A world record, an all-British final, three gold medals and victory for Matt Crampton in the International Keirin rounded off another dominant World Cup on home soil.
The star’s of the final day’s action were Lizzie Armitstead, Wendy Houvenaghel and Joanna Rowsell, who broke Great Britain’s world record in the women’s team pursuit and underlined their authority in an event that is likely to be added to the Olympic Games programme for 2012.
The men’s team pursuit squad were just as impressive. After qualifying a full 11 seconds faster than Spain a rout was on the cards.
Ben Swift was replaced by Andy Tennant for the final and the quartet of Ed Clancy, Steven Burke, Geraint Thomas and Tennant went even faster, missing the world record of 3-53, set at the Olympics in Beijing, by just over a second. For Tennant it was a team pursuit personal best by 11 seconds.
Britain’s team sprinters swept all before them too, with the Sky+HD trio beating Great Britain in the final. That gave Sir Chris Hoy his third gold medal of the weekend.
Matt Crampton then won the International Keirin to send the national anthem ringing round the velodrome in victory again.
Britain’s riders won 10 of the 17 World Cup events. The road to London 2012 starts here, and the British riders are already approaching the first bend while the opposition battle to stay on terms.
WOMEN’S TEAM PURSUIT
With the women’s team pursuit very likely to be included in the 2012 Olympic Games when the programme is finalised in December, the British trio showed they are the team to beat by breaking their own world record.
Wendy Houvenaghel, Lizzie Armitstead and Joanna Rowsell set a time of 3-21.875 in the 3,000-metre team pursuit, as they beat Germany to take the gold medal.
It was a superb display. Great Britain topped the qualification with a time of 3-23.436, more than four seconds quicker than Germany and a mammoth seven seconds faster than the Dutch, who qualified fourth.
In the final the German team of Lisa Brennauer, Verena Joos and Madeleine Sandig held the Brits for the first 1,000 metres, but began to fade around the midway mark. In the end the gap was almost five seconds.
The result only confirms Great Britain’s dominance at the event. Twice the team pursuit has been part of the World Championship programme, twice Britain has won gold.
A sub 3-20 ride could be on the cards soon, and the rest of the world has a lot of catching up to do.
1 Great Britain (Armitstead, Houvenaghel, Rowsell) 3-21.875 world record
2 Germany (Brennauer, Joos, Sandig) 3-26.403
3 Australia (Downing, Goss, Tomic) 3-28.005
4 Netherlands (Koedooder, Pieters, Van Dijk) 3-31.005
MEN’S TEAM PURSUIT
Great Britain’s men’s team pursuit squad were just over a second outside their own world record in the final against Spain.
Ed Clancy, Steven Burke, Ben Swift and Geraint Thomas raced to a 3-57.709 in the qualifying round, a staggering 11 seconds faster than the Spanish.
That meant the final was always going to be a walkover. Britain brought in Andy Tennant for Swift for the final, while the Spaniards went with the same four.
The British were up from the start, and the Spaniards, perhaps mindful of an early catch, clearly went out too fast and lost a man before the halfway mark.
The British quartet kept their composure and passed the remaining three riders from Spain at the 2,250m mark.
But they powered on, looking as smooth as you could hope to see a team pursuit squad look.
At the line they clocked 3-54.395. For a team featuring only two of the squad that set the world record of 3-53.314 at the Olympics, that was remarkable. Paul Manning has retired and Bradley Wiggins is concentrating on the road, but in Tennant and Burke there are riders who can threaten the world record, with Swift a more than able member of the squad.
1 Great Britain (Clancy, Burke, Tennant, Thomas)
2 Spain (Escobar, Muntaner, Tauler, Teruel)
3 Ukraine (Fonrabe, Polishchuk, Shchedov, Kononenko)
4 Germany (Bartko, Bommel, Kluge, Schäfer)
MEN’S TEAM SPRINT
With the French stars absent and the host nation able to field two world-class trios, an all-British final was always on the cards.
But it was the quality of the performances which was so impressive. Sir Chris Hoy, Ross Edgar and Jamie Staff, riding for Sky+HD, and Matt Crampton, Jason Kenny and David Daniell, lining up for Great Britain, were the only two teams to go under 44 seconds in the qualifying round.
As the two teams prepared to get into the blocks for the final, the public address system in the velodrome played the theme from the 1980s TV Show ‘The A Team’.
Sky+HD’s trio showed they were the top dogs with another good time – 43.423.
The Germans beat Moscow track team in the race for bronze with another good time – 43.683.
1 Sky+HD (Edgar, Hoy, Staff) 43.423
2 Great Britain (Crampton, Daniell, Kenny) 43.818
3 Germany (Forstemann, Nimke, Wachter) 43.683
4 Moscow Track Team (Borisov, Dmitriev, Kucherov) 44.732
Simona Krupeckaite of Lithuania won the Keirin, getting the better of China’s Shuang Guo and Anna Meares of Australia in the final. Victoria Pendleton (Sky+HD) was fifth.
Pendleton won her first round and finished third in the second round race to reach the final.
Britain’s Becky James was knocked out in the first round repechage. Jess Varnish was disqualified from her first round heat for passing the back wheel of the Derny bike before it was off the track.
1 Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania)
2 Shuang Guo (China)
3 Anna Meares (Australia)
4 Agnes Ronner (Netherlands)
5 Victoria Pendleton (Sky+HD)
6 Olga Panarina (Belarus)
MEN’S SCRATCH RACE
Russia’s Ivan Kovalev won the 60-lap scratch race after five riders attacked and gained a lap on the rest of the field.
Matt Brammeier, a former member of the British Cycling Academy, now riding for Ireland, was one of the five. The Liverpool-born rider represented Wales in the 2006 Commonwealth Games but qualifies for Ireland because of a grandparent. However, his Irish passport only arrived four days before the World Cup, which allowed him to compete.
Brammeier missed out on a medal, finishing fourth. Chris Newton (Great Britain), who won the points race on Friday), was seventh.
1 Ivan Kovalev (Russia)
2 Lukasz Bujko (Poland)
3 Sergiy Lagkuti (Ukraine)
4 Matt Brammeier (Ireland)
5 Kazuhiro Mori (Japan)
6 Elia Viviani (Italy) at one lap
7 Chris Newton (Great Britain)
8 Roger Kluge (Germany)
9 Petr Lazar (Czech Republic)
10 Shane Archibold (New Zealand)