British track stars gunning for more gold

UK riders have a chance to beat Mallorca tally

Britain’s chances of surpassing their record medals tally from last year's world championships is set to continue apace here on Saturday.

However Britain's Chris Hoy has given his team a stark reminder that nothing should be taken for granted in the lead up to the Olympics. Hoy will aim to follow up whatever result he claims from Friday's tussle with Roberto Chiappa in the men's sprint semi-finals with a bid to successfully defend his world keirin crown 24 hours later.

With Victoria Pendleton a favourite to defend her sprint crown, and Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish teaming up for the men's Madison, Britain will be looking to add more silverware to a tally which has grown to four gold from seven events in just two days. For British cycling's Performance Director Dave Brailsford, it's all coming together nicely for the Olympics, where Britain will start as the team to beat in a majority of the events that really matter.

 But Hoy says the glory gained from the past two world championships will count for nothing if they fail to deliver in Beijing.

 "It doesn't matter if you win every single race between Olympics. The race that counts is when you step on the line in Beijing," he told AFP after securing his sprint semi spot in a dramatic thriller with Theo Bos.

Hoy, the reigning world champion in keirin and kilometre, ousted reigning world sprint champion Bos over three legs on Thursday, giving the stunned  Dutchman plenty of food for thought ahead of his bid to make amends for his own Olympic setback.

Hoy used the Dutchman, who won his first world title in 2004 only to then lose the Olympic sprint final to Australia's Ryan Bayley, as the example he hoped the Brits would not follow in Beijing.

"He (Bos) came of age in Melbourne in 2004 when he won the world title," Hoy added."I thought then, 'if he wins the Olympics it's a dream come true, but then if he doesn't he's got four years to wait until he tries again'.

"It's always going to play on his mind that he lost the Olympics to Ryan Bayley. So while the world championships are great, they are not the be all and end all."

As Bos turns to grabbing a medal against Hoy in the keirin Saturday, Britain will continue their march towards equalling, and perhaps surpassing, their record haul of seven gold from the 18 on offer in Mallorca last year. After finals in the men's sprint and points race and the women's pursuit Friday, the hosts could add further medals on Saturday when four titles are up for grabs. A lively keirin tussle is expected between Hoy and Bos, while anything less than sprint gold from Pendleton would be considered a setback.

 Individual pursuit champion Wiggins, who helped the men's pursuit team to a new world record and successful title defence on Thursday, will team up with  Cavendish in a bid to win gold in the Madison. The women's points race is the fourth gold medal event on Saturday.

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