British track stars eye lion's share of cycling gold

With names like 'Kamakazi' and 'Real McHoy' competing in the Olympic cycling events, there's no doubt the two-wheeled battle for gold in Beijing will come with colour and entertainment.

But once in the saddle, the pleasantries will be put to one side as four, and often more, years of gruelling Olympic preparation reaches its climax, the AFP reported.

A total of 54 medals will be on offer from the 18 finals in cycling's four disciplines of road cycling, track, mountain bike and BMX in Beijing, and 30 of those medals will be won at the Laoshan velodrome.

Already, Britain have laid virtual claim to a significant share of the 10 track golds on offer.

Traditional track rivals Australia, and to a lesser extent France, were left in the Brits' wake at the last two world championships in 2007 and 2008. At Manchester in March, the hosts claimed a stunning 11 of the 54 total medals, including nine golds.

The star of the show was Scotland's Chris Hoy - dubbed the 'Real McHoy' by fans - who may target three golds having switched to the speed events after the four-lap race against the clock, in which he holds the Olympic title and record, made way for BMX.

In Manchester Hoy set out his Olympic stall by becoming world sprint champion for the first time, defending his keirin title and helping Britain to team sprint silver behind France.

Hoy's anticipated battle with Dutch speed master Theo Bos, Kevin Sireau of France and Australian Ryan Bayley, the reigning sprint and keirin champion who has struggled for form, should be one of the highlights of the Games.

The much lankier frame of Bradley Wiggins will continue Britain's bid in the men's pursuit, in which he is reigning champion.

Instantly recogniseable with his 60s hairstyle complete with feathery sideburns, Wiggins is also a key member of Britain's new world record holding pursuit team, who are expected to tussle with Australia or Denmark for the gold.

It is a tribute to their vision that the GB track squad boasts a former Olympic rowing medal winner in Rebecca Romero, who is targeting gold in the pursuit - one of the three women's Olympic track titles - as reigning world champion.

There's also 19-year-old Shanaze Reade, a world champion in the non-Olympic event of team sprint, who will only compete in BMX in Beijing - albeit as the reigning world champion in that too.

First blood on the Olympic cycling events however will be drawn on the tough and hilly course that plays host to the men's road race.

The 248.5km course starts downtown, then goes over the same steep climb seven times before finishing at the Great Wall.

It is likely to reward the climbers and 'punchers' who are usually at home in tough one-day classics such as the Liege-Bastogne-Liege race.

Reigning Liege champion Alejandro Valverde, Italian Danilo Di Luca and fellow compatriot Paolo Bettini, the reigning Olympic champion, already have gold in their sights, as does Australia's Cadel Evans, and reigning Tour de France champion Alberto Contador.

French hopes of cycling gold may focus primarily on reigning mountain bike cross country champion Julien Absalon, however the evergreen Jeannie Longo will evoke plenty of intrigue for her much younger rivals on what will be her seventh Olympics.

At the age of 49, she recenty claimed the French road and time trial crowns to take her tally of national titles to 54 - and could well spring a surprise in Beijing.

With BMX making its debut in the full hope of impressing expecting Olympic bosses, the Laoshan BMX circuit will be looking to host two days of spills and thrills.

Especially with characters like Kamakazi.

Formerly known as plain old Jamie Hildebrandt before he changed his name by deed poll for 200 dollars in 2001, Kamakazi secured his Olympic berth last weekend - and could now be hoping to make a real name for himself.

