Obree's challenge

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Graeme Obree, the cyclist with the Superman style, is braced for a closer than usual challenge in the World Cup at Manchester velodrome today, and hoping that the effects of his yellow fever jab have passed.

"I was creeping around the track last week, so I am a wee bit reticent about this race," he said, having had injections for next month's World Championships in Colombia.

With 28 nations, including Olympic, world, and Commonwealth champions, assembled at the pounds 9m venue, the three-day Cup round is the biggest track meeting in Britain since the World Championships 14 years ago.

It is also another test for Obree whose crouching style was outlawed last year. He developed his latest position which, with his arms extended ahead of him, resembles Superman in flight.

"It's as good as the original position," Obree said, and proved it by retaining his British 4,000 metres pursuit title with performances only two seconds slower than his world record of 4min 22sec.

The 1993 world champion is poised for another battle with French rival Philippe Ermenault who recently clocked 4:23.