For the first time ever, a pursuit team from the World Cycling Centre will compete in the UCI Juniors Track World Championships. Five athletes from Argentina have been training over the last weeks at the velodrome in Aigle, Switzerland, and will take part in the race for the rainbow jersey. Another WCC trainee, Sara Ferrara (Mexico) will also participate in the Championships which take place in Glasgow, Scotland, from August 7th to 11th.
Already winners of the Pan American Championships this year, the Junior pursuit team from Argentina will be taking part in the first Worlds of their career. They aim for a top-five place, be it in the team pursuit or in the different individual events such as the points race. However they will be up against experienced national teams such as Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Colombia and of course Great Britain, who will have the advantage of performing in front of the home crowds.
"With Junior competitions we never really know what the opposition's level will be, but our trainees are definitely well prepared and very motivated,â explains WCC coach Tim Carswell. âWhatever happens, these UCI World Championships will be a learning experience.â
Organised in collaboration with the Argentinean Cycling Federation, the pursuit teamâs programme has included gym work, training and competitions on the track but also on the road: in the middle of July, two athletes took part in the mountainous Ain-Ternational RhÃ´ne-Alpes Valromey Tour.
The WCC coaches devised a tailor-made programme for the 17 and 18-year-old trainees, avoiding an accumulation of intense exercises in the final phase in order to respect their endurance base which is not as solid as their older counterparts.
"The team pursuit is a very good development exercise and this specific work with the Argentinean trainees is a good opportunity to step up to the senior level,â observes Tim Carswell, who has already successfully trained up New Zealandâs national pursuit team for major international competitions.
For the Glasgow Juniors Worlds, the Argentinean team will be composed of Fernando Gil, Marco Franchetti, Facundo Crisafulli and Nicolas Navarro. Exequiel Bauer has been named as their reserve, and will also compete in the kilometre.
Meanwhile, Sara Ferrara will represent Mexico in the points race and the team pursuit. Fifth in the team pursuit at the 2012 World Championships, she finished 5th in the scratch and 6th in the points race at the Fenioux Piste International in HyÃ¨res, France, in July.