UK Sport has announced its 2010 medal targets for Britain’s summer Olympic sports, and expects the country’s cyclists to come away with between five and ten medals at this year’s UCI World Championships events.
The medals tally set is across all disciplines, so it will include the World Track Championships later this month in Copenhagen, where the British team will hope to at least hit the lower end of the target and September’s Road World Championships in Melbourne.
It also includes the BMX World Championships taking place in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa in the summer, and the Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships being held in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada, which get under way at the end of August.
Britain’s Paralympic cyclists, meanwhile, had initially been set a target of between eight and 14 medals, although UK Sport says that figure “requites clarification after cancellation of track worlds.” Originally scheduled for Cali, Colombia this summer, the road events have been moved to Quebec but there’s no word yet on where and when the track events will be held.
According to UK Sport chief executive John Steele, the targets, achievement of which helps determine the level of funding that individual sports receive, “are challenging but are indicative of the gradual increase in momentum towards London 2012.”
With sports such as athletics and swimming not having World Championships this year, unlike cycling and rowing, for example, targets for those have been set around events such as European Championships, Commonwealth Games and World Cups.
Mr Steele added: “Having such targets in places allows us and the sports to chart this progress and are a well-established part of any successful high performance sport system.”
In total, Team GB athletes are targeting up to 98 medals across events linked to summer Olympic sports this year, with 99 targeted in events featured in the Paralympics.
While sports in which Britain has enjoyed relative success over the past two Olympic Games such as cycling and rowing seem to have been set relatively relaxed targets when measured against their success over the past few years, others such as swimming and athletics appear to have a greater challenge.
The nation’s swimmers have been set a target of exactly 35 medals at the Commonwealth Games, where of course they won’t face competition from the likes of American swimmer Michael Phelps, while track and field athletes have been given a range of between ten and 15 medals to bring home from the European Championships in Barcelona this summer.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.