sport

Sutton confident of more medals

Great Britain are chasing rainbow jerseys amid the rainstorms in Cali at the Track Cycling World Championships.

Wednesday's opening day sees Britain compete in the three of the 10 Olympic disciplines - the team sprints and men's team pursuit - and Dani King will ride in the women's scratch race, with British Cycling head coach Shane Sutton hoping for medals in six of the events which will be on the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games programme.

"I'd like to think in the Olympic disciplines that we're there or thereabouts, six medals, say," Sutton said.

"That's what I would like. But no-one can predict."

Even more unpredictable is the impact of the weather on the Colombian event, with rain anticipated throughout the competition.

There is a roof, but the sides are open and wind has blown rain on to the track, disrupting the build up, while there are leaks, including one near the British team pen.

Sutton added: "I think it'll be okay. The organisers do everything in their power to make sure everyone competes on a level footing."

British Cycling are usually reluctant to forecast medal tallies, preferring to focus on performance not outcome-related goals.

Sutton's figure comes after witnessing a young group claim seven medals in Olympic events in Minsk 12 months ago.

Becky James claimed two gold medals in Belarus, winning her first senior rainbow jerseys ahead of schedule.

For the 22-year-old from Abergavenny, who races in the team sprint on day one with Jess Varnish, Rio is her main target.

Sutton said: "World titles can never come too soon (but) managing her expectations is the biggest challenge.

"She's incrementally gaining speed and strength on a daily basis.

"I've no doubt when we get to Rio she will go in there red hot favourite and more than capable of multiple medals.

"She has got ability to go all the way; she proved that at the worlds last year."

The men's team sprint sees Phil Hindes, Jason Kenny - both London 2012 winners - and Kian Emadi ride in an event Germany has dominated this season.

In the four-man, four-kilometre team pursuit, London 2012 gold medallist Steven Burke has not been selected for the qualifying round.

The 28-year-old Ed Clancy, a two-time Olympic champion, is joined by 21-year-old Sam Harrison and 20-year-olds Jon Dibben and Owain Doull in the squad.

King, who is to sit out qualification in the corresponding women's event on Thursday, rides in the non-Olympic scratch race.

Clancy is the eldest member of the British team, which has been accompanied by Sir Chris Hoy in the first World Championships since his official retirement was announced.

The riders will not have far to turn for advice as the six-time Olympic champion and 11-time world champion is on hand as a team mentor.

"This guy is Mr Inspirational," Sutton said.

"You've got Chris Hoy here fighting your corner, it's got to be inspiring to all these riders."