Britain’s leading pedal power specialists are about to test themselves against opponents from across the globe at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships. The event, which starts today and runs until Sunday 3 March, will be taking place at the Pruszków Arena in the Polish city of Pruszków, and the competition for medals is likely to be fierce. With just seventeen months to go until the 2020 Summer Olympic Games get underway, those trying to make their dreams of triumphing in Tokyo come true will be using the world championships to assess their progress so far. So which titles will they be fighting for and which British stars are hoping to succeed?
The Track Cycling World Championships – How Many Titles Are Up For Grabs?
The event’s programme includes both endurance and sprint events, and there are twenty world titles – and sixty cycling medals – to be won. The victors of the women’s scratch 10km will be decided on the first day, as will the winners of both the men’s and women’s team sprint events. Four more gold medals will be awarded tomorrow, when the men’s and women’s team pursuit, men’s scratch 15km and men’s keirin events draw to a close, while the finals of the men’s points race 40km, the men’s kilometre time trial, the women’s sprint, the men’s individual pursuit and the women’s omnium will take place on Friday 1 March.
Spectators will able to see another four world title battles on Saturday 2 March, in the form of the women’s individual pursuit, the women’s madison 30km, the women’s 500m time trial and the men’s omnium. On Sunday, the final four events will reach their conclusion: the men’s sprint, the men’s madison 50km, the women’s point race 25km and the women’s keirin.
Who’ll Be Competing As Part of Team GB?
The British squad heading to Poland includes some well-known names, including a number of Olympic and world champions. Jason Kenny, for example, who has six Olympic gold medals and three world championship titles to his name, will be competing in the men’s team sprint event, while his wife, Laura (née Trott), a seven-time world champion and four-time Olympic title winner, will take part in the women’s omnium and the women’s team pursuit.
Triple world champion Katie Archibald, a member of the team who won the women’s team pursuit at the 2016 Rio Olympics, will be in action in the same event in Pruszków, as well as appearing in the women’s madison with Neah Evans. Welsh fans will be cheering for Elinor Barker, whose collection of cycling awards already includes one Olympic and three world championship gold medals, while Vicky Barnes (née Williamson) will be returning to the competition for the first time since a serious crash in 2016, in which she suffered injuries which almost ended her career.
The other British riders selected for the event are John Archibald, Ollie Wood, Ethan Hayter, Charlie Tanfield, Ed Clancy, Matt Walls, Kian Emadi, Mark Stewart, Emily Nelson, Ellie Dickinson, Katy Marchant, Phil Hindes, Ryan Owens, Joe Truman and Jack Carlin.
Are you heading to Poland to watch the action or will you be tuning in to watch the live coverage on the BBC? How do you think Team GB’s cyclists will fare? Let us know your thoughts on their performance at the 2019 UCI Track Cycling World Championships on social media or leave a comment here.