Clancy targets early assault on World Cup
OLYMPIC gold medallist Ed Clancy insists Team GB will come out all guns blazing at this weekend's season-opening World Cup in Manchester.
HITTING BACK: Ed Clancy admits it's time to set the record straight after fourth at the 2009 World Championships
Clancy captured team pursuit gold in Beijing with Bradley Wiggins, Geraint Thomas and Paul Manning.
But with Manning retired and Wiggins and Thomas both concentrating on the road in 2009, Clancy was the only member of that victorious quartet to finish fourth at March's Track World Championships in Pruszków.
Thomas - fresh from winning the individual pursuit at the National Championships last weekend - is back in action with Clancy, while Steven Burke, Ben Swift and Andy Tennant will contest the other two pursuit spots.
And Clancy - who raced on the road with Halfords Bikehut this summer - admits he's out to set the record straight in the north-west.
"The last track winter wasn't the best but we had a young team - two teenagers - and were still fourth in the world which wasn't a bad effort," said Clancy.
"This year we'll do better than that and put up a real good fight with a bunch of lads who are only going to get better before London. I can't wait to get to Manchester and start smashing around.
"We want to win and lay down a marker for the rest of the world and say this is what we can do with a bunch of young guys in their twenties - that will send out a bit of a shockwave for London 2012.
"We've got Swifty coming in off the road who hasn't done a lot of team pursuiting since he graduated from the academy and became a big boy, but then you've got the more established guys like Geraint and me.
"I sat down with the management about three weeks ago before training started and they told me I was the most experienced guy in the team and it's up to me to guide these guys through.
"That role used to belong to Paul Manning but now he's retired the baton has been passed on to me and it feels a bit strange. I just feel like a big kid playing on a bike.
"It's good to see that guys like Ben are really up for the track. I spoke to him in the summer when we'd bump into each other on the road and he's committed to ride the track worlds in April.
"He's got the potential to be a really impressive track rider as well as a good road rider."
Triple Olympic track champion Wiggins has changed his focus from boards to tarmac with aplomb, finishing fourth in July's Tour de France.
And with the Union Cycliste Internationale set to scrap the individual pursuit - denying the 29-year-old Garmin Slipstream rider the chance to defend his title in London - Wiggins' involvement in the team pursuit is far from confirmed.
But, with Saturday marking 1000 days until the 2012 Games, Clancy insists Wiggins will be back better than ever when Team GB take to the velodrome in London.
"People have been saying that Brad won't come back for London but I'm sure he will - my answer to that is Bradley will come back and in the mean time we've got a lot of good riders who can fill his boots," added Clancy.
"It's an opportunity that only comes around once in a lifetime and to win gold at your home Olympics will be a real experience.
"This time next year the push will really start but even now we're thinking about 2012 and that is what the whole thing is all about.
"It's a special opportunity to hit a home Olympics in the prime of your cycling career so I think we'd be stupid not to go for it in a big way.
"We've always said it's all about the Olympics and if it means we have to have a lean year and scrabble in the medals for a while then no-one is going to care when we come out in 2012 and set the world on fire."