Italy take gold medal in Berlin

Great Britain’s women’s team pursuit squad had to settle for a silver medal as Italy took gold at the European Track Championships in Berlin.

On Wednesday, the British team consisting of Olympic champions Elinor Barker and Katie Archibald together with Emily Kay and Ellie Dickinson had qualified second fastest behind the Italians in a time of 4:21.219, setting up a semi-final clash with hosts Germany.

Kay was replaced by Manon Lloyd for that race, which the Brits were leading until three of the German team crashed with seven laps remaining, sending the British quartet through to the final.

The final saw a close contest for the vast majority of the 16 lap race, but the British team tired noticeably in the closing stages, allowing Italy to pull clear and claim the gold medal by more than three seconds.

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Speaking after the race, the British team seemed content with their silver medal, but insisted work still needed to be done if they were take further success later in the season.

“This is the starting point of the track season and to come second to Italy… they did a really good time of 4:17 and we still did a pretty good time so we’re happy,” said Lloyd. “We’ve got a lot to work on in the coming weeks.”

There were no other medals for Great Britain on the second day of the Championships on Thursday, with Ellie Dickinson come closest with an impressive fifth place in the elimination race.

Katie Marchant and Sophie Capewell finished seventh in the women’s sprint, while World Championship bronze medallist Chris Latham finished ninth in the men’s scratch race.

The European Championships continue on Friday, with medals up for grabs in the men’s elimination race, omnium, and individual sprint, and the women’s points race, individual pursuit, and 500m time trial.