London 2012: Dave Brailsford ponders men's sprint selection
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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

London 2012: Dave Brailsford ponders men's sprint selection

by VeloNation Press at 6:48 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track, Olympics
Brailsford weighing up Hoy vs Kenny selection for Olympic sprint

Dave BrailsfordBritish Cycling’s performance director Dave Brailsford has admitted that he is facing a tough task in deciding whether Chris Hoy or Jason Kenny should be selected for Great Britain’s sprint slot at the London Olympics.

Hoy has dominated the sport for years, winning four Olympic golds and taking a total of eleven world championship gold medals. His past successes include sprint golds in the 2008 world championships and Olympic Games.

In 2008 he became the first Briton in 90 years to win three gold medals in a single Olympic Games, and some want to see him try to do the same again this time round.

Kenny was, along with Hoy, part of the victorious team sprint squad in the Beijing games. He was awarded the 2011 world sprint title this year after Gregory Bauge was disqualified due to out of competition testing violations, and finished second to Bauge this year after defeating Hoy in the semi-finals.

"Selecting that team is very difficult," Brailsford told the BBC. "It doesn't matter what you've done in the past. Our job is to pick the fastest guy."

His conundrum is that Hoy is in the tail end of his career and, at 36 years of age, doesn’t have the same dominance over the sport that he did four years ago. It’s a gamble as to whether or not he can reach the same level for London but, conversely, Kenny doesn’t have anything like the same experience. He’s 24 years of age and appears destined to be the next big British sprinter.

"The dilemma is that if you select now the riders know what they are doing and can train a little bit more specifically,” said Brailsford, debating whether or not the sprint designate should be named at this point in time. "The downside is that in 16 weeks anyone's form might not be the same. That is the conundrum - late for form, but early for clarity of purpose."

Hoy was disappointed not to get into the sprint final, but showed his class with a superb victory in the Keirin.

The cut off point for the decision is August 3rd, one day before the start of the sprint competition. Hoy has indicated that he wants to know sooner so that he can build up for the Games as best as possible.

Britain and Australia appear closely matched heading towards the Games. The latter had the edge in its home world championships, clocking up six golds, six silvers and three bronze medals.

British riders won six events, were second in four and third in three.

"We've got more to come," Brialsford insisted, while also acknowledging that all the competitors in the events will step up their level in time for London.


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