Great Britain’s team pursuit and team sprint squads had to settle for bronze medals on the opening night of the World Championships in Apeldoorn.
A young quartet of Steven Burke, Sam Harrison, Andy Tennant and Peter Kennaugh were too strong for New Zealand in the bronze medal final.
With Ed Clancy having been unwell recently and below full strength, Great Britain qualified only third fastest, behind the dominant Australians and surprise Russians, now coached by former British Cycling coach Heiko Salzwedel, who masterminded the Danish revolution in recent years.
Matt Crampton, Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny took bronze in the team sprint as the British continue to experiment in search of the perfect combination. However, Hoy rated it as their best ride since the Beijing Olympics. They qualified third fastest and beat the Australians to win bronze as the French were well ahead of the rest winning gold.
But the night belonged to Belarus, who top the medal table after Olga Panarina won the 500-metre time trial and her compatriot Tatsiana Sharakova took the scratch race.
WOMEN’S 500-METRE TIME TRIAL
Belarussian Olga Panarina won her first world title, improving on the two bronze medals she won in Copenhagen a year ago.
The 25-year-old was the last rider in a small 13-woman field. With Anna Meares absent, the competition was wide open.
When Britain’s Rebecca James set a time of 35.035 it was the fastest time of the competition and also a personal best for the 19-year-old from Wales.
The next rider, Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez of Cuba, broke James’s time, becoming the first rider to go under 35 seconds.
Miriam Welte was next to lead but the German was promptly toppled by Sandie Clair of France.
There was then a buzz in the velodrome for the first time during these championships when Willy Kanis of the Netherlands took to the track. However, the cheers were muted when she could not topple Clair’s time – and she eventually finished fourth.
Panarina was last to ride and she just edge ahead of Clair to take gold.
1. Olga Panarina (Blr) 33.896
2. Sandie Clair (Fra) 33.919
3. Miriam Welte (Ger) 34.496
4. Willy Kanis (Ned) 34.657
5. Wai Sze Lee (HK) 34.710
6. Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez (Cub) 34.722
7. Rebecca James (GB) 35.035
MEN’S TEAM PURSUIT
On a track that could be said to be between three and three-and-a-half seconds slower than Manchester and the other quicker tracks in the world, the Australians produced a performance in their final against Russia to remind everyone of their progress over the past year.
Jack Bobridge, Rohan Dennis and Michael Hepburn crossed the line in 3-57.832, with Luke Durbridge having sat up late one, to crush the Russians by almost five seconds.
The Aussies were the only team to break the four-minute barrier, having qualified fastest in 4-00.168.
Great Britain’s team, hampered by the illness to Ed Clancy which forced him to sit up three laps from the end of their qualifying ride, qualified only third fastest and faced New Zealand for bronze. The team of Clancy, Steven Burke, Peter Kennaugh and Andrew Tennant rode 4-02.764, more than two seconds slower than the Aussies.
For the showdown with the Kiwis, the Welsh teenager Sam Harrison came into the line-up, replacing Clancy.
They finished together in an almost identical time to the qualifying round, beating the New Zealand team of Sam Bewley, Peter Latham, Marc Ryan and Jesse Sergeant with some ease.
1. Australia (Bobridge, Dennis, Durbridge, Hepburn) 3-57.832
2. Russia (Markov, Kovalev E, Kovalev I, Serov) 4-02.229
3. Great Britain (Burke, Harrison, Kennaugh, Tennant) 4-02.781
4. New Zealand (Bewley, Latham, Ryan, Sergeant) 4-05.977
WOMEN’S POINTS RACE
Marianne Vos did her best to try to delight the Dutch crowd but the multi-talented star was always marked tightly during the 25-kilometre points race.
Jarmila Machacova of the Czech Republic won four sprints on the trot and looked to be in a great position only to see the Belarussian rider Tatsiana Sharakova gain a lap.
That was enough to give Sharakova the rainbow jersey and Belarus their second gold of the night. Vos could finish only seventh. There was no Great Britain rider in the points race.
1. Tatsiana Sharakova (Belarus) 30pts
2. Jarmila Machacova (Czech Republic) 20pts
3. Giorgia Bronzini (Italy) 14pts
4. Minami Uwano (Jpn) 12pts
5. Yoanka Gonzalez Perez (Cub) 10pts
MEN’S SCRATCH RACE
Within an hour of his ride in the team pursuit final, Sam Harrison was back on the track in the scratch race.
It was an extremely fast and aggressive race, with only 11 of the 21 starters completing the race. Harrison was one of those to pull out which, given his possible schedule over the remainder of the championships, might not prove to be such a bad idea.
The race was won by Hong Kong’s Ho Ting Kwok, ahead of Italy’s Elia Viviani and the French former world champion Morgan Kniesky.
1. Ho Ting Kwok (HK)
2. Elia Viviani (Ita)
3. Morgan Kniesky (Fra)
4. Carlos Alberto Uran Arroyave (Col)
5. Unai Elorriaga Zubiaur (Spa)
MEN’S TEAM SPRINT
After topping the qualification standings, the French trio of Michael D’Almeida, Gregory Bauge and Kevin Sireau confirmed their status as the team to beat by Germans comfortably in the final. The French team were the only squad under 44 seconds all night.
In qualifying, Matt Crampton, Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny were third, missing out on the chance to race for gold and silver. The same trio lined up for the bronze medal race and beat Australia by a good margin.
But it was all about the French, who seem to be right on song at the moment.
1. France (D’Almeida, Bauge, Sireau) 43.887sec
2. Germany (Enders, Levy, Nimke) 44.483sec
3. Great Britain (Crampton, Hoy, Kenny) 44.236sec
4. Australia (Ellis, Glaetzer, Niblett) 46.241
After day one
1. Belarus – 2 gold
2. France – 1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze
3= Australia – 1 gold
3= Hong Kong – 1 gold
5= Italy – 1 silver, 1 bronze
5= Germany – 1 silver, 1 bronze
7= Czech Republic – 1 silver
7= Russia – 1 silver
9. Great Britain – 2 bronze
Men’s sprint – qualifying to quarter-finals
Women’s team sprint – qualifying and finals
Women’s team pursuit – qualifying and finals
Men’s individual pursuit – qualifying and finals