World and European champion Dani King will sit out the team pursuit this weekend as the Great Britain team finalised their teams for the fourth round of the Track World Cup in London.
Wendy Houvenaghel, Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell make up the three-strong team for the women’s event as they kick off their preparations for the Olympic Games. Laura Trott will also ride the omnium and Joanna Rowsell will compete in the individual pursuit, while King will ride in the scratch race.
Beijing medalists Ed Clancy and Geraint Thomas will team up with Pete Kennaugh and Stephen Burke for the men’s team pursuit, while Ben Swift will ride the omnium.
The World Cup, which also serves as a test event for the Olympics and is the first time the Olympic velodrome will host competitive racing, is a key stepping stone for GB’s athletes.
“Being in 2012 and having the Olympic Test Event in the next few days really does feel like we’re starting this Olympic process for real,” Houvenaghel said.
Ed Clancy added, “obviously it would be nice to win but the most important thing is that we get a good solid ride, get a bit of confidence from that, and then know that we’ll go quicker at the worlds and then hopefully again at the Olympics.”
British Cycling Performance Director Dave Brailsford has been careful to play down expectations for the World Cup, with the focus on the World Championships in April before the Olympics in August. Over five months remain until the Games and there is plenty of potential for the selection to change in that time.
Qualification for both team pursuit competitions will take place on Thursday evening, February 16. The women’s final will be on Friday evening (February 17) with the men’s finals on Sunday afternoon (February 19).