Great Britain closed the World Championships in fine style with Ed Clancy winning the omnium and Victoria Pendleton adding a silver in the Keirin.
But the Australians topped the medal table for the second year in a row, having won six world titles to Britain’s three.
In fact, 13 of the 19 races were won by English-speaking nations, with the US and Canada weighing in with two apiece.
With the Olympic Games in London just over two years away, British Cycling were very satisfied with how the week had gone, particularly as they won a medal in all but two of the events that will be part of the programme in 2012.
And they will feel confident in those two disciplines as well. Chris Hoy’s quarter-final defeat in the men’s sprint was a surprise and the Great Britain duo of Pendleton and Jessica Varnish is sure to improve in the women’s team sprint.
In the Olympic events, Britain’s record of three gold, four silver and a bronze medal just eclipsed Australia’s haul of three gold and two silver.
More importantly, considering where we are in the four-year Olympic cycle, Britain’s campaign at Copenhagen 2010 has been more successful than at the equivalent stage in the past two Olympic campaigns ( Bordeaux 2006 and Copenhagen 2002).
Clancy’s victory in the omnium was a welcome gold medal for the British supporters to cheer, but the event did little to convince the skeptics that it is worth a place in the Olympic programme. The points race was particularly tricky to judge because it was almost impossible to keep an eye on the race situation and take into account how it would affect the overall standings.
At least the gold medal was won by a rider who excelled at two of the disciplines. Clancy won the 200-metre time trial – which, remarkably, was his first ever flying 200-metre effort. Britain’s sprint coach Iain Dyer gave him some pointers shortly before the race.
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Ed Clancy after his win
Clancy was 13th in the scratch race which threatened to undermine his medal bid, although there was no one in the field who did well in both the opening two events. He was fourth in the individual pursuit, which was always likely to be one of his stronger events, then took a fine fifth place in the points race. Chris Newton gave him some tips before the start but he rode aggressively to gain a lap and then dug in when the others tried to hit back. A superb time of 1-02 in the 1,000-metre time trial – which would have given him eighth place in the kilometre competition this week – sealed the gold ahead of defending champion Leigh Howard and America’s Taylor Phinney.
Pendleton’s bid for the ninth world title of her career fell just short as she was pipped by Lithuania’s Simona Krupeckaite in the final of the Keirin.
Frenchman Gregory Bauge, who knocked Hoy out in the quarter-finals, beat his compatriot Kevin Sireau in the semi-final and Australia’s Shane Perkins in the final to defend his sprint crown.
Canada’s Tara Whitten won her second gold of the week when she added the points race title to the omnium. It was a scrappy race, with a couple of crashes. Lizzie Armitstead started well, winning the first sprint, but missed the move when five riders broke clear to gain a lap. It had been a very busy schedule for Armitstead, whose preparation for the Worlds was disrupted by a crash on the road at the Tour of Qatar in January. This week she has ridden the team pursuit and the omnium, winning two silver medals.
WORLD TRACK CHAMPIONSHIPS RESULTS IN BRIEF
Day five, Copenhagen
1 Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania)
2 Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain)
3 Olga Panarina (Belarus)
1 Ed Clancy (Great Britain)
2 Leigh Howard (Australia)
3 Taylor Phinney (USA)
1 Gregory Bauge (France)
2 Shane Perkins (Australia)
3 Kevin Sireau (France)
5 Matt Crampton (Great Britain)
6 Chris Hoy (Great Britain)
8 Jason Kenny (Great Britain)
Women’s points race
1 Tara Whitten (Canada) 36
2 Lauren Ellis (New Zealand) 33
3 Tatsiana Sharakova (Belarus) 33
9 Elizabeth Armitstead (Great Britain) 7
FINAL MEDAL TABLE
1 Australia 6 gold 2 silver 2 bronze
2 Great Britain 3 gold 4 silver 1 bronze
3 France 2 gold 3 silver 2 bronze
4 USA 2 gold 1 bronze
5 Canada 2 gold
6 Lithuania 1 gold 1 silver 3 bronze
7 Netherlands 1 gold 1 silver
8 Germany 1 gold 1 bronze
9 Denmark 1 gold
Day three: Friday, March 26
Day two: Thursday, March 25
Day one: Wednesday, March 24
Day one: Meyer and Meares put Aussies on top of the world
2010 Track World Championships: Results
Day one as it happened (text coverage): Wednesday, March 24
Houvenaghel qualifies second fastest in pursuit
2010 Track World Champs: Photos
Day four gallery by Andy Jones
2010 Track World Champs: News and features