ED CLANCY is excited at the young talent at Great Britain’s disposal ahead of the first Track Cycling World Championships following the London 2012 Olympics.
On Wednesday in Minsk, Belarus, the World Championships begin with Britain fielding a 16-rider team featuring six Olympic champions, including Clancy.
The 27-year-old Yorkshireman is twice an Olympic team pursuit champion and was trying the team sprint until the experiment was cut short and he was parachuted back into the more familiar surroundings of the four-man, four-kilometre event.
With Olympic champions Geraint Thomas and Peter Kennaugh concentrating on the road, Clancy is part of a new-look team featuring fellow London 2012 gold medallist Steven Burke, 2012 world champion Andy Tennant and Sam Harrison, who won world bronze in 2011.
Jon Dibben, Owain Doull and Simon Yates will make their senior World Championship debuts as part of the men’s endurance squad and will also aim to make the team pursuit squad.
Now the team’s elder statesman, Clancy draws comparisons with his emergence alongside Thomas, who also won Olympic gold in 2008 and 2012.
“I feel old,” said Clancy, who in London was part of the team which clocked a world record three minutes 51.659 seconds in claiming gold.
“It only seems like yesterday that me and Geraint were the young kids - there was Paul Manning and Bradley (Wiggins), Rob Hayles and Chris Newton, who is our coach now.
“When I was 18, I don’t want to speak for Geraint, but I was completely useless.
“They are stepping into a team that is hopefully riding sub-four minutes times and these days, you think that isn’t too exciting, but back in my day it had only been done once or twice by an Australian team that was absolutely on fire.
“If they keep going, it will be exciting.”
Team Sky’s Chris Froome wrapped up victory at the Tour of Oman on Saturday ahead of Alberto Contador. The Great Britain Olympian, second in last summer’s Tour de France, held a 27-second lead going into Saturday’s final stage and finished in the leading bunch in a sprint finish to make sure of the red jersey. Froome had sprung to the head of the field with victory on stage five on Friday.