Last week I did a little speculative post about who would be riding in the Track Worlds in Minsk which starts on Wednesday. Now the UCI have released the full start list so we can fill in all the gaps.
First up, the mysterious Dutch team is revealed and consists of Kirsten Wild, fresh from winning the Tour of Qatar, and Amy Pieters. I guessed Wild might ride in the omnium, but she tweeted last night that her Worlds begins in four days so it seems she might be riding the scratch race (also possible: my ability to count forward 4 days isn’t all it could be). Pieters could well feature in the individual pursuit, which begins on Wednesday.
A few other notables: Guo Shuang is in the team list for China (we can blame the South China Morning Post for misinforming us previously) so she will be competing in the sprint events.
2012 scratch race winner Katarzyna Pawlowska is in the Polish squad.
The Russian squad features 15 riders and includes Anastasia Chulkova, who won the points race in 2012, and Ekaterina Gnidenko, silver medalist in the keirin in 2012 behind Anna Meares.
Speaking of last year’s podiums, Caroline Ryan made history by winning bronze in the points race and becoming the first senior Irish rider to win a Track World Championship medal since 1897. She is back as Ireland’s only female representative this year.
Notable absentees include Canadian Tara Whitten, Simona Krupeckaitė of Lithuania and Australia’s Anna Meares.
If your track appetite (tracketite?) is not sufficiently whetted the BBC has an excellent interview with Laura Trott about dealing with post-Olympics superstardom (“I just got back on my bike…it was the only thing that made me feel normal”) amongst other things. Maybe I’m being a bit Anglocentric but it’s very hard not to root for Trott; she’s got a great mix of love for her sport, a down to earth nature and a real clever racing brain on her (as well as being phenomenally talented). She’s said herself that she expects to be a marked rider in the omnium this time round so that event may be a very interesting one to keep an eye on as it unfolds over Saturday and Sunday.
The championships start tomorrow, the full schedule is here.