The Final round of the 2016-2017 kicks off in Los Angeles this evening- here’s our summary of who’s riding what.
With no Men’s Team Pursuit on the programme, many of the teams have sent relatively small Men’s Endurance squads, with resources typically split between the Scratch race and the Omnium and combined for the Madison.
In the Scratch, Ireland’s Felix Engish, Minsk Cycling Club’s Raman Ramanau, Thomas Denis of France, Adrian Teklinski of Poland, Tristan Marguet of Switzerland and Jon Mould of Team USN are all in with a shout – and keep an eye out for former sprinter Christos Volikakis of Greece.
The Omnium is also highly competitive with Roam Gladysh of Ukraine, Switzerland’s Gael Suter, Campbell Stewart of New Zealand, Chris Latham of Great Britain, Morgan Kneisky, Casper Pedersen of Denmark and Raman Tsishkou of Belarus all in with a shout.
In the Madison the Danes, the Irish and the Russians again look strong – with Cali Gold medalists Denmark bringing in Julius Johansen and Casper Pedersen in place of Casper Von Folsach and Niklas Larsen. Ireland stick with the Silver medal winning team of Mark Downey and English. With no Belgian or Australian teams, they will be looking to go one better, but they’ll also face strong opposition from Welsh duo Sam Harrison and Jon Mould, riding for Team USN – and from the Swiss pairing of Tristan Marguet and Gael Suter and France’s Kneisky and Denis.
The Men’s Team Sprint sees New Zealand’s Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster and Eddie Dawkins return to the track for their first World-level competition since Rio. They’ll be wary of the German trio of Erik Balzer, Eric Engler and Max Neiderlag and the French – who have a strong squad to pick from with Quentin Lafargue, Melvin Landernau, Sebastien Vigier, Thomas Copponi and Charly Conord all making the trip. The Dream Seeker trade team – featuring Japanese riders Yudai Nitta, Makuru Wada and Australian Shane Perkins, who’ve been looking very well drilled in training. Russia, Poland and Colombia are good outside bets.
In the individual Sprint and Keirin we’ll be looking at the usual suspects – Lafargue, Francois Pervis, Niederlag, Webster, Dawkins, Fabian Purta of Colombia, Kamil Kuczynski and, of course, Denis Dmitriev.
The highlight of the weekend in the Women’s competition should have been a very strong Women’s Team Pursuit competition with very strong squads from Canada, Australia, Italy and New Zealand – and the US have a large squad at their home event and the ability to mix youth and experience. But, sadly, the Australian quartet had to withdraw as their bikes still hadn’t arrived from Cali.
Chloe Dygert is probably the home team’s best chance of an individual medal in the Pursuit, with Jaime Nielsen of New Zealand and Rebecca Wiasak and Ashlee Ankudinoff of Australia among the strongest challengers.
Georgia Baker of Australia will be one to watch in the Scratch, along with Elise Delzenne, Elinor Barker, Rachele Barbieri of Italy, Ausrine Trebaite of Lithuania, Evgeniya Romanyuta of Russia, Tatyana Klimchenko of Ukrine and Sarah Hammer of the USA all in with a chance.
The Madison should see Amy Cure and Alexandra Manly of Australia, Laura Brown and Jasmine Claesser of Canada, Laurie Berthon and Coralie Demay of France, Barker and Eleanor Dickinson of Great Britain, Romanyuta and Olga Zabelinskaya and Russia at the sharp end, but it’s such a new event at this level, anyone could be in with a chance.
In the individual competitions it’s hard to see past the Germans with Kristina Vogel looking odds on favourite to repeat her Team Sprint, Sprint and Keirin triple from Cali – although the Team Sprint will be with Emma Hinze rather than her normal partner Miriam Welte.