By Mark Williams
TRACK Cyclist Ross Edgar is desperate to stake his claim for a coveted London 2012 Olympics spot, following a disheartening spell on the sidelines.
The Olympic silver medallist, who lives in Ousden, plans to catapult himself back into contention for regular action within Great Britain’s elite squad when he flys the flag at the final World Cup Series in Manchester tomorrow.
A frustrated Edgar has yet to feature in any of the previous three rounds of the competition in Australia, Colombia or Beijing – and he has been left chomping at the bit to prove his credentials ahead of next year’s London Games.
“I am desperate to get back in the team,” said the 28-year-old former West Suffolk Wheeler.
“I just haven’t been racing recently because of poor form and it is frustrating. Competition for places is strong, which is good, but I know I have the ability to be in the team on a regular basis. I just have to get my head down and do it.”
Edgar is hoping to feature in the team sprint alongside multiple world and Olympic champion Chris Hoy and one other, before he takes to the Manchester Velodrome track for his favourite event, the Keirin, on Sunday.
“It is a big opportunity for me and I hope to make the most of it,” said Edgar.
“I think the team want to use me as the number one rider in the sprint, which is not really my speciality - I usually ride at number two”
In sprint training, Edgar is clocking 17.8 seconds per lap, but believes that time needs to be cut to 17.6 if he is to be in with a shout of making the team, both now and for the forthcoming World Championships in Holland next month.
“My training has not been going as well as it could, but without race fitness, it is hard. The dream is to do well in Manchester, compete at the World Championships and then give it my best shot in London next year.”
Edgar is one of 27 British riders selected for this weekend’s action, along with Olympic champion and Mildenhall Cycling Club gold member Victoria Pendleton.
The queen of the track will compete in the team sprint, individual sprint and Keirin on Friday, Saturday and Sunday respectively.
France claimed the honours in the final team standings in Beijing last month, ahead of the Netherlands and China. The French are one point away from Great Britain in the overall rankings, which count towards Olympic qualification.