ALI FIELDING may be the lesser-known Scot in Great Britain’s track sprint squad headed for the World Cycling Championships next week, but he is no less ambitious than his more experienced team-mates.

Fielding will be in good company when the GB squad arrives in Glasgow for what will be a home world championships.

Alongside him in the men’s team sprint squad will be, amongst others, his fellow Scot and multiple major medal winner, Jack Carlin, but despite Fielding being overshadowed in the medal count by his compatriot, he’s in no doubt about his chances of adding to the three major medals he already has in his possession.

Fielding, a Bournmouth-born Scot, won bronze at last year’s World Championships and European Championships before adding silver at the European Championships earlier this year, all in the team sprint.

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But with all three of those events taking place overseas, the 23-year-old is well aware that these world championships, which begin in just five days, will be an entirely different entity.

“It’s a great opportunity – it’s not often you get a home worlds and for it to be only a year out from the Olympics, it makes it even more significant,” he says.

“It’ll make or break people and you’ll see who thrives in this environment

“Yes, there’ll be a little bit of extra pressure because we’re at home but it’s a really nice atmosphere when you’re on home soil.”

That extra pressure Fielding talks about will, unquestionably be present in abundance.

British Cycling’s past success on the international stage means, perhaps unfairly, that winning major championship medals is seen as a formality for GB riders which is, clearly, far from the truth.

But despite the increased levels of pressure upon Fielding’s shoulders, the former under-23 European champion is remaining encouragingly relaxed.

“The main expectation on you is the expectation you put on yourself,” he says. “People can expect a lot but ultimately, it’s up to you. I was really fortunate in the lead-up to Tokyo that I got to join the podium boys in May 2020 so I went through the whole Olympic build-up process without actually going. So I got a hell of a lot of experience from that. 

“And at the end of the day, it’s just riding a bike. We all love it, and there’s a lot of people who want us to do well but there’s not really much else to it - you just go out there, give 100 percent and what happens, happens. 

“More than anything, I’m excited. The past few weeks I’ve started to see some really good signs and it’s probably the best I’ve ever gone in training.

“So as long as you know you’ve done all the right things, which we know we have, I think we’ll be in for a good run.”

Fielding and his team sprint squadmates will have to produce some of the performances of their lives if they are to walk away with gold in the team sprint.

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Olympic champions the Netherlands and world champions Australia will be the teams to beat but Fielding is optimistic that, with the home crowd behind him, including some of his family who remain based in Scotland, he can reach heights he’s never before scaled.

“It’s a really exciting opportunity,” he says.

“You look at football teams; they can use that home support and get a rise from it and I’m hoping we can do the same.

“It’s not often you’re on the track with everyone screaming for you to win. 

“A nice example of that was at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last year – even though we were Scotland, we still had the crowd screaming for us as we were going round and that’s so exciting so you just want to rise to the occasion.

“We’re looking to get onto the podium, I think we’d be daft not to. We got bronze last year so I don’t see why we wouldn’t be looking at doing the same, if not improving this year.”