Sir Chris Hoy has his sights set on triple gold at the World Track Championships, starting this Wednesday (March 24) - but must also shake off the memories of a terrible crash.
Sir Chris raced at the Ballerup Velodrome in Denmark last year when, during a keirin race, he crashed and badly injured his hip, forcing him out of the subsequent World Championships in Poland.
This year, however, he is fighting fit and, with nine world titles under his belt, is determined to return to Denmark and become the first man to win golds in the individual sprint, team sprint and keirin — his gold medal events at the Beijing Olympics — at the same world championships.
“Although France’s Arnaud Tournant is the only man ever to win three world golds in one championship, no one’s ever done it in the sprint, team sprint and keirin and that’s my goal for Copenhagen,” he told the Daily Mail.
“I’ve been training well, I’m happy with my form and I’m confident. But everything from now until 2012 is a stepping stone to the London Olympics and I’d happily lose every race if it meant winning more gold at the London Games.
“It would be an amazing accolade to become the most decorated British Olympian and I’d be very proud of the achievement,’ he said. ‘But you can’t compare eras, let alone different sports. The bigger goal for me is to perform in front of a British crowd at the Olympics.”
The UCI Track Cycling World Championships was last held in Denmark (also in Ballerup) in 2002, and between 1896 and 1956 the Ordrup Velodrome, north of Copenhagen, hosted the World Championships in track cycling nine times.
Track World Championships were first held in 1893 in Chicago and for the following 100 years amateurs and professionals competed in separate events. Since 1993 the two groups have raced together in open races. All riders are selected by their national cycling federation
The UCI Track Cycling World Championships event includes time trial, keirin, individual pursuit, team pursuit, points race, scratchrace, sprint, team sprint and, for men only, madison and omnium.
The international cycling federation awards a gold medal and a white jersey with rainbow bands to the winner and silver and bronze medals to the second and third. World champions wear their rainbow jersey until the following year's championship.