LONDON, Nov 5, 2011 (AFP) – Britain’s Olympic medal hopes in track cycling
could be compromised next year by the staging of a World Cup test event at the
London velodrome, fears British track team boss Dave Brailsford.
Britain won seven of the 10 gold medals on offer at the Olympic velodrome
in Beijing three years ago, when Welshwoman Nicole Cooke added an eighth to
the pile from the women’s road race.
While Brailsford is not expecting a similar haul in London next year, he
feels the host nation could suffer from the decision to stage the final World
Cup leg of the season at their home venue in February.
Previously, other host countries have used national championships as test
events to give home-based athletes an advantage.
In a little over three months, however, the world’s best track cyclists
could boost their own medal hopes by gathering vital information while
competing on the Olympic velodrome.
“It’s fantastic the Games are in London and we need a test event but I am a
bit miffed to be honest,” Brailsford told BBC Radio Five Live Friday.
“We are having a fully blown World Cup as a test event when a lot of the
other venues are using national championships.
“We are basically inviting in opposition from the rest of the world to come
and have a look at our facilities and learn the nuances of the track.
“Could we do it a different way? Probably. But now it is a question of
managing it properly and getting the most out of it.”
Brailsford, who is also head of British road team Sky, meanwhile believes a
combination of selection criteria and the scheduling of events means Britain
can not hope to match their success from Beijing.
“There will be ten gold medals (in track) available in London and the
events that were in Beijing have been changed so we will win fewer than eight
golds — I dont think there’s any doubt about that,” added Brailsford.
“They have also reduced the number of competitors in each event per nation
to one, where it was two in Beijing.
“We don’t do medal targets, but we will be the very best that we can be
with the athletes we have. We are positive and we will go to London and do our