Becky James and Sam Harrison in action in Colombia
Updated 3:38pm Wednesday 26th February 2014 in Sport
GWENT’S double world champion Becky James will begin the defence of her sprint and keirin titles as the UCI Track World Championships in Colombia get under way tonight.
The 21-year-old from Abergavenny will race in a field that includes Australian Olympic champion Anna Meares.
James, who has won three silver and two bronze medals during the UCI Track Cycling World Cup season, says she will try and adopt the approach that worked so well in Belarus 12 months ago.
“Last year at the world champs in Minsk I found I was really relaxed,” James said.
“I just had a mindset that I didn't have any expectations whatsoever and I just found I got so much more out of myself because I didn't expect too much.
“I know it's different being a world champion but I think I need to go into this race with that sort of mindset too because I think I'll definitely get the best out of myself.”
James will be joined in the team sprint by London Olympian Jess Varnish. Last year Victoria Williamson paired with James to win bronze last year in her first senior world championships.
Varnish missed the 2013 meeting with a serious back injury but returned to action at the start of the 2013/14 season.
“It was horrible to miss out on last year's worlds but I'm really, really happy to be in the team and off to Cali,” said Varnish, who suffered a damaged disc in her back.
“I'm so excited about it and just looking forward to going out there and doing my best really.”
Varnish and Williamson will join James in the sprint and keirin with Williamson and James to ride the 500m time-trial, in which James won bronze 12 months ago.
James will be joined by compatriots Elinor Barker and Owain Doull, both from Cardiff, and Sam Harrison from Risca.
Team GB – who rides what – women’s endurance – team pursuit: Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker, Joanna Rowsell, Laura Trott; omnium: Laura Trott; individual pursuit: Elinor Barker, Joanna Rowsell; scratch: Dani King; points: Katie Archibald.
Men’s endurance - team pursuit: Ed Clancy, Jon Dibben, Owain Doull, Sam Harrison; omnium: Ed Clancy; individual pursuit: Owain Doull; scratch: Sam Harrison; points: Owain Doull; madison: Owain Doull, Jon Dibben
Women’s sprint – team sprint: Becky James, Jess Varnish; sprint: Becky James, Jess Varnish, Vicky Williamson; keirin: Becky James, Jess Varnish, Vicky Williamson; 500m tt: Becky James, Vicky Williamson
Men’s sprint – team sprint: Kian Emadi, Phil Hindes, Jason Kenny; sprint: Matt Crampton, Jason Kenny; kilometre tt: Kian Emadi; keirin: Matt Crampton, Kian Emadi, Jason Kenny