The Team Pursuit takes place this Friday at the London Olympic Velodrome and the home nation is still the favourite to win in both the men’s and women’s events.
But as we learned in the Olympic Road Race competitions don’t always finish the way we predict it.
In April 2012 Team GB men’s set the new world record in the Team Pursuit at 3:53:295, beating the original time set by Australia. So this could mean that the 5 strong Team GB may have to put in extra effort to keep the Aussies from stealing back their time.
In the same World Cup, in Melbourne, New Zealand just edged out Germany for 3rd place position and they both have been training hard to improve their times in the hopes of causing an upset in the overall standings.
Team GB women’s team also took victory ahead of Australia and Canada in the same championship. But Australia brings a team of inexperience as only Anna Meares has competed in an Olympic Games and she will not be competing in the endurance events.
So although Team GB looks good to take gold in the Team Pursuit, it won’t be an easy task, in both events Australia are close at their heels waiting to take the victory away from the hosting nation. But don’t count Canada out of the race just yet, this event is going to be one that will be decided on the line.
The Women’s Keirin also takes place on Friday with the men’s event late next week.
In the men’s event Sir Chris Hoy is looking forward to competing for another Olympic Gold and would especially like to win on home soil. But with Maximilian Levy from Germany fit and ready to take charge of the track, it’s all about the best man on the day. Outside favourite would be Mickael Bourgain (France) who dropped out of the road race after just 3km to save his legs for the Keirin.
The women’s event will be a battle of the birds as Victoria Pendleton and Anna Meares once again fight it out for first place. The last time Pendleton (GB) and Meares (AUS) met Pendleton took the win in the individual sprint, but after nursing a crash early in the qualifying rounds Pendleton pulled out of the event before competing in the Keirin.
Ekaterina Gnidenko is another to watch. Finishing 2nd in the World Championships in the same event, she went on to win both a sprint and Keirin in the track championships in Tula. At 19 years of age she may just have youth on her side.
But in every rack event I would say never discount the Dutch, who year after year prove that they are well on their way to become Olympic champions.