British Cycling celebrates 21 years of medal success ahead of Track Cycling World Cup
Cycling Track

British Cycling celebrates 21 years of medal success ahead of Track Cycling World Cup

28 July 2017 / 18:00

Rising track cycling stars Emily Kay and Dannielle Khan have joined forces to celebrate 21 years of British success at the Manchester velodrome.

The pair, also 21, weren't born when building work started but both admit to being inspired by the history of arguably the most successful British sports facility ever.

It's 21 years since the World Championships were first staged at the venue - and in that time, British cyclists have stormed to 60 golds, 31 silvers and 27 bronze medals on its boards.

And that figure could be set to rise when world-class track action returns to Manchester from November 10-12, when the TISSOT UCI Track Cycling World Cup returns to the home of British Cycling.

Fans can look forward to enjoying a showcase of some of the best track racing on the planet, featuring a host of international heroes including Olympic and world champions, as well as the next generation of cycling stars - possibly including the likes of Kay and Khan.

With Olympic omnium champion Laura Kenny absent from the track as she prepares for the birth of her first child, all-rounder Kay and endurance specialist Khan are keen to seize their chance at the start of the next Olympic cycle.

"There's a massive pool of female riders at the moment and that competition really keeps you working hard," said Kay.

"The first target is to get selected for the World Cup team. I love competing in Manchester, it's my home now and I know all my family would be there to watch.

"It's a special venue for me because this is where I first rode on a velodrome. There's a picture of me on the wall here when I was about eight in a Great Britain jersey and flowery socks. It's quite funny that I've gone full circle and now I'm back here as a full-time athlete.

"We travel all over the world but nothing compares to racing at home, having your family and friends there, watching you and supporting you. The history is all around the velodrome, so it is a very special place."

There have been so many highlights in 21 years of medal success in Manchester. Chris Boardman won the world pursuit title there in 1996 - and just a few months later famously beat the prestigious world hour record.

Yvonne McGregor set the women's world hour record in 2000 and, two years later, Manchester successfully staged the Commonwealth Games, where Sir Chris Hoy topped an all-British podium in the 1000m time trial.

In 2008, just a few months before the Beijing Olympics, Britain won unprecedented ten gold medals at the World Championships - setting the standard for the Games that followed.

And it's four years since the last TISSOT UCI Track Cycling World Cup was staged in Manchester, when Britain's women's team pursuiters - riding as a quartet for the first time - stormed to a new world record.

"I just feel extremely lucky to be training here daily in a world class facility, having everything an athlete needs under one roof is just fantastic," said Khan.

"The likes of Sir Chris Hoy, Laura Kenny and Jason Kenny all train or trained here. For any athlete that's so inspiring and it gets even more out of you in the gym or on the track.

"It gives you goosebumps and a fire in your belly working on this track. You think ‘these amazing athletes have used this facility and look what they've achieved, and I'm being given this opportunity too'.

"Racing in front of your home crowd really does give you that extra bit of an advantage. When the stands are packed out here, I can't describe just how electric the support and atmosphere is."

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