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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 March 2007, 18:11 GMT 19:11 UK
Team GB chase medals in Mallorca
By Andy Nicolson

Great Britain's Men's Pursuit Team
Great Britain's cyclists are going for gold in Palma
Olympic champions Bradley Wiggins and Chris Hoy will lead Britain's quest for medals at the World Track Cycling Championships which begin on Thursday.

Wiggins goes for gold in the team and individual pursuit, while Hoy is taking part in the kilometre and team sprints.

Triple-World Cup champion Victoria Pendleton will be chasing titles in the sprint, keirin and the inaugural women's team sprint in Mallorca.

Britain will have an 18-strong team racing at Mallorca's new Palma Arena.

And Performance Director Dave Brailsford is delighted with his squad's development going into the championships following their success at last month's Manchester leg of the World Cup series.

"We are exactly where we want to be at this point prior to the Beijing Olympics," he said.

"In the team pursuit, for example, we were looking to go sub-four minutes at this point in the Olympic cycle and we did that at Manchester.

We can relax and enjoy the Worlds and focus only on achieving the best performances possible.

Team GB Performance Director
Dave Brailsford

"Consequently we can relax and enjoy the Worlds and focus only on achieving the best performances possible."

The British squad for Palma includes a number of riders making their senior World Championship debuts.

Notable among these are junior world champions Anna Blyth and Shanaze Reade, and junior world championship silver medallist Jonny Bellis.

Rebecca Romero, the Olympic rowing silver medallist turned cycling pursuiter, is also in the squad, along with Wendy Houvenaghel, who set the world's second fastest time for the women's pursuit in Manchester.

The track at the 5,000-seater Palma Arena is said to be rough and bumpy but still fast, and there is already talk of possible world records being set.

Team GB's Matt Crampton told BBC Sport: "It doesn't have any straights to speak of and feels like the velodrome in Vienna. It's got a nice line into the 200, a gradual push-off the top and it's easier to keep the speed."

The championships will see a total of 301 riders from 36 different countries competing. Germany has the most with 22, followed by Spain and Australia with 19.

Some countries, such as Norway and Republic of Ireland, have only a single rider.

You can watch live action from Mallorca on BBCi, the BBC Sport website and BBC Two during the course of the Championships.

Hayles hungry for Worlds success
27 Mar 07 |  Cycling
GB trio victorious in Manchester
23 Feb 07 |  Cycling
Wiggins claims third medal
25 Aug 04 |  Cycling


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