UCI Track World Cup 2013

In Manchester

Manchester was host this year to the first round of the UCI Track World Cup, the stepping stone to winning a set of Champion Stripes at the World Championships and qualifying for the Olympics.

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The event took place at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester, I arrived just as the GB men’s team pursuit team were beating Australia to win Gold. The velodrome was electric. The crowd cheered them on to victory, Hugh Porter’s voice boomed from the tannoy and the teams lapped the track with a whoosh of air and a rumble of the boards.

Later that night, having already beaten their World Record in qualifying the GB women’s team pursuit smashed it once again in the final to win. The gold medals didn’t end there for the GB women with Joanna Rowsell winning the Individual Pursuit on the Saturday and Laura Trott winning gold in the Omnium on the Sunday. Seeing Becky James, Anna Meares, Wai Sze Lee and Kristina Vogel race on the track is a must, they are just awesome to watch. I would not want the formidable Meares chasing me round the track but it doesn’t seem to bother Becky James who beat her to win bronze. Vogel beat all in both the sprint and keirin with a stunning display of speed.

Robert Förstemann won gold the sprint, my favourite event on the track, with Matthew Crapmton missing out on the bronze. Förstemann has the biggest thighs I’ve ever seen on a cyclist but then he’s pretty good at doing squats. Team mate Maximilian Levy had the second biggest thighs in the velodrome. Looks like the German coaches are really big fans of heavy squats!

It was a great weekend and i’m looking forward to the next round. Unfortunately they are both in Mexico with the finals in Columbia. Luckily there are plenty of events in the UK so if you fancy going along to see some track cycling take a look at the British Cycling calendar.

More details of the event can be found on the Track World Cup website and there are loads more photos in the gallery.

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