Becky James battling the elements in Colombia
Updated 12:57pm Wednesday 26th February 2014 in Sport
GWENT'S world champion Becky James is among the Great Britain cycling stars bidding to overcome the elements and the opposition at the Track World Championships in Cali, Colombia, this week.
Abergavenny ace James joins the likes of Jess Varnish, Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell, Dani King, Elinor Barker, Jason Kenny and Phil Hindes aiming to prove their ongoing dominance of the velodrome.
The Velodromo Alcides Nieto Patino has a roof, but few walls and Monday's torrential rain disrupted training sessions prior to today's start of the championships as the wooden track was soaked. More rain is forecast.
After a season in which times have plummeted in many events at Track World Cup rounds at altitude in Mexico, the end-of-term finale is likely to be slower as two-time Olympic champion and four-time world champion Laura Trott explains ahead of the women's team pursuit on day two.
Trott said: "It's got a roof, but the sides are open, so it's really windy.
"When you look at a team pursuit team it looks ragged, but that's the way the track runs. In the bankings you're off the wheel and in the straights you're on the wheel.
"I don't think the track's going to be anywhere near as fast as Mexico, where the girls broke the record. I don't think the world record will go, but you never know."
Britain have won five of the six world titles contested in the women's team pursuit, which, for the first time at a world championships, will be contested over four kilometres with four riders.
A British quartet of Rowsell, King, Barker and Katie Archibald clocked a world record of four minutes 16.552 seconds at altitude in the December Track World Cup round in Aguascalientes and, together with Trott, will be favourites for the event.
Rowsell said: "I was pleasantly surprised by our time in Mexico, because we went through 3k quicker than we went through 3k in London at the Olympics.
"That was the first time we went quicker than Games pace. I knew we'd get to that point; I didn't think we'd get to that point this winter.
"We've progressed quicker than I imagined."
Olympic champions Kristina Vogel and Miriam Welte are defending world champions, but Australia's Anna Meares is back after an extended post-Olympic break which saw her miss last year's world championships in Minsk.
James won two individual world titles in Belarus and is likely to combine with Varnish or Vicky Williamson in the team event.
The men's team pursuit will be another day one highlight, with Olympic champions Britain bidding to regain the world title they lost to Australia 12 months ago.
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