GB & Australia set up London duel



Great Britain's team pursuit team of Wendy Houvenaghel, Laura Trott and Dani King

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World Championships 2011: Team pursuit gold for GB’s women

Great Britain and Australia have both named strong line-ups for February’s track cycling World Cup in London.

The event, at the Olympic Velodrome, is set to become an early chance to see the likely squads for the 2012 Games.

Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton lead the British team while Anna Meares and Jack Bobridge star for Australia.

GB chief Dave Brailsford called the event a “learning opportunity” ahead of the Games, adding: “We have selected a full-strength squad accordingly.”

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With the Olympics being on that track later in the year, it’s obviously going to be important for everyone

Jason Kenny
Member of GB sprint team

His Australian counterpart, Kevin Tabotta, said: “This will be our only opportunity to race on the Olympic Velodrome and familiarise both athletes and staff with the environment ahead of the Games.

“We are on target to qualify the maximum [number of] track places for the Games, so the focus now it to ensure we are in the best possible position to win medals in London.”

Ross Edgar, earlier suggested as a doubt for London’s leg of the World Cup series as he recovers from injury, is named in the British sprint squad and is now likely to form the GB men’s sprint team alongside Hoy and Jason Kenny.

“With the Olympics being on that track later in the year, it’s obviously going to be important for everyone,” said Olympic and world champion Kenny.

OLYMPIC VELODROME

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London Olympic Velodrome

  • Opened in February 2011
  • 250m Siberian pine track constructed by 26 carpenters
  • 6,000 seats
  • Sir Chris Hoy helped with design

“It would be nice to turn up there in form, be competitive and get stuck into the racing to get a feel for the place.”

With Bradley Wiggins opting to focus on road cycling, Geraint Thomas will lead the British men’s pursuit squad.

Laura Trott, Dani King and Wendy Houvenaghel, who won Britain’s only world title last year – until Kenny’s retrospective promotion to gold early in January – are reunited alongside Joanna Rowsell in the women’s pursuit line-up.

Pendleton and Jess Varnish resume their quest to better Australian rivals Meares and Kaarle McCulloch in the women’s sprint events, a contest won in style by Australia at the last world championships, where Meares picked up gold in the sprint, team sprint and keirin.

Bobridge returns to the Australian men’s pursuit team, also world champions, to line up against the British.


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The meeting, which also serves as test event for the velodrome ahead of the Olympics, will welcome 340 riders from 48 nations for four days of racing and begins on Thursday, 16 February.

Beyond the World Cup, the one remaining major event prior to the Olympics is April’s World Championships in Melbourne.

Despite initial suggestions that Britain would fly a weakened team to Australia for the Worlds, plans are now in place for a full GB squad to travel.

“Hopefully I can keep building momentum through London then the World Championships and on to the Olympics,” said Kenny.

Great Britain team for London World Cup

Sprint: Matt Crampton (representing Sky Track Cycling), Ross Edgar, Sir Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny, Victoria Pendleton, Jess Varnish

Endurance: Steven Burke, Ed Clancy, Pete Kennaugh, Ben Swift, Andy Tennant, Geraint Thomas, Wendy Houvenaghel, Dani King, Joanna Rowsell, Laura Trott

Australia team for London World Cup

Sprint: Alex Bird, Matthew Glaetzer, Shane Perkins, Scott Sunderland, Kaarle McCulloch, Anna Meares

Endurance: Jack Bobridge, Rohan Dennis, Luke Durbridge, Alexander Edmondson, Michael Hepburn, Glenn O’Shea, Amy Cure, Annette Edmondson, Melissa Hoskins, Josephine Tomic

Article source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/-/sport1/hi/cycling/16814607.stm

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