Three Olympic gold medals may suggest Ed Clancy has a guaranteed spot in the Great Britain Cycling Team yet he admits there are plenty of eager youngsters hot on his heels as he prepares to return to the track for the first time since Rio.
Next month will see Clancy take to the boards at the TISSOT UCI Track World Cup in Manchester as part of a 30-strong British contingent featuring five other Olympic champions.
With Clancy taking his place in the men’s endurance squad, fellow Rio gold medallists Philip Hindes and Callum Skinner will compete in the sprint events – the latter for 100% me team.
The women’s team is headlined by Olympic team pursuit champions Elinor Barker and Katie Archibald, fresh from securing European gold medals in Berlin last week.
And having spent large parts of 2017 plying his trade on the road, 32-year-old Clancy is raring to get back to the familiar territory of the National Cycling Centre to see what he can produce.
"I have a lot of good memories of racing in Manchester, the highlight of which is always the atmosphere and knowing the crowd is behind you," he said.
"I enjoyed taking some time away from the track last season to focus on the road, but I've been back in training at the velodrome for the past couple of months and I'm really enjoying it.
"A lot of younger riders have stepped up since Rio and there's so much emerging talent across all the disciplines, it's an exciting time to be a member of the Great Britain Cycling Team."
Rio Olympic medallists Katy Marchant and Steven Burke will join Clancy in donning the Great Britain colours, while Skinner will wear the same jersey as up and coming riders such as Matt Bostock, Ethan Hayter, Joe Holt and Matt Walls.
In the Team Breeze squad, newly-crowned European women’s Madison champion Eleanor Dickinson is the standout name.
“A home Track World Cup is something we all look forward to, and it’s great we have the opportunity to give more riders the chance to compete in front of a home crowd, thanks to Team Breeze and 100% me,” said Great Britain head coach Iain Dyer.
“We have a real mix of riders who will be in action in Manchester, from riders such as Ed Clancy and Steve Burke who have won medals at the last three Olympic Games down to riders such as Rhona Callander, Jenny Holl and Jess Roberts who are entering their debut World Cup season.
“The next stop for the majority of the riders is the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Poland which takes place the weekend before the Manchester round, so it’s a busy period for the squad.
“We are all up for the challenge though, especially as it builds up to a home event and everyone is excited for that experience.”
Great Britain Cycling Team
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