Ready for Rio

How will Team GB fare on the track at this sum­mer’s Olympics in Rio? Cy­cling com­men­ta­tor and or­gan­iser of the Six-day Lon­don track event David Har­mon as­sesses their chances

Cyclist - - Olympic Track Cycling -

t’s been a tor­rid time of late for Bri­tish Cy­cling. The depar­ture of tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor Shane Sut­ton in May was hardly ideal in the months lead­ing up to the Olympics, yet track cy­cling re­mains one of Great Bri­tain’s best hopes of strik­ing gold in Rio.

Af­ter all, Team GB claimed an im­pres­sive seven gold medals on the track at Lon­don 2012, plus one sil­ver and a bronze, and while per­for­mances failed to hit the same heights in the fol­low­ing years, the team got back to win­ning ways and topped the medals ta­ble at this year’s World Cham­pi­onships, again in Lon­don.

It was a timely re­turn to form, even if sev­eral of the events that Bri­tain dom­i­nated at the Worlds aren’t in­cluded in the Olympic track sched­ule – we’ll see no re­peat of Cav and Wiggo’s thrilling vic­tory in the madi­son, for ex­am­ple.

The rea­son is that the modern Olympic track cy­cling for­mat has been stream­lined in re­cent years to give na­tions out­side of the tra­di­tional Euro­pean cy­cling heart­land a bet­ter chance of

Above: The World Cham­pi­onships in Lon­don ear­lier this year saw GB top the medal ta­ble – but can they re­peat the feat at the up­com­ing Olympics?

Right: Mark Cavendish gets his head down dur­ing the in­di­vid­ual pur­suit in the om­nium – an event that will test his en­durance in Rio

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