The Track Cycling World Championships will kick off today in Cali, Colombia and expectations are high. The greatest expectations of all lying on the shoulders of 21-year old Laura Trott and Becky James (22).
Speaking to the BBC prior to the event James is aware that they are up against a strong field and that setting new records poses a challenge in itself: “There are so many strong riders, the field gets better and better and the times get quicker and quicker. It’s all so close together now – it’s going to be one of the toughest World Champs that anybody is going to be racing in.”
James burst on to the scene and out of Victoria Pendleton’s shadow in impressive fashion at last year’s World Championships where she won two world titles and four medals in total from four events.
Unlike last year, there are now expectations weighing on James’s shoulders but head coach Shane Sutton has said he is confident these expectations can be managed and is looking for the team “to perform and win medals”.
At last year’s event, one of the most memorable moments was the incredible performance by the British Women’s Pursuit Squad. Last year they broke the world record as they took the world title in Manchester. In fact the British team have proved unbeatable since the last event in Cali which took place in 2010. Since then they have set a staggering 11 world records in their last 15 competitive rides.
Laura Trott will lead the team pursuit as they look to continue their run of form but is aware that breaking records at this event will be difficult. Cali is located at high altitude and while the track has a roof, it has no sides. Although we are sure that the ladies will deliver another impressive performance.
Coverage of the event will be available live daily throughout the event on BBC Red Button, online and on the BBC sports app from 23.20 GMT. Highlights will be shown on BBC One on 1 March (13.15-14.45) and on 2 March (16.00-17.00).