2 Aug 2018

Jason Kenny leads British team sprint charge as riders chase first Track Cycling golds

The first Track Cycling gold medals of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships will be contested at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Emirates Arena, on Friday and Jason Kenny is expected to be one of the Brits to watch.

Six-time Olympic Games gold medallist Jason Kenny is expected to spearhead Great Britain's challenge in the men's team sprint as the first Track Cycling gold medals of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships are contested on Friday.

Britain have won the past three Olympic Games gold medals in the event but their quartet are expected to be challenged all the way at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Emirates Arena, by the Netherlands, whose squad includes the current World and European 1km time trial champion, Jeffrey Hoogland.

"Obviously my goal is getting on the podium (and) I think I have more chance in the team sprint because we are the World Champions," Hoogland said. "It's a nice feeling but you were just champion on that day. You have to prove yourself the next time, too."

The defending European Champions are France, whose team should feature the three-time Olympic silver medallist and nine-time world champion Gregory Bauge, and the six-time World Champion Francois Pervis.

In the women's team sprint, world champion and London 2012 gold medallist Miriam Welte (GER) has admitted to taking a more cautious approach to training in Glasgow after her long-term team partner, double Olympic champion Kristina Vogel, suffered a career-threatening spinal injury during training in June.

"She's a good friend of mine, we were successful together and supported each other wherever we went," Welte said. "It's the first important international race I'm not doing with her so I think the team sprint will be very tough for me."

Russia will start as favourites to defend their European title with a quartet that should include Rio 2016 silver medallists Daria Shmeleva and Anastasiia Voinova.

Women's World Champion Kirsten Wild (NED) was in a pragmatic mood as she prepares to go head-to-head with European Champion Trine Schmidt (DEN) in the scratch races.

"Of course I feel that many people will expect something from me and will be watching me, but there are a lot of good riders here," Wild said. "I've done a lot more road racing and now it's back to the track, so I don't know how my body will react."

World Champion Yauheni Karaliok of Belarus and defending champion Adrien Garel (FRA) are both expected to shine in the men's event.

The team pursuit golds will also be decided on Friday.