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Kazakhstan's trade dynamics with TOP-3 CIS partners unveiled
Kazakhstan's trade dynamics with TOP-3 CIS partners unveiled
1,642 more COVID-19 cases reported in Kazakhstan
1,642 more COVID-19 cases reported in Kazakhstan
Over 600 COVID-19 patients in Kazakhstan in critical condition
Over 600 COVID-19 patients in Kazakhstan in critical condition
Loading Bars
Press conference of Azerbaijani, Qatari FMs - LIVE (PHOTO)
Volkswagen's Skoda Auto halts production for two weeks
Serious steps must be taken in Iran regarding food security - Ministry of Health
Weekly review of Azerbaijani oil market
Azerbaijani FM receives his Qatari counterpart (VIDEO)
This year we celebrate October 18 with pride and happiness, having witnessed glorious history written by victorious Azerbaijani Army - Turkic Council's SecGen
Turkey reveals cargo traffic with Saudi Arabia for 8M2021
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price dips
Turkish Ambassador congratulates Azerbaijan on Day of Restoration of Independence
Iran’s CBI shares amount of currency sold at NIMA exchange rate
Israel significantly increases steel imports from Turkey in 9M2021
UN International Court of Justice to hold hearings on Azerbaijan’s claim against Armenia
Azerbaijani judo team finishes performance at tournament in Paris
Georgia and US plan to sign co-op agreement in field of defence
Kazakhstan's trade dynamics with TOP-3 CIS partners unveiled
Central Bank of Turkmenistan’s names TOP-3 banks with largest number of issued cards
Student opens fire in school near Perm
Students of Baku Higher Oil School to take part in NASA competition
Azerbaijani FM shares Tweet marking Day of Restoration of Azerbaijan's Independence
Oil prices climb as COVID recovery, power generators stoke demand
Azerbaijani judokas grab silver, bronze medals at European Cup
China's GDP expands 9.8 pct in first three quarters
Turkey to open logistics centers in several provinces by end of 2023 (Exclusive)
U.S. Secretary of State Blinken discusses Afghanistan with Qatar
1,642 more COVID-19 cases reported in Kazakhstan
Heads of Japan major parties to hold debate ahead of key election
Israel reports rise in cyberattack attempts against hospitals
Erdogan arrives in Angola in first leg of Africa tour
Facebook plans to hire 10,000 in EU to build 'metaverse'
At least one dead, several injured in shooting incident in U.S.
UK to fund new nuclear power station as part of net zero drive
Former U.S. president Clinton released from hospital
U.S. administers 408.3 mln doses of COVID-19 vaccines - CDC
French ambassador leaves Belarus - embassy
Google dedicates doodle to Azerbaijan's Restoration of Independence Day
Chronicles of Victory: President Aliyev announces that Azerbaijan's armed forces raised Azerbaijan's flag over ancient Khudaferin Bridge (VIDEO)
Chronicles of Victory: October 18, 2020
Georgian CEC calls on public to participate in October 30 municipal run-offs
Turkey expresses interest in expanding activities of Turkish companies in Kyrgyzstan
Helicopter crash kills three in Germany
As soon as possible, we will return to their native lands IDPs who lived in suffering for 30 years - Azerbaijani president
Heydar Aliyev did not allow holding of referendum on preservation of Soviet Union in Nakhchivan - President Aliyev
Celebrating October 18 solemnly or thanking someone for it is absolutely inappropriate, says Azerbaijani president
UK records more than 40,000 COVID cases for fifth day in a row
Cargo movements in Iran’s Qeshm port up
Amendments related to national holidays completely correspond to historical realities - Azerbaijani president
First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva makes Instagram post on visit to Fuzuli district (PHOTO)
Georgia faces fifth Covid-19 wave, observing recommendations much needed, NCDC Head says
UNHCR opens alternative route of aid to Afghanistan via Uzbekistan
Azerbaijan allocates funds for construction of Fuzuli Memorial Complex
Master plans of Zangilan, Gubadly, Kalbajar and Lachin being developed - Azerbaijani president
Azerbaijani economy grows by about 5%, non-oil economy by 20% over 9 months - President Aliyev
Large settlement will be created based on "smart village" concept in village of Dovletyarly - Azerbaijani president
We significantly brought closer day of IDPs return to their homelands - President Aliyev
Projects under implementation in Fuzuli show our determination and potential - Azerbaijani president
We will restore Fuzuli city, settlements of Fuzuli district - President Aliyev
Every person who visits Fuzuli becomes witness of Armenian vandalism and no one can deny this, says Azerbaijani president
This glorious victory will forever remain in history of Azerbaijan - President Ilham Aliyev
After liberation of Fuzuli, cases of desertion in Armenian army became even more widespread - President Aliyev
After Fuzuli was liberated it created more opportunities to move towards Shusha - President Aliyev
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva view conditions created at Fuzuli International Airport
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 1,896 more COVID-19 cases, 764 recoveries
Azerbaijani president, first lady meet with members of Fuzuli district's general public (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani president, first lady view conditions created in Fuzuli Central City Park, plant trees there
President Aliyev lays foundation for Digital Substation Management Center in Fuzuli
President Ilham Aliyev lays foundation stone for Fuzuli Memorial Complex, city of Fuzuli
Liberation of Fuzuli during war was very important - President Ilham Aliyev
October 17 will forever have special place in history - President Ilham Aliyev
President Aliyev lays foundation stones for Fuzuli-Aghdam highway and new “smart village” in Fuzuli (PHOTO)
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva visit Fuzuli district (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Ukrainian MPs visit Ganja where cilivians died as result of missile attacks by Armenia (PHOTOS)
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for October 17
BSEC SG to visit Georgia today
Over 600 COVID-19 patients in Kazakhstan in critical condition
Energy Community highlights leading energy projects implemented in Georgia
First concert of Azerbaijan's trio under leadership Isfar Sarabsky takes place as part of European tour (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Buy/sell operations at Iran Mercantile Exchange soar
Graduation ceremony of Azerbaijani servicemen participating in courses held in Turkey
Heavy rains lash India's Kerala, red alert sounded in 5 districts
Share of households with internet access increases in Georgia
Seventeen U.S. missionaries and family kidnapped in Haiti
Iranian private investments in Tajikistan expected to grow
1,900 new COVID-19 cases reported in Kazakhstan
IRICA unveils data on exports of Iran to Belarus
Azerbaijan national team takes second place at Grand Slam judo tournament
8 killed, over 20 injured in traffic accident in Peru
1 deputy killed, 2 injured in "ambush shooting" in U.S. Texas
Israel's active COVID-19 cases below 20,000
At least 6 dead, 1 missing after ship sinks in Brazil
Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry shares publication in connection with anniversary of Armenia's missile attack on Ganja
Information about firing of Azerbaijani army in direction of Arazdeyen does not reflect truth - Ministry of Defense
Sudan protest calls for military coup as political crisis deepens
Chronicles of Victory: President Ilham Aliyev addresses the nation on October 17, 2020 (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Chronicles of Victory: October 17, 2020
District Election Commissions to sum up protocols of municipal polls in Georgia
A working meeting of the delegations of Uzbekistan and Afghanistan takes place
Russian authorities say 18 dead in suspected alcohol poisoning in Yekaterinburg
UN chief welcomes unilateral cease-fire in CAR
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price continues to rise
All news