Ahead of track world cup, Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish warned to commit to track to make Rio 2016 team
Cav & Wiggo may have to sacrifice 2015 road ambitions
Team GB's Olympic gold medal team pursuit rider Ed Clancy has warned Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish that they won’t be able to just roll into the British track team for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Speaking ahead of the track world cup in Manchester tonight, Clancy said: “Brad and Cav have both voiced ideas about coming back in.
"They'll have to commit to the track, not just have a road programme. It's hard to do both.
"They've got good things going on the road and it will be up to them if they come back or not. If they do, they'll have to fight for their place.
Steven Burke, another member of the pursuit team that took gold at the London Olympics, thinks Wiggo and Cav would have to focus on the track from the middle of 2015.
“They’ll have to commit to the track, not just have a road programme,” he said. “It’s very unlikely you can do both in the same year.
“At Olympic level, when you’re going for 3-50, you want to be at optimum level. You need to commit more to the track.”
Competition for track team spots won’t just come from established members of the British squad. Ed Clancy added: "It will be up to those guys and how far out they want to commit. Even if they do, you don't know how good our young guys are going to be."
One of those young guys is Sam Harrison, who says he’s not even sure he will get a spot in today’s world cup team pursuit races.
“There’s good competition at the minute,” Harrison told the British Cycling website. “It’s going to be tough to get into the team to be honest.
“There are six of us. Ed and Burkey are almost guaranteed their spot as Olympic champions, they are really strong. I think the third and fourth places are really up for grabs but it is tight between all of us.
“Then again the competition strives you on and it makes everyone stronger.”
The British team beat Russia to win gold at the recent European championships, but today they face stronger competition from the powerhouse Australian and New Zealand teams.
“You never know what the Australians and Kiwis are going to bring and even the Danes are progressing at the minute,” said Harrison.
But he hopes Team GB will be abe to take advantage of playing at home in Manchester. “We know the track, it’s where we go every day, where we ride every day, it’s a natural environment for us and with the home crowd it’s really exciting," he said.
The BBC will cover the track world cup live on BBC Red Button on November 1 from 19:00-22:00 GMT and November 2 from 18:00-22:00 then online until 22:45. Live on BBC Two from 14:20-17:30 on November 3.