Becky James clinched the European U23 women’s sprint title in Saint-Petersburg on Monday, coming from a race down to beat French rival Virginie Cueff.



After qualifying third fastest, 18 year old James also lost the first semi-final encounter against Sandy Clair (France), only to turn the tables to win 2-1 and make it through.



Her gold medal comes fourteen months after the Welsh teenager burst onto the scene as a junior by winning the world sprint and keirin titles, as well as the European sprint championship.



Two days earlier, first-year espoir James and junior Vicki Williamson teamed up to take silver in the U23 team sprint, finishing behind Clair and Cueff.



Welwyn Wheeler rider Williamson also took a silver medal in the junior women’s sprint competition, while Pete Mitchell claimed bronze in the men’s U23 competition.



Since last year’s breakthrough success, James was blooded in her first senior Track World Cup competition at Manchester. She will be spearheading the Welsh track line-up at the Commonwealth Games at Delhi next month.



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Becky James takes gold at World track champs