KENNAUGH AND BELLIS ADD CRUCIAL MADISON POINTS
Peter Kennaugh and Jonny Bellis have edged Britain closer to that all-important place in the Madison competition at the Olympic Games.
The scrap to qualify a place in Beijing still looks set to go to the wire, but Britain’s position in the UCI’s national rankings will be healthier after Kennaugh and Bellis won the UIV Cup at the Copenhagen Six-Day.
It comes hot on the heels of their victory in the same competition, for riders aged under 25, at the Berlin Six-Day at the end of January.
The Madison races are held every night as a warm-up to the main Six-Day competition.
In Copenhagen last night (Tuesday, February 5) the Isle of Man pair were in commanding form, taking a lap to stretch their winning margin over Danish duo Thomas Kristiansen and Thomas Riber-Sellebjerg to two laps.
It was an imperious performance and it meant that in the Berlin and Copenhagen UIV Cup races Kennaugh (pictured) and Bellis have added a total of 80 points to Britain’s tally.
A good ride in the Copenhagen World Cup next weekend – where he will again team up with Bellis to race for Team 100% ME – could make the 18-year-old Kennaugh Britain’s top scorer in the Madison rankings this season.
British Cycling’s performance director Dave Brailsford was full of praise for the largely unsung heroics of Kennaugh and Bellis.
“It’s credit to Rod Ellingworth [their coach] and all the academy riders that they can make such a huge contribution to Britain’s overall Madison ranking,” he said.
“Everyone at British Cycling has taken note of Peter’s performances of late and it’s possible he could be our highest points scorer after the Copenhagen World Cup.
“He’s certainly putting himself in the frame for consideration should anything happen to Brad [Wiggins], Mark [Cavendish] and Rob [Hayles].
“The Madison qualification for Beijing is so close these points the lads are scoring could make all the difference in the end so no one is under-estimating what an important job they are doing.
“Jonny Bellis has already shown what he can do on the road [with his bronze medal in the under-23 road race at last season’s World Championships] and he’s doing it on the track too.”
Meanwhile, 19-year-old Steven Burke has slotted into the team pursuit quartet during training sessions at Manchester as they prepare for the Copenhagen World Cup.
And Brailsford reported that the youngster doesn’t look out of place.
“He’s in there holding his own and contributing to some world class times, which bodes well,” he said.
Brits name Copenhagen World Cup squads