Match sprinting brings all the tension of gladiatorial combat to the boards of the velodrome. After a flying start 200m time trial to seed the riders they then race in individual rounds where it’s all about who crosses the line first, not how fast you get there, giving track sprinting its unique combination of chess like tactical maneuvers and explosive bursts of speed.
Track Sprinting appeared in the very first Olympic games of the modern era and has appeared in every Olympic Games since 1920. Technically the race is run over 1000m but in each match the riders will only be timed over the final 200m as the early laps are more a test of tactics than speed.
As the riders progress through the rounds of the sprint competition and become more evenly matched in terms of their top speed, tactics play an ever-greater part in the outcome of each race. Expect to see the riders slowly circle the track in the early laps with each trying to force their opponent into a position from which they can launch a surprise dash for the line.
More than one British Cycling insider has already earmarked Dave Daniell as having the potential to emulate the achievements of Sir Chris Hoy. If he’s selected to ride in Manchester this could be one of the first opportunities for the British cycling public to get a good look at one of the riders at the forefront of the new generation of British Cycling talent currently emerging.