Great Britain name youthful team for Track Cycling World Championships
By Matt Westby. Last Updated: February 6, 2013 3:01pm
Great Britain will take a team containing six debutants and six Olympic champions to Belarus
British Cycling have named six debutantes in a youthful squad for the Track Cycling World Championships in Minsk later this month.
With Sir Chris Hoy and Joanna Rowsell opting to skip the event and Jess Varnish ruled out with a back injury, coaches have replenished the squad with young riders as they look to build towards Rio 2016.
Kian Emadi, Vicky Williamson, Jon Dibben, Ouain Doull, Simon Yates and Elinor Barker will all make their first appearances at the worlds and will be joined by six Olympic champions from London 2012.
Elsewhere in the squad, Ed Clancy will return to team pursuit duty after filling in for Hoy at the Track World Cup in Glasgow last November.
Performance director Sir Dave Brailsford said: "The first year of an Olympic cycle is always an interesting one as it gives the opportunity for our young riders to compete alongside the world's best and experience the competitive environment, which is crucial for their development.
"With that in mind, the focus for the team is to perform to the best of their ability as the route to Rio firmly begins."
A full-strength British team won six titles at last year's world championships in Melbourne, but with such an inexperienced squad this time around, sprint coach Iain Dyer admitted it will be difficult to repeat that level of achievement.
He said: "We may not necessarily hit the podium as often as we have done in the past, but there is no question that this is a young team that is moving forward.
"I have got absolutely no doubt that we will be talking about these guys with six months to go towards Rio."
Although Hoy and Rowsell's omissions were expected as they both take breaks from the velodrome, Varnish's absence has been more enforced.
The 22-year-old is looking to build her team sprint partnership with Becky James but has been dogged with injury since in recent months and coaches felt they had no choice but to leave her out.
Dyer added: "Jess has had an ongoing back complaint for quite some time. After the Olympics she had a break and got back into training and we were particularly mindful we needed to take things pretty steady getting back into the gym and back on the bike.
"But by the time the end of the year came around and we had finished the Perth training camp, her back had clearly become a lot more troublesome.
"We have done the best we can to manage and treat the issue, but ultimately, something like a disc fissure is hard to treat with anything other than rest."
The Track Cycling World Championships take place from February 20-24
Great Britain team for Track Cycling World Championships
Men's sprint: Matt Crampton, Kian Emadi, Phil Hindes, Jason Kenny.
Women's sprint Becky James, Vicky Williamson.
Men's endurance: Steven Burke, Ed Clancy, Jon Dibben, Ouain Doull, Sam Harrison, Andy Tennant, Simon Yates.
Women's endurance: Elinor Barker, Dani King, Laura Trott.