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Team GB may sacrifice World Championships for Olympics


Brailsford satisfied with GB medal haul

Dave Brailsford has hinted that Britain could sacrifice chasing medals at next year's World Track Championships in Melbourne to prepare for London 2012.

Team GB won one gold, three silver and five bronze medals at last week's World Championships - a "satisfactory" return for performance director Brailsford.

The 2012 event will be held in April just three months before the Olympics.

Brailsford said: "Whether we need to go all the way across the world just a few months before London is questionable."

The British team returned from the World Championships in Apeldoorn with their worst medal haul, in terms of golds won, since 2006 but Brailsford stated that he was not overly concerned.

"From our point of view that is satisfactory," he told BBC Sport.

"We've raised the bar so high that when we don't win gold, people imagine there is a problem. The team is quietly confident.

Vicky and Chris need an event of the stature of the Olympic Games to get them pushing forward 100%

Dave Brailsford

"It might not be the gold medals everyone is used to us winning but we are on the podium and we are only small margins away from moving forward.

"We will put our foot down over the next 15 months and hopefully we'll be OK by the time we get to London."

Of the 10 Olympic races competed for in the Netherlands, Australia won six.

Aussie men won the Olympic events of keirin, team pursuit and omnium, while France won the sprint and team sprint golds.

In the women's races, Australia won the sprint, team sprint and keirin golds, while the omnium was won by a Canadian.

The team pursuit trio of the experienced Wendy Houvenaghel, 36, and youngsters Laura Trott, 18, and Dani King, 20, won Britain's sole gold in an Olympic event.

1. Australia 8 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze
2. France 2 gold, 1 silver, 4 bronze
3. Belarus 2 gold, 1 silver
4. Great Britain 1 gold, 3 silver, 5 bronze
5. United States 1 gold, 2 silver

"They did fantastically well and are making good progress," Brailsford pointed out before suggesting that we may see a rejuvenated Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton at next year's Games.

Quadruple Olympic champion Hoy, 35, won silver in the keirin and bronze in the sprint at the 2011 World Championships after losing to team-mate Jason Kenny in the semi-finals.

He also won bronze in the team sprint, missing out on the gold-medal race by just two-hundredths of a second.

Pendleton's four-year reign as women's sprint champion was ended by Australia's Anna Meares in the semi-finals and although the 30-year-old bounced back to win the bronze, to add to her team sprint silver, she was knocked out of the keirin.

However, Brailsford said: "If you ask most mature athletes, who have won a number of world and Olympic titles there gets a point where you need a big event to get you going.

"No disrespect to the World Championships here in Apeldoorn but for her [Vicky] and Chris they need an event of the stature of the Olympic Games to get them pushing forward 100%."

Brailsford also pointed out that the men's pursuit team will not be the same in London as it was in Apeldoorn.

An unfamiliar line-up of Sam Harrison, Steven Burke, Andy Tennant and Peter Kennaugh defeated New Zealand to win bronze.

However, the British Olympic champions were missing Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas, while 18-year-old Harrison was drafted in for the medal race after Ed Clancy pulled out through illness.

"We'll assess what we need to do and come out fighting," Brailsford added.

"We'll get all the answers from the debrief and we'll make sure from a preparation point of view that they will get the ideal run-in possible [to the London Olympics]."

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see also
Aussie Meares outshines Pendleton
27 Mar 11 |  Cycling
Hoy pipped to keirin gold medal
26 Mar 11 |  Cycling
'Exhausted' Hoy looks towards 2012
26 Mar 11 |  Cycling
Duo optimistic after silver
25 Mar 11 |  Cycling
Pendleton misses out on sprint gold
24 Mar 11 |  Cycling
GB open with double world bronze
23 Mar 11 |  Cycling
Pendleton is up for Olympic fight
21 Mar 11 |  Cycling
Pendleton admits to 2012 pressure
17 Feb 11 |  Cycling

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