The Chris Hoy legend will be present throughout the UCI Juniors Track World Championships from August 7th to 11th. The competitions take place in Glasgow, Scotland, the territory of Great Britainâs cycling giant, winner of six Olympic gold medals.
As if in tribute to the newly-retired champion, the next generation of the discipline (238 athletes from 32 countries) will compete for the world titles on the track that bears his name.
The Chris Hoy velodrome already hosted a round of the 2012-2013 UCI Track Cycling World Cup last November and will also be the stage for the track events of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. "It is a very impressive arena and a fast track,â according to the New Zealand Head coach Ross Machejefski. "It is a different shape to what we are used to, with longer straights but it is a superb facility."
But it is not only the Siberian pine architecture that will responsible for the high-level sporting confrontations this week: the Juniors are currently very, very fast. In mid-July, the Russians set the tone at the European Championships in Anadia (Portugal) with a time of 4:10.681 in the menâs team pursuit.
The best nations should clock in times around this mark. According to British coach Matt Winston the key contenders include the Russians, Danish and above all the Australians. His own pursuit team remains humble: "I think it will be a real result if we walk away with a medal in Glasgow whatever the colour".
The British would like to do better than in 2012
The menâs team pursuit is often an indication of a teamâs overall performance. Winners of the pursuit in Invercargill (New Zealand) last year, the Australians claimed a total of 17 medals (nine gold).
The Russians, in second place with nine medals, would appear to be capable of doing at least as well. At the European Championships, they took six menâs titles, with Pavel Chussin and Alexandr Dubchenko each winning two.
Out of the limelight at the 2013 European Championships, the British mean to make a big improvement on their performances at the 2012 World Championships (three silver and two bronze medals). For this they can count on female sprinter Dannielle Khan, who will be competing in her first Worlds at nearly 18 years of age.
Other nations will arrive in Glasgow with solid ambitions: France (three European titles thanks to Melissandre Pain), Germany (winner of the menâs individual and team sprints at the European Championships), Colombia (two gold medals at the 2012 World Championships), or even Belgium (two wins at the Europeans thanks to Lotte Kopecky)....
Argentina will be looking for a place in the top 10 in the menâs team pursuit, with its athletes who trained at the World Cycling Centre.
For the first time in a World Championships team pursuit, the women will have four members racing over four kilometres (instead of three members over three kilometres).
The competitions will be broadcast worldwide, live and free of charge on the UCI YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/ucichannel). From Wednesday, the broadcasts will begin at 7pm (GMT+1) and at 2pm on Sunday.