Elder statesman Clancy excited by young GB talent

ED Clancy is excited by the young talent at Great Britain’s disposal ahead of the first Track Cycling World Championships following the London 2012 Olympics.

On Wednesday in Minsk, Belarus, the World Championships begin with Britain fielding a 16-rider team featuring six Olympic champions, including Clancy.

The 27-year-old Yorkshireman is twice an Olympic team pursuit champion and was trying the team sprint until the experiment was cut short and he was parachuted back into the more familiar surroundings of the four-man, four-kilometre event.

With Olympic champions Geraint Thomas and Peter Kennaugh concentrating on the road, Clancy is part of a new-look team featuring fellow London 2012 gold medallist Steven Burke, 2012 world champion Andy Tennant and Sam Harrison, who won world bronze in 2011.

Jon Dibben, Owain Doull and Simon Yates will make their senior World Championship debuts as part of the men’s endurance squad and will also aim to make the team pursuit squad.

Now the team’s elder statesman, Clancy draws comparisons with his emergence alongside Thomas, who also won Olympic gold in 2008 and 2012.

‘‘I feel old,’’ said Clancy, who in London was part of the team which clocked a world record three minutes 51.659 seconds in claiming gold.

‘‘It only seems like yesterday that me and Geraint were the young kids – there was Paul Manning and Bradley (Wiggins), Rob Hayles and Chris Newton, who is our coach now.

‘‘When I was 18, I don’t want to speak for Geraint, but I was completely useless.

‘‘They are stepping into a team that is hopefully riding sub-four minutes times and these days you think that isn’t too exciting, but back in my day it had only been done once or twice by an Australian team that was absolutely on fire.

‘‘If they keep going, it will be exciting.’’ With Thomas and Kennaugh now focused on their road careers with Team Sky, Clancy hopes the production line of British team pursuit talent will continue.

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