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Britain looks set to dominate the track
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Team Britain looks set to dominate the Lao Shan velodrome after a super performance at the 2008 Manchester world championship in March.

At Manchester, the hosts claimed a stunning 11 of the 54 medals, including nine golds, while the transitional rivals Australia and France were left in the Britain's wake at the last two world championship in 2007 and 2008.

Four years ago, British cyclists only won two golds, one silver and one bronze in Athens. This year, however, with super stars like Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and Bradley Winggins, team Britain has already set its eyes on over half of the 10 track titles on offer.

"When you look across the medal opportunities, it's been driven by the track, and it is absolutely the best British team," said British cycling chief Dave Brailsord last week.

In Brailsord's eyes, his star-studded team's main challenge will come from Australia, the Netherlands and France.

"Everyone thinks we're just going to show up and win it. It's going to be a close call," Brailsford said, "The Danes have stepped up. They've been training at altitude, they've gone all out and taken some risks. If it pays off, they're going to be fantastic."

According to Brailsord, Chris Hoy is aiming for three titles in the team sprint, keirin and sprint, while Wiggis contests for three golds in the individual and team pursuit and the Madison.

Dubbed the "Real McHoy" by fans, Hoy became world sprint champion for the first time on home soil this March, defending his keirin title and helping Britain to team sprint silver behind France.

The Real McHoy believes he is ready for the Olympics by saying: "When you've been training for the last four years for this one event, to have the goal posts moved like that, and you're no longer aiming at a time you thought you were aiming for, but at a time that nobody's ever gone faster than before."

Hoy also hopes they could repeat their stunning performance in men's team pursuit, of which they set a new world record of three minutes and 56.322 seconds in Manchester.

As for British women cyclists, two-time world champion Pendleton will be a big gold favorite in the women's sprint and the reigning world champion Rebecca Romero will also pose big threats to other contenders in the women's pursuit.

The Beijing Olympic track cycling competition will be held from Aug 15 to 19 at the Lao Shan velodrome.

(Xinhua News Agency August 14, 2008)

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