Marchant forced to sit out Manchester event

Leeds's Katy Marchant (Picture: David Davies/PA).
Leeds's Katy Marchant (Picture: David Davies/PA).
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Olympic bronze medallist Katy Marchant is to relinquish her four national titles this weekend after being forced to withdraw from the British Track Championships in Manchester with a knee injury.

The 23-year-old from Leeds set the wheels in motion on a stellar 2016 at the national championships last year when claiming British titles in the individual and team sprints, the keirin and the 500m time-trial.

Although she was unable to back it up at the world championship later in the year, when she and Jess Varnish were unable to qualify Great Britain a place at the Olympics, she forced her way into the squad for Rio and 
surprised people further by winning a bronze in the individual sprint.

She is hoping to improve on that at the World Track Championships in Hong Kong in April, but will have to sit out the next three days of competition with a knee injury sustained last week.

“I’m really gutted that I’ve had to withdraw from the nationals this weekend,” said Marchant, who will turn 24 on Monday.

“It was a great event to race at last year and the atmosphere was set to be fantastic as always.

“My focus now is getting to where I need to be in time for worlds selection.”

Six champions will be crowned on day one of the championships at the velodrome, in the women’s sprint, men’s kierin, para-cycling C1-5 time trial, men’s and women’s individual pursuits and the para-cycling BVI time-trial.

It is a big event for Adam Duggleby, 32, of Beverley, who was the sighted pilot for Stephen Bate, a visually impaired cyclist at the Rio Paralympics.

Together they won two gold medals and a bronze in Rio, but Duggleby is riding on his own merits this weekend, in the able-bodied individual pursuit.

This is not new territory for him; Duggelby was a junior in the same programme as Mark Cavendish and Ed Clancy over a decade ago, and won the national scratch race title in 2012.

Predominently a championship that attracts up-and-coming riders, there are a handful of Rio medallists on show; Katie Archibald – in her first race since breaking her wrist in the Glasgow World Cup – and Elinor Barker, along with Paralympians Dame Sarah Storey, Sophie Thornhill and Jody Cundy.