive credentials and we all know how good he is in that man-one spot.”
Tennant’s thoughts were echoed by endurance coach Dan Hunt, who praised Clancy’s selflessness.
“It shows how team-minded and how team-spirited Ed is. What he was saying [after the European Track Championships] was that if the omnium was impacting on his team pursuit one bit he would drop the omnium for the team,” Hunt commented.
“I think that just epitomises the athlete we are looking for the omnium. We are not going to be in a situation where we have a spare man to put in the omnium, the omnium rider will come from our team pursuit - 100%. You can’t have a guy in the team pursuit on his own agenda protecting himself for the omnium.
“What Ed was saying was ‘if I get the nod to race the omnium I’ll race it but I’m not going to compromise the team pursuit one bit for it’. That has been the party line ever since the omnium was announced; we are unapologetically focused around the team pursuit.”