Clancy re-invigorated by youthful GB ahead of World Championship charge

With three gold medals spanning three Olympic Games, Ed Clancy takes his place as one of British Cycling's elder statesman.

But with a hungry pack of hopefuls coming through, the 33-year-old is desperate not to be consigned to history ahead of next week’s Track World Championships

Clancy will race in the team pursuit in Poland alongside a number of young riders in a bid to retain the title they won last year in the Netherlands.

And the Barnsley athlete insists he is more motivated than ever as a result of the youngsters coming through in the British set-up.

He said: “These are exciting times. We’ve got a real good squad of young lads. It’s very exciting to be honest.

“You think I’d get bored after 15 years of doing it. But Ethan Hayter is something special, Charlie Tanfield the same, and their youthful enthusiasm rubs off on me as well.

“When we get to training camp and you see Ethan’s face light up on the bottom of the climbs because he can’t wait to smash it and have a massive tear up. Charlie’s the same when he gets on the track, Ollie Wood and Mark Stewart as well.

“It’s infectious. Their enthusiasm rubs off on me and I’m more motivated now than I ever have been.”

Hayter, Matt Walls and Tanfield are all riders with far less experience compared to a six-time world champion in Clancy – with omnium gold in 2010 among his palmares.

However, Clancy insists he has felt like a leader in the team for more than a decade, although admits the current team is the youngest he has got to grips with.

“Geraint [Thomas] is not here, Brad [Wiggins] is not here, [Steven] Burke and [Andy] Tennant aren’t at these World Championships. To me it feels like the young guys team, they’re the core of the squad,” he added.

“Even back in 2012, nearly eight years ago, I was seen as the leader of the team, just because I was the oldest guy and most experienced in team pursuit terms.

“Today, for example, Charlie turns up an hour late for his warm up and I’m just trying to guide him through it and keep him on point, nothing changes.

“Line, pace, do your turn and if you come up half a lap short on you second turn then it is what it is and we’ll work around it.

“Keep tapping in logic and pushing emotion to the back of their brains on the big day. I try my best.”

Clancy’s best has more often than not been enough. If he delivers it again, another gold is likely to follow.

Sportsbeat 2019