The UCI Track Cycling World Cup Classics series returns to the world’s busiest velodrome in Manchester. A sell-out crowd for every session will be looking forward to some fantastic racing as the teams make the most of their final meeting before next month’s World Championships in the Netherlands.
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The week’s competition kicks off with the Men’s Sprint and after a mixed season so far, local hero Sir Chris Hoy (riding for Sky Track Cycling) knows there’s work to be done ahead of the Worlds in Apeldoorn. Unceremoniously dumped out of the competition in the first round by Ireland’s Felix English at the European Championships (an Olympic qualifying round) and finishing second to World Cup leader Kevin Sireau of France in Cali won’t have pleased the big Scot, but the thunderous Manchester crowd does have a habit of bringing the best out of him. Of course, they lift team mate Jason Kenny, too…
World Record : 9.572 Kevin Sireau France
World Champion : Gregory Bauge France
Olympic Champion : Chris Hoy Great Britain
2010-11 World Cup Leader : Kevin Sireau France
With the new Olympic format Men’s Omnium increasingly important to the big Nations, Great Britain are mixing things up again. Reigning World Champion Ed Clancy finished 3rd in Melbourne and won in Cali, with young Welsh rider Sam Harrison stepping up in Beijing to take another GB win. No pressure on Ben Swift, then, who takes his turn at the event in Manchester. The changes are good news for the absent Zachary Bell of Canada who can’t be caught in the World Cup series.
The competition starts with a qualifying Points Race and the Flying Lap in the morning session, with the Points Race proper and Elimination race in the evening session. The medals will be awarded tomorrow – following the Pursuit, Scratch and Time Trial.
World Champion : Ed Clancy Great Britain
2010-11 World Cup Leader : Zachary Bell Canada
First event in the Women’s competition is the Team Pursuit and the Kiwis – whose World Record set in Copenhagen in March 2010 was finally overturned last month after a series tests at the velodrome in Aguascalientes delayed ratification of the Sarah Hammer’s US squad’s World Record set two months later – have sent a world class squad to try to clinch the win and maintain their narrow World Cup Series lead over Australia.
Despite Rebecca Romero’s last minute withdrawal with a minor injury, British Cycling are entering two squads – Wendy Houvenaghel, Joanna Rowsell and Sarah Storey in Great Britain colours and three from Katie Colclough, Dani King, Laura Trott and Claire Galloway, riding for 100%ME.
Women’s Team Pursuit Qualifying
World Record : 3m 19.569s USA (Sarah Hammer, Lauren Tamayo, Dotsie Bausch)
12 May 2010 Aguascalientes, Mexico
World Champions : Australia (Ashlee Ankudinoff, Sarah Kent, Josephine Tomic)
World Cup Leader 2010-11 : New Zealand
The penultimate event of the day is the Men’s Individual Pursuit – with a rare appearance for a British rider after the UCI’s decision to cut it from the Olympics. With sensational new World Record holder Jack Bobridge from Australia not making the trip, Geraint Thomas has to be one of the hot favourites of the week.
It may not be in the Olympics any more, but here at trackcycling we think it’s the highlight of the weekend.
Men’s 4000m Individual Pursuit Qualifying
World Record : 4m 10.534s Jack Bobridge Australia
2 February 2011 Sydney, Australia
World Champion : Taylor Phinney USA
Olympic Champion : Bradley Wiggins Great Britain
The Women’s Team Sprint is the last event of the opening day – and who would bet against McCullough and Meares. The Australians have been dominant of late, but the French and Germans are knocking on the door – and British Cycling are again entering two teams – Becky James and Jess Varnish in their national skinsuits, with former World Champion pairing Victoria Pendleton and Shanaze Reade returning to the track in Sky Track Cycling colours.
Women’s Team Sprint Qualifying
World Record : 32.923 Australia (Kaarle McCulloch, Anna Meares)
23 March 2010 World Championships, Denmark
World Champions : Australia (Kaarle McCulloch, Anna Meares)
2010-11 World Cup Leaders : China
Saturday (Day 2)
The second day kicks off with the Women’s Sprint competition. The duel between Kristina Vogel and Sky Track Cycling’s Victoria Pendleton resumes – with Lithuania’s Simon Krupeckaite and Olga Panarina of Belarus never too far away. Also hoping to get in among the medals will be James and Varnish of Great Britain.
