Clancy believes in squad strength

31 July 2012 / 16:00

Defending champion Ed Clancy believes the strength in depth of Great Britain's men's cycling team pursuit squad will be advantageous when action begins in the London 2012 Olympic Velodrome on Thursday.

Clancy was part of the British quartet which won gold in Beijing in 2008 and returns to the Olympic track alongside Geraint Thomas, with Steven Burke, an individual pursuit bronze medal winner in China, Peter Kennaugh and Andy Tennant completing the squad.

Britain won the Track Cycling World Championships team pursuit title for the first time since 2008 in April in Melbourne, shaving 0.019 seconds off the Olympic-winning time to take the world record to three minutes 53.295 seconds.

Clancy believes all five Britons will be crucial in the bid for victory in the four-man, four-kilometre event ahead of arch-rivals Australia, Russia and New Zealand, particularly due to the proximity of Friday's first round and medal rounds, which are little more than an hour apart.

The 27-year-old said: "We've got five strong guys that are all pretty equal, so that's certainly something in our favour.

"We've raced across two days before, but it will be a bit different on the second day, having the semi-finals and finals so close together.

"But it's the same for everyone. Every team is going to have to get up to race the finals with tired legs."

Tennant rode in the qualifying round in Melbourne but was replaced by Burke for the final and riders are set to be switched again.

A top ranking from Thursday's qualifying round is key.

Clancy believes the world record could fall, and the strategy for Friday's latter stages will be determined after qualifying.

He added: "In qualifying you can go absolutely flat out and you've still got 24 hours to recover.

"If we qualify fastest, we'll be against fourth place (qualifiers). The winner of that round will go to the gold final.

"Are you going to go flat out then or do just enough to win? "There are a few different options. I guess the sports scientists will get their calculators out and work out what's the most efficient way."