GOLD medal hope Ed Clancy begins his quest for Olympic glory in the early hours of tomorrow.
And the cyclist’s former club colleagues at the Holme Valley Wheelers are certain he will ride his way into the history books in the space of four minutes.
Clancy, 23, will lead off Great Britain in the qualifying round of the men’s 4,000m team pursuit at 3am in the Beijing velodrome. They are strong favourites to take the title.
Jonathan Trollope, from the Wheelers, has known Clancy for 10 years and used to take him to races when he was a teenager.
He said: “I think they’re pretty much dead certainties to get gold.
“They seem to be geared up for this and the word is that they are really on their game.
“I spoke to Ed just before he went and he was really buzzing.”
Clancy is hoping to follow up a string of gold medals with Olympic success.
After picking up a team pursuit gold medal at last year’s World Championships in Majorca, the former Shelley High School and Huddersfield Technical College student repeated the feat at this year’s competition in Manchester.
He is the world’s fastest paceman and led his team to a world record in the 4,000m event at the Manchester Velodrome in March.
That followed gold in Sydney, Beijing and Copenhagen in the UCI World Cup series of events.
If all goes to plan in the qualifying race, he will go again in the next round at about 11.15am tomorrow before appearing in the gold medal race at 11.20am on Monday.
But success wasn’t always guaranteed for Clancy.
Mr Trollope said: “When he was 14 and 15, he wasn’t anything spectacular, he was just as keen as mustard and would be out riding come rain or shine.
“But physically he became quite gifted – his power-to-weight ratio means he has an explosive start.”
Fellow Holme Valley Wheeler Jonathan Hey added: “He has got this power that he can turn on and maintain that is phenomenal. They should walk it.”