The Track World Championship kicks-off today at the Lee Valley Velodrome in London as Team GB look to lay down a marker ahead of the Rio Olympics.
GB have assembled a strong squad for the Championship, with the likes of Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish returning to a discipline which helped them made their names, and then fans will see track favourites such as Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell Shand, and Jason Kenny compete over the five days.
But one event which always delivers excitement is the team pursuit, and with the first Briton to win the Tour de France in the team; GB are naturally considered strong favourites for the event.
The pursuit team made up of Wiggins, Owain Doull, Andy Tennant, Steven Burke, Ed Clancy, and Joe Dibben are all experienced riders both on the track and the road; so the omens look good for breaking the record which stands at 3.51.369, which was set by Team GB at London 2012.
Wiggins believes Team GB can break the record ‘if the conditions are right’
Speaking via Cycling Weekly ahead of the event in London, the former Team Sky rider said: “I think we’re all quite excited that we can break the world record if the conditions are right.”
“It’ll either be [at the Worlds] or it’ll be in Rio because there is no other opportunity really,” added the 35-year-old.
Team GB's headquarters are in Manchester, and that is where the majority of the riders train. But with the event held in London, Wiggins feels that will have a big bearing on whether the record could be broken.
Wiggins has done the Hour Record in the Lee Valley Velodrome, so he knows first-hand what the conditions can be like, and if the conditions are just slightly off that could affect the chances of the team pursuit record being broken this week.
Wiggins said: “If the World Championships are in Manchester, we know we can crank this place up to 30 degrees."
In any velodrome the track plays vital part. The one in Manchester is known to be quick, but the one in London is fairly new. Wiggins said: It’s a fast track, we’re used to it and I think we would be close if not break the world record if it was in Manchester.”
Whatever happens in London, the guys will definitely give a good crack in trying to break the record and, as Wiggins said, if the conditions are right, don’t put it past Team GB creating a little more history