Guide to the 2013 Track Cycling Championships
2013 Track World Championships 20-24 February, Minsk
This week sees some of the world’s best track cyclists head to Minsk, Belarus for the 2013 UCI Track Cycling World Championships. Taking place at the impressive Minsk Arena (above), events to look forward to include Men’s and Women’s Team Pursuit, Omnium and both the Team and Individual Sprint.
Among the 16 British cyclists selected to compete at the event are Olympic gold medallists Jason Kenny, Philip Hindes, Ed Clancy and Laura Trott. While these seasoned cyclists will be aiming to maintain their champion status there are some young cyclists who will be making their Senior Track World Championship debut appearances.
Performance Director Sir Dave Brailsford said: ‘The first year of an Olympic cycle is always an interesting one as it gives the opportunity for our young riders to compete alongside the world’s best and experience the competitive environment which is crucial for their development. With that in mind, the focus for the team is to perform to the best of their ability as the route to Rio firmly begins.’
You might know the big names, but we’re profiling some of the younger members of the squad who’ll be well worth watching in Minsk...
The 19 year old from Cardiff (above) started cycling after she was inspired by seeing the Maindy Flyers in action when she was little. Elinor has won countless national titles before going on to medal at the Junior Time Trial World Championships in 2011, and in 2012 she won the gold medal in the same event making her the Junior World TT Champion. She’s also recently signed up to the newly formed Wiggle Honda Women’s Pro Cycling team.
Elinor will be joining Dani King and Laura Trott in the women’s Team Pursuit, which will be the last Great Britain trio to compete at a major meet, with new rules coming into place next year extending the pursuit to a four-woman event over four-kilometres.
The British Cycling Academy Programme rider, who turned 19 this month, is the youngest of Great Britain’s seven endurance riders who are heading to Minsk. Jon will compete in the Omnium and is in contention for a team pursuit role after a notable 2012, in which he won Omnium silver at the UCI Junior Track World Championships on the back of two silver medals at the Under 23 / Junior European Track Championships.
It’s been hinted that the Southampton-born rider is ‘one to watch’ for the future and the timed events in the six-discipline omnium – the kilo, individual pursuit and flying lap – have been the emerging star’s forte.
The 19-year-old is one of the seven riders chosen for the Men’s Endurance. Owain started cycling after he got bored with playing football and rubgy at school and wanted to try something different. The Cardiff cyclist completed a clean sweep of medals with a bronze in the junior men’s omnium after winning gold and silver in the team and individual pursuit in the European Under-23 track championships in Portugal in 2011 and rode as part of the team at the 2012 Glasgow Track World Cup last November. He’s now aiming to be selected as part of the Rio 2016 Olympic squad.
The 20-year-old from Stoke on Trent has some big shoes to fill in Minsk – he’s taking the man three position in the Men’s Team Sprint, replacing Sir Chris Hoy as the Olympic Champion takes a break from the sport.
The young rider will join Olympic champions Jason Kenny and Philip Hindes in the event and is acutely aware of the challenge he is facing: ‘Obviously it’s big shoes to fill, and Jason and Phil are the best in the world in their positions on their day so it’s going to be exciting but you just have to go for it and see what happens.’
Kian started cycling competitively at the age of 13 in track, road and cyclo-cross disciplines before focussing on the track sprint disciplines. In appearing at the Minsk Arena on the opening day of the competition, Emadi will emulate team sprint colleague Jason Kenny who also made his track world championships debut aged 20 back in 2008.
At the age of 15, Victoria made the switch from athletics to cycling after one of her coaches suggested her attributes were better suited to a different sport. Following the buzz of the Bejing Olympics she decided to try cycling and after producing some good results on power tests, she was put on the Girls4Gold scheme – a female talent search which aimed to find female athletes with Olympic potential. From that she was accepted to British Cycling’s Olympic Development Programme, progressing along the pathway onto the Academy programme in 2011.
Since then the 19-year-old, who is from Hevingham in Norfolk, has won a series of medals including taking silver in the 500mm Time Trial at the 2011 UCI Track Cycling Junior World Championships in Russia. Victoria will take part in the women’s sprint in Minsk.
Bury cyclist Simon Yates has been involved in competitive cycling for eight years and was a member of British Cycling’s Olympic Development Programme before being accepted on to the Academy Programme in 2010. The 20-year-old, who was also part of the six-man Great Britain national team in last year’s 2012 Tour of Britain, has emerged as one of the country’s leading riders, with his sights set already on selection for Rio 2016. His debut at Minsk will see him compete in the Men’s Endurance.