World Record : 10.793 Simona Krupeckaite Lithuania
29 May 2010 Moscow, Russia
World Champion : Victoria Pendleton Great Britain
Olympic Champion : Victoria Pendleton Great Britain
2010-11 World Cup Leader : Kristina Vogel Germany
Tara Whitten of Canada has been the star of the Women’s Omnium of late, but with a hatful of Olympic qualifying points in the bag – and the World Cup title all but secure (Pascale Jeuland of France can snatch it if she wins here) – Whitten sits this one out. Don’t rule Jeuland out, though – or Great Britain’s Lizzie Armitstead.
Like the men, the competition kicks off with a Flying Lap this morning, with an Points race and a Devil this evening and concludes tomorrow with the Pursuit, Scratch and Time Trial.
Women’s Omnium Qualifying
World Champion : Tara Whitten Canada
2010-11 World Cup Leader : Tara Whitten Canada
The Men’s Keirin competition should be a fascinating duel between World Cup series leader Azizulhasni Awang of Malaysia and World and Olympic Champion Sir Chris Hoy – assuming, that is, that we remain free of some of the controversial decisions that have dogged the event of late.
Keirin fans should note that this bumper World Cup round also has a Women’s competition and, on the Final Day, the big money Japanese Keirin Association Invitational.
Men’s Keirin 1st round
World Champion : Chris Hoy Great Britain
Olympic Champion : Chris Hoy Great Britain
2010-11 World Cup Leader : Azizulhasni Awang Malaysia
Watch out for talented Great Britain youngster Laura Trott in the Women’s Scratch race.
While it might be a little bit early to be talking about a win, the former Welwyn Wheelers rider already has a World Cup Omnium Bronze medal to her name, so you can’t rule it out.
Women’s 10km Scratch Race Qualifying
World Champion : Pascale Jeuland France
Sunday (Day 3)
The final day of competition opens with the Men’s Team Sprint which, over the last few years, has become a three way fight between Olympic Champions Great Britain, World Champions and France. Australia – long the kings of this event – are fighting back, too and have sent a strong sprint squad to Manchester with Daniel Ellis, Jason Niblett and Scott Sunderland riding in Jayco colours. The Sky Track Cycling squad will be from Sir Chris Hoy, Matt Crampton, Ross Edgar and Jason Kenny.
Men’s Team Sprint Qualifying
World Record : 42.95 Great Britain (Jamie Staff, Jason Kenny, Chris Hoy)
15 August 2008 Beijing Olympic Games
World Champions : Germany (Robert Förstemann, Maximilian Levy, Stefan Nimke)
Olympic Champions : Great Britain (Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny, Jamie Staff)
2010-11 World Cup Leaders : Great Britain
The Women’s Keirin again looks like it will be between Sanchez, Krupeckaite and Pendleton – who will be joined by James and Varnish in a very strong GB squad.
The Women’s event has been affected less by controversial decisions, but the women are every bit as determined as the men and you can expect some close racing and maybe the occasional spill.
Women’s Keirin 1st round
World Champion : Simona Krupeckaite Lithuania
2010-11 World Cup Leader : Clara Sanchez France
The final event of the competition – excluding the non-Championship JKA Keirin – is the Men’s Team Pursuit. There are rumours of a GB attempt on the World Record, but they won’t have it all their own way. Despite the absence of the Aussie big guns, Russia and Spain are starting to challenge the dominance of the old guard and the very strong British squad of Steven Burke,
Ed Clancy, Andy Tennant, Geraint Thomas and Bradley Wiggins is going to be made to work.
Men’s Team Pursuit Qualifying
World Record : 3m 53.314s Great Britain (Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Bradley Wiggins, Paul Manning)
17 August 2008 Beijing Olympic Games
World Champions : Australia (Jack Bobridge, Rohan Dennis, Michael Hepburn, Cameron Meyer)
Olympic Champions : Great Britain (Ed Clancy, Paul Manning, Geraint Thomas, Bradley Wiggins)
2010-11 World Cup Leaders : Spain