Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Nettie Edmondson and Jolien D’hoore are set to go head to head at the UCI Track World Championships at the Lea Valley VeloPark, London, this weekend. Riding in the colours of Australia, Edmondson will be battling to retain her World titles in both the Team Pursuit and Omnium, on the boards where she took her Olympic Silver Medal almost four years ago, while D’hoore will be riding in search of her first senior rainbow as both riders focus their aim on Rio 2016.
Having taken Australian National titles in both the Points and Scratch Races - both of which feature in the Omnium - Edmondson is confident of her form heading to London. This, despite a collision with a car while out training in Australia last month.
“All’s been going well in training in the lead up to these World Championships,” Edmondson said. “The car crash definitely put a spanner in the works, but luckily I’m all okay. I’m definitely looking forward to defending a couple of titles, I’m going to give it my best shot. Everything’s been positive, so we’re going in with confidence.”
Edmondson and D’hoore have become close friends since joining Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling last year, but team loyalties will disappear as soon as they pull on the colours of their respective countries this week.
“It’s pretty cool,” Edmondson smiled. “We raced against each other in the Cambridge World Cup [in New Zealand, in December 2015], and that was the first time since we’ve been so tight in the Wiggle High5 team. It was really nice to be able to laugh, and make a few jokes with her, before certain races, and then go up on the track and give it a crack.
“She’s going really well this year, and it’s nice to see her succeed. I’m definitely looking forward to giving it a crack against her!”
D’hoore also goes into the World Championships after a successful season on the track, with Belgian titles in the Omnium, Points and Scratch Races to her name. Like Edmondson, the 25-year-old has her 2016 focus on the Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil, but is keen to perform well in London this week.
“I think my form is pretty good,” D’hoore said. “I’ve been doing a lot of track sessions the last few weeks, and also gym sessions - which I didn’t do before - so I see the progress compared to last year, so that’s good.
“The World Championships are the first step towards the Olympics. Of course it’s important, because it’s the World Championships, but the main focus this year is the Olympics.
“It’s a bit weird sometimes to race against [Nettie], because we’re teammates and also friends,” D’hoore smiled. “Most of the time we are roomies, like in a Mallorca last week. So then I have to race against her, but you just have to switch something in your head, just go for it, and don’t think about it. We’re each riding our own race at the track.”
Edmondson’s World Championships will begin on Thursday afternoon, with the qualification rounds for the Team Pursuit; hopefully going on to race the final rounds on Friday afternoon and evening. Both riders will the go head to head in the Omnium, which begins on Saturday afternoon, and continues until the final session on Sunday.