Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hoy plays down European chances

European Track Cycling Championships
Venue: Pruszkow, Poland Dates: 5-7 November Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra - Saturday from 1915 GMT, Sunday from 1545

Chris Hoy
Hoy missed the 2009 Worlds in Pruszkow with an injury

Four-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy says he has no great expectations for this weekend's European Track Championships in Pruszkow, Poland.

The Scot pulled out of the British Championships in September because of illness and fell on his return but says he is happy with his early-season form.

The European Championships is the first of the qualification events for the 2012 Olympics in London.

"I'm not looking to peak yet so my form is quite encouraging," said Hoy, 34.

"As a stand-alone event it's not all that important. What is important is it's the first step of the process of qualification for London."

Olympic qualification is decided by the Olympic Track Ranking, which is compiled by world governing body the UCI using the best results at the 2011 and 2012 World Championships, World Cup Classics in 2010-11 and 2011-12, and the last two continental championships.


Hoy will ride in the sprint and team sprint in the three-day event in Pruszkow, which begins on Friday, and is placing greater emphasis on the three-man, three-lap discipline, where France and Germany are expected to provide stiff competition.

Hoy missed last month's Commonwealth Games to concentrate on winning Olympic qualification points in Poland and has a long season ahead which will see him race in Melbourne, Colombia, Manchester and in March's World Championships in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands.

His plan is to accumulate as many points as possible this season in order that he can ease his workload in the lead-up to 2012.

"Hopefully we'll be ahead of the game and in a comfortable situation," added Hoy, who won three gold medals at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Victoria Pendleton will not compete in the individual sprint, her gold medal event at the Beijing Games and the discipline she has dominated at five of the past six World Championships.

Qualification for the three sprinters events in London - individual, team and keirin - is via results in team sprint competitions over the next 18 months.

And changes to the track programme for London have thrown up the possibility of Pendleton challenging for three golds, meaning she will use the European Championships to hone her skills in the keirin, in which she is a relative novice, although she will also compete in the team sprint.

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