National Track Championships 2018 Preview
By Sam Cooper
January 26th-28th sees the return of the National Track Championships to the National Cycling Centre in Manchester. The event gets accomplished members of the Great Britain Cycling Team to take on the next generation of riders for the honour of being crowned national champion.
It is the second time the event will be competed in January having moved from September last year. 2017’s event saw record sell-out crowds with over 11,500 tickets sold across the weekend and there is is significant buzz to expect a similar turnout this year.
Ryan Owens and Jessica Crampton took 1st place in their respective Sprint races while Lewis Oliva and Sophie Capewell came out on top in their Keirin races. Daniel Bigham enjoyed a successful weekend as he won both the Kilo TT (men) and the men’s individual pursuit.
The main story emerging for the 2018 Championships is the meeting of World Champions and rivals Katie Archibald and Elinor Barker. The women were both part of Britain’s victorious team pursuit squad at the Rio 2016 Olympics but will be competing against each other in the National Championships.
Archibald will be looking to defend three titles (Individual Pursuit, Points race and Scratch race) while Barker is competing to win her first national championship title. Speaking to britishcycling.org.uk, Barker said “I’d really like to get a national champion’s jersey this year. I’ve actually won more world titles that I have national titles in my career, which I think just shows how tough the competition at national level is. “I know everybody says it, but that’s because it’s true – there really is so much strength in depth and it’s really tough racing.”
The wealth of British talent on show is a positive sign for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and Archibald confirmed that: “I think that, if I was any other nation, I would envy the strength in depth that we have.”
The HSBC UK | National Track Championships take place at the HSBC UK National Cycling Centre, Manchester, between January 26 and 28.
British Cycling are offering students with a valid ID a 10% discount on tickets. To claim your discount, navigate your way to the time slot you wish to go to ad enter the code “BCOFFER”.
British Cycling has generously given The Mancunion two tickets for the Friday night session to give away. If you are a UoM student and want to get involved in the event head over to The Mancunion Twitter and Facebook pages to answer a simple question and be entered in the draw!