Cycling: Obree bringing it all back home: Scottish world champion makes return to Herne Hill

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The Independent Online
GRAEME OBREE returns today to the Herne Hill track where he began his climb to world domination. After stunning the sport with his achievements over the last 10 months, the Ayr-born world 4,000 metres pursuit champion will ride on the wind-swept south London track that is a corner of British cycling history.

'It was my launch pad; that was where the world first saw who I was. That is why I want to be there for this meeting,' Obree said on the eve of the new track season, which traditionally opens at Herne Hill - rain permitting.

Last May, after racing on Good Friday was washed out, the Scot set a British one-hour record. By mid-July he had the world record, a month later he was world 4,000m pursuit champion in a world best time, all on a home-made bike that sent designers back to their computers.

His nose-over-the-handlebars style of riding, and his bike, are on the verge of being outlawed by the world governing body, but Obree is racing to regain the world hour record before they can act.

He will attack the 52.2km mark held by the Olympic champion, Chris Boardman, later this month in Geneva and Bordeaux. Today's fare is not as heady, with Obree contesting four races, including a 10-minute pursuit against five opponents.

Tony Doyle, who also learned his craft at Herne Hill, will be looking for a repeat victory in the Golden Wheel race.