British riders wrapped up the final day of competition in Manchester with yet more wins. Once again the performances came from an enticing combination of new and old riders, as both Lizzie Armitstead and Victoria Pendleton finished with three world cup gold medals to their name.
Those final two gold medals meant the female British riders had won every event on the schedule, an achievement that would have been unthinkable just one week ago – even from a team as celebrated as this.
Although Pendleton was as effortlessly good as ever, Armitstead was the revelation of the weekend. Coming here with hopes of finishing top eight in both the points and scratch race, she eventually finished her gruelling three-day programme with wins in those bunch races and in the team pursuit.
In this final event she rode with her Olympic Academy team mates Joanna Rowsell and Katie Colclough. The trio finished in 3:26.904, six seconds clear of Germany in second place and just four seconds slower than the British team, that included Rowsell, Rebecca Romero and Wendy Houvenaghel, that won the world title here in March.
Armitstead?s rapid rise to prominence comes after increased investment in the women?s Olympic Academy programme that will next year increase from three riders to six. She however will graduate in to the pro ranks and ride with the Lotto Belisol team next season.
Pendleton added the kierin to her sprint and 500m time trial wins on the final afternoon, and the relief was clear to see as she warmed down on the rollers, explaining that the best thing about her victories was that they had earned her a well needed break. With qualification now assured for the sprint and the keirin events at the 2009 world championships, Pendleton doesn?t need to ride a full world cup campaign.
The Sky+HD team rounded off it?s debut with a crushing win in the team sprint as Jamie Staff lead Jason Kenny and Ross Edgar to victory. Like the rest of the squad, the trio seem to have only lost a fraction of their speed since August, beating Poland by almost a second in 44.306 seconds. This final win meant that the British riders, split across the national team and two trade teams, walked off with 14 gold medals from a possible 17.
Kenny?s weekend would eventually end in disappointment when he was disqualified from the 7?12 final in the big money Japanese Keirin Association International keirin for overtaking the pacer before he swung off.
In the final it was left to his compatriot Matt Crampton to walk off with the £15,000 first prize. Often the bridesmaid, Crampton rode the final race in the style of Chris Hoy, leading from the front and holding everyone off. Ross Edgar finished second, just minutes after riding the team sprint final.
The only win that eluded the team today was in the Madison as the new pairing of
Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas quickly found their feet, but also found the rest of the field watching their every move. They eventually finished sixth.
Read more analysis in this week?s Cycling Weekly magazine, available on Thursday.
Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas in the Madison
Women’s keirin start
Victoria Pendleton wins the women’s keirin
Britain’s Sky+HD trio of Kenny, Staff and Edgar take the team sprint
Though not racing himself, Chris Hoy was on hand to help the BBC
Victoria Pendleton and Lizzie Armitstead do some upper body weight training
Matt Crampton scoops the international keirin
Photos by Andy Jones
MANCHESTER TRACK WORLD CUP 2008 LINKS
World Cup day two finals
World Cup day two qualifying
World Cup day one summary
How to spot the British riders at Manchester
British under-23 team gets ready for Manchester world cup
Sky+HD track team officially unveiled
Clancy for individual pursuit at Manchester World Cup
Chris Hoy scholarship programme launched
Kenny ready for race action in Manchester
British Cycling celebrate success at gala dinner
Manchester World Cup preview: Who’s riding for Britain ? and in which event?
CW’s Dummies’ Guide to track racing ? We explain how track racing works
Every major track result of the 2007-2008 season World Cups, World Championships and Olympic Games
Manchester Track World Cup official site for full details of the race programme