Hoy calls for more international track racing, and heads to Rotterdam Six Day in January
Six-time Olympic champ believes there is scope for international series of track events
Six-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy believes that in the wake of London 2012 there is public appetite to see international level track cycling expand beyond the current five big meetings of the world championships and the four-round world cup. Meanwhile, the Scot, together with Jason Kenny, will appear at the Rotterdam Six Day meeting in January, organisers have cofirmed.
Hoy, who won two gold medals in London in the keirin and the team sprint, told Yahoo! Eurosport: "There’s great scope for promoting track cycling better. The Olympics were a success for track cycling on a global scale, particularly in the UK because of our performance and how the public responded to the events.
"It showed that people want to watch it live, that there is an appetite for track cycling. Now is the time to exploit this moment. Track cycling should go further – there is definitely potential for a televised International Series to run alongside the World Cup events."
Potential comparisons include the Diamond League in Athletics or the ATP World Tour in tennis, not to mention cycling’s own UCI WorldTour on the road.
The 36-year-old insists that Britain’s world class facilities plus the interest in track cycling generated by Team GB’s success in Beijing four years ago and London this summer meant that the country could be a natural home for such a series.
"You could do it anywhere, no more so than the UK. We have four top-class velodromes now, enthusiasm, and interest. I hope we use the success of the Olympics as a springboard for cycling," he added.
Hoy is likely to compete at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014 in the new velodrome that bears his name, but has ruled out any thoughts of defending his Olympic titles in Brazil.
"There are several reasons why I won’t be there in Rio," he explained. "Firstly, you can’t top London – victory in front of a home crowd is the perfect way to end your Olympic career.
"Then there is the physical question – all the training and injury eventually takes its toll on your body, and there is only so much you can take. Four more years of that, at this stage, would be very difficult.
"And finally there’s the question of selection – no-one is in the team by rights, and as you can see it is getting harder and harder to earn your place. The competition is so tough and it’s getting even harder."
Competition for Olympic places intensified ahead of London, with countries only able to select one rider on the track for each individual event, which saw Hoy miss out on a chance to defend his individual sprint entry, Kenny getting the ride instead and going on to clinch gold.
"Jason has been around for a while now, he won gold in the team sprint in 2008, but his win in the individual sprint this time was superb,” Hoy maintained.
"I didn’t see any controversy at all in his selection – some people complained but I always felt they made the right call, and it was vindicated.
"It would have been the right call even if he didn’t win, as he gave us the best chance of gold. Thankfully he did!"
Meanwhile, organisers have confirmed that Hoy and Kenny will both be lining up in the Sprinters Cup at the Rotterdam Six Day meeting in early January, which takes place in the Dutch port’s perhaps appropriately named Ahoy Arena.