MANY would be daunted by taking over from Sir Chris Hoy, but Ed Clancy is unfazed as he prepares for the first part of a British Cycling sprint experiment at the Track World Cup in Glasgow today.
The 27-year-old former Holme Valley Wheeler, twice an Olympic team pursuit champion, will take Hoy’s position as third man in the three-lap team sprint alongside the Scot’s fellow London 2012 champions Philip Hindes and Jason Kenny.
Perhaps fortunately for Clancy, who is uncertain how he will fare, his predecessor will not be in attendance tomorrow night at the first international competition at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. Hoy, who is taking a break from racing, will be present on Sunday.
“To try to compare yourself to Chris Hoy, you’re only ever going to fail,” Clancy said.
“I’m having an all right career so far and I haven’t won a third of the stuff he has.
“I just try to be myself and do the best I can. I’m not going to fill his shoes, it’s a hard job.”
Clancy’s speed has long been impressive, his proficiency highlighted during the six-discipline omnium competition in which he won Olympic bronze, and he is riding the team sprint this season for some respite from the 4,000m event.
“I’ve always been pretty quick, but it’s all relative,” added Clancy, who is concerned he will lose contact with Hindes and Kenny from the start.
“I’m really quick compared to the other endurance guys, like Geraint Thomas and Pete Kennaugh, but I come into the team sprint and it’s like a completely different sport.
“I’m a complete novice. I’m absolutely flat out off the line trying to keep up with these boys.
“I don’t know how I’m going to get on. I could be riding around on my own for three laps because I don’t get on from the start or it could go well.
“I’m trying to have no expectations, just go in with an open mind. I’ll just see what happens.”
The experiment is to continue until February’s Track Cycling World Championships in Minsk, where Clancy also plans to ride the one-kilometre time-trial.
The kilo event is one in which Clancy, who is regarded by many as the best team pursuit rider in the world, has excelled.