Commonwealth Games medallists Laura Trott, Jess Varnish and Jason Kenny are among the 17 riders selected to represent Great Britain at the final round of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Hong Kong.

Taking place from January 16-17, it is the last major event in the cycling calendar before the Track World Championships in London in March.

Trott returns after missing the second round of the World Cup series while Kenny, who won two silver medals at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, is part of the men’s sprint squad alongside Philip Hindes, Callum Skinner and Matt Crampton.

But the Hong Kong meet is arguably most important for Varnish, who joins Becky James and Katy Marchant in search of vital Olympic sprint qualification points.

And Great Britain Cycling’s technical director Shane Sutton believes the squad selected are more than prepared for the important event.

“It’s the first event of a vital year for the team and the squad we have selected reflects that,” Sutton told British Cycling.

“We still need Olympic qualification points, particularly in the sprint events, while it is also great to see a strong presence from our senior academy in the team once again.

“Certainly from a sprint point of view, we’re taking our best and it’s a very big one for women’s team sprint given the fact we false-started in New Zealand.

“I firmly believe we were in the top three teams out there and would have secured the leap on France in terms of qualification on that performance.

“Unfortunately we got disqualified, so we’ve got to go back and do it all again.”

While the Olympic Games in Rio are understandably the main focus in 2016, the Track World Championships in London in March also loom large.

And Sutton claims performances out in Hong Kong can still make a big impact on selection for the home World Champs.

“A lot of eyes will now be looking towards Rio but we also have the incentive of a home Track World Championships in London in two months’ time,” added Sutton.

“Selection for that event is just around the corner so it’s important that the riders perform well in Hong Kong.”

Sportsbeat 2016