The UCI World Cup Classics season kicks off tomorrow in Melbourne and all eyes are on Australia and Great Britain.
The Aussies are determined to put on an impressive show for their home court audience, fresh off a dominating medal haul at the Commonwealth Games. The Brits are eager to rebuild their reputation as the fastest country in the world after a decent performance at the European Championships.
The stakes are even higher with much-needed Olympic qualification points on the line. Let’s take a look at a few of the stars of this dramatic rivalry…
Britain’s Chris Hoy ducked out of the Commonwealths to focus on the European Champs for the Olympic qualification points. But he made an embarrassing miscalculation in the first round of Match Sprints against 18-year old Felix English which cost him the tournament. Now Hoy is fiending for retribution like a crack fiend to get those qualification points that he missed out on. See a video interview at BBC Sports.
Australian Shane Perkins is eager to be the next kid to take down Hoy. He recently came down with a bad stomach bug and there was a scare that he might not be able to compete. But the latest news is that Perkins is feeling well enough to compete. The 23-year old rising star won Gold in the Sprint at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi and now he’s excited to kick some ass on his home turf. Read about it at Cycling News.
Great Britain’s Victoria Pendleton will be trying to outrun her demons on the track. The current Olympic Match Sprint champion knows what’s at stake and the pressure is on. With the 2012 Olympics taking place in London, Pendleton needs to make her country proud and she’s been training hard. Maybe a little too hard? Pendleton recently complained of a training-related back pain but she will compete anyway. Read about it at Cycling Central.
In the women’s sprint events, Anna Meares could be Australia’s biggest hope for some World Cup medals. She’s taking on the Keirin, 500m TT and Match Sprints and constantly looking for weaknesses in what could be some very stiff competition. At the 2008 Olympics, Meares was beaten by Victoria Pendleton in the Match Sprint finals and since then, she’s been looking to turn the table around. Read more at Velodrome Shop.
The World Cup Classic in Melbourne starts tomorrow and will continue until Saturday. I’m really excited about this competition and hopefully I’ll be able to find a live feed to share. For more event information, event schedule, news and results as they develop check this website and of course I’ll be bringing you the coolest news and video I can find right here at Ride The Black Line!