Tomorrow sees the former Olympic Park in Stratford host its biggest international sporting event since that heady summer four years ago as the UCI Track World Championships come to London. Here’s how to follow all the action over the coming days, plus some of the highlights to look out for.
BBC Red Button will be providing full coverage (including online) throughout the championships at Lee Valley VeloPark, which run until Sunday, while from on Thursday and (England only) Friday evenings there will also be live coverage on BBC Two from 7pm to 9pm.
The channel will also cover Sunday’s final day live, other than in Scotland, while Eurosport will also be providing extensive live coverage as well as highlights, with full schedules on the British Cycling website.
Team GB’s riders won seven of the 10 gold medals at London 2012, just as they had done at Beijing four years earlier, but we’re unlikely to see a repeat of that dominance in the coming days. The championships will, however, provide a strong indication of how the country’s riders may fare in Rio.
In all, there are 16 events, compared to 10 in the Olympics, the latter comprising five each for men and women – the team and individual sprints, the keirin, the team pursuit and the omnium.
The team pursuits will see Great Britain’s men – including Sir Bradley Wiggins – and women try and wrest the world titles back from, respectively, New Zealand and Australia, who won in France 12 months ago.
Meanwhile the women’s omnium will see 2012 world and Olympic champion Laura Trott try and win the rainbow jersey after finishing second in the past three world championships.
The men’s version of the six-race event on Friday and Saturday provides one of the week’s most compelling sub-plots, with Mark Cavendish told he needs to finish in the top three if he is to keep alive his dream of securing that coveted Olympic medal in Rio.
Meanwhile, the British sprint squad, who have struggled to repeat their earlier success following the retirement of Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton after London 2012, will be looking to get back to winning ways.
Perhaps the most anticipated event though is the one that brings the championships to a close on Sunday but is no longer on the Olympic programme and which brings together the two biggest names in British cycling – Sunday’s Madison.
The race will see Wiggins and Cavendish pair up – they won the world championships the last time they were held in the UK, at Manchester in 2008, but missed out on a medal in Beijing later that year, after which it was dropped from the Olympic programme.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.