By Nick Bull
Great Britain's ever-reliable women's team pursuit squad led the way in the opening session of the London Track World Cup meeting today.
The quartet, comprised of reigning world champions in the discipline Katie Archibald, Laura Trott, Elinor Barker and birthday girl Joanna Rowsell produced a measured ride to set the fastest time in 4-23.406, a hundredth of a second faster than Australia. Largely riding one lap turns, they only went ahead of the Aussies' time with 225m of their four-kilometre ride remaining.
They will face USA in tonight's semi-final, who qualified fourth, nine seconds slower.
Their male counterparts posted a 4-02.373 to finish second, 1.8 seconds behind a rampant Australian team, who set a 4-00.577. The British quartet (which comprised Steven Burke, Ed Clancy, Owain Doull and man one Andy Tennant) will face Denmark in tonight's semi, with the winners progressing to the gold medal ride.
Britain's men's team sprint squad made an early exit from competition, as they finished seventh. Sprint coach Justin Grace admitted afterwards that the trio of Philip Hindes, Jason Kenny and Callum Skinner were hindered by illness that has swept through the entire British squad in the past month.
Jess Varnish - who still appeared to be struggling from illness - and Vicky Williamson missed out on progressing to the medal rides as they battled to fifth place in women's team sprint qualifying, seventh-tenths behind quickest team China.
Jannie Milena Salcedo (Colombia) took victory in the women's scratch after gaining a lap on the field alongside runner-up Lauren Stephens (USA). Laura Trott did not start the race as planned, opting to focus on the team pursuit finals and this weekend's omnium.
Track World Cup London, day one, day session
Women's Team Pursuit qualifying
1. Great Britain 4-23.406
2. Australia 4-23.498
3. Canada 4-28.208
4. USA 4-32.523
5. China 4-32.685
Men's Team Sprint qualifying
1. Germany 43.700
2. Team Jayco-AIS 43.832
3. New Zealand 43.839
4. France 43.907
5. Russia 44.360
7. Great Britain 44.511
Men's Team Pursuit qualifying
1. Australia 4-00.577
2. Great Britain 4-02.373
3. Denmark 4-02.399
4. New Zealand 4-03.773
5. Netherlands 4-04.438
Women's Scratch final
1. Jannie Milena Salcedo (Colombia)
2. Lauren Stephens (USA)
3. Katarzyna Pawlowska (Pol) -1 lap
4. Laurie Berthon (Fra) -1 lap
5. Evgeniya Romanyuta (Rus) -1 lap
Women's Team Sprint qualifying
1. China 32.956
2. Germany 33.022
3. Jayco-AIS 33.130
4. Russia 33.336
5. Great Britain 33.622
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