Who's going to Lugano...The GB team for the Mountain Bike world championships in Switzerland in early September has been announced.
Leading medal contenders (it says here in the press release from British Cycling) will be Steve Peat, Tracy Moseley and Fionn Griffiths who have all got World Cup wins under their belts in the last couple of seasons. Steve is due a World title to add to last year's World Cup triumph - after the injury problems he experienced earlier in the season, perhaps it will be payback time in Switzerland! Tracy and Fionn are battling to become GB's first female World Cup winners and should be in contention too. This trio are also the most likely contenders in the 4-Cross events as well.
The leading Cross-County contender is Liam Killeen in the Espoirs (under-23) - a holder of the jersey for the leading under 23 rider in the world cup this year, Liam has the ability to raise himself for big events - witness his superb bronze in the Commonwealths last year. Barrie Clarke faces an interesting challenge as the first GB rider to contest a Marathon event - a discipline new to the championships this year.
The championships also mark the last international appearance of Nick Criag, who has been combining riding duties with his role as National Technical coach this season. Nick will still be riding in 2004, but his GB duties will be strictly limited to coaching. It's good to see him going out on a high as national champion and, after a series of superb performances this season, he is still arguably our best Cross-Country rider.
The Cross-Country team will be managed by Simon Burney, whilst Helen Mortimer and Simon Lillestone will manage the Downhill and Junior riders respectively.
Reserve: Crawford Carrick-Anderson
Reserve: Lee Pincher