The Olympic Velodrome in London is ready to host its first major international track competition since the London 2012 Olympic Games two years ago.
The UCI Track Cycling World Cup is coming to London. Specifically, the competition is coming to the boards of the transformed Lee Valley Velopark from December 5-7 for the second and penultimate round of the 2014-2015 competition which will culminate in Columbia early next year.
The Great Britain Cycling Team will be looking to rediscover some of its medal table-topping home form from London 2012, and to continue its good start to this competition.
After the first round of racing which took place in Mexico at the beginning of November, Great Britain sit joint second in the medal standings behind Australia but level on the Germans with two golds and two silvers.
Of the 18 British riders set to ride in London this week, six won gold medals at the Olympic Games as part of Team GB’s haul of seven golds, one silver, and one bronze medal on the track.
Olympic Sprint gold medalist Jason Kenny and his Olympic team sprint gold medal teammate Philip Hindes will be riding alongside Callum Skinner in the team sprint on Saturday, hoping for a repeat performance to the won that saw them take gold in Mexico.
The women’s sprint squad consists of Jess Varnish, Victoria Williamson and reserve rider Danni Khan.
The endurance squads are also filled with Olympic pedigree. Olympic gold medalists Ed Clancy, Steven Burke, Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell are all set to take to the track over the weekend.
While topping medals tables is a big aim for many of the riders taking part in the London event, securing qualification points for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio is of the utmost priority for the new head of British Cycling, Shane Sutton, who took over from Dave Brailsford in April.
He told William Fothering in an interview for the Guardian that “the riders will want success in front of their home crowd but ultimately it’s about Olympic qualification, so it’s about securing points and if wins come on the back of that then fantastic.”
Watching the event is easy. There are still tickets available via Ticketmaster, but if you can’t make the trip or the tickets sell out, full coverage will be available on the BBC with finals of each day accessible on the red button and a highlights package on Saturday night.
Complete coverage is also available via the British Cycling website. This includes live blogging, photos, race reports and full reaction.