Britain’s riders have medal hopes in five of Friday night’s six finals after the qualifying rounds in the Ballerup velodrome in Copenhagen, Denmark.
But the outstanding ride of the day came from an American, 18-year-old Taylor Phinney.
He stormed to the final of the individual pursuit with a time of 4-15.233, which is threatening Bradley Wiggins’s best time of 4-15.031, set in qualifying at the Beijing Olympics last summer.
Phinney’s time will certainly make the British rider sit up and take notice. Wiggins is not racing on the track this season as he concentrates on the road.
Later today Jo Rowsell (Team 100% ME) will face Verena Joos of Germany in the bronze medal race in the women’s individual pursuit, as the evening session kicks off.
Then Chris Newton (Great Britain) and Luke Rowe (Team 100% ME) line-up in the men’s points race final. Newton will be one of the favourites.
Three British riders, Alex Greenfield and Lucy Martin (Great Britain) and Lizzie Armitstead (Team 100% ME) made the scratch race final, so there is a strong chance of a medal there.
If all goes to plan in the team sprint, Great Britain could beat US Creteil to the bronze medal before Sky+HD beat Cofidis for gold.
Victoria Pendleton has cruised through to the semi-finals of the women’s sprint and faces Willy Kanis of Holland in the semi-final. If she gets through, she’ll meet either Clara Sanchez or Lyubov Shulika in the final.
The only slight disappointment for the British team on day one was that Ed Clancy narrowly missed out on a medal ride when he finished fifth in the individual pursuit. However, even if he’d improved on his time enough to reach the medal races, he’d have still been some way behind Phinney.
|WOMEN’S SCRATCH RACE|
Lucy Martin (Great Britain), Lizzie Armitstead (Team 100% ME) and Alex Greenfield (Great Britain) are all through to the final after safely progressing through the heats, held over five kilometres.
Martin qualified from heat one in fourth place, although Team 100% ME’s Katie Colclough didn’t make the cut. Armitstead and Greenfield were third and seventh in their heat.
|MEN’S POINTS RACE|
Both Chris Newton (Great Britain) and Luke Rowe (Team 100% ME) qualified from their heats and will line up in the final on Friday night.
|MEN’S INDIVIDUAL PURSUIT|
Ed Clancy (Great Britain) missed out on qualifying for the medal rides when he posted the fifth fastest time in qualifying.
His time of 4-27.596 was a couple of seconds slower than he needed to post in order to contest the medals.
Clancy won the individual pursuit at the opening World Cup of the winter in Manchester, with a 4-19 in qualifying and a 4-20 in the final.
Promising American rider Taylor Phinney streaked into the gold medal final with a blistering 4-15 almost ten seconds quicker than Ireland’s David O’Loughlin. Those times suggest it will be one-way traffic in the final.
1 Taylor Phinney (USA) 4-15.223
2 David O’Loughlin (Ireland) 4-24.891
3 Alexei Markov (Russia) 4-24.905
4 Valery Kaikov (Rus, Lokomotiv) 4-25.213
5 Ed Clancy (Great Britain) 4-27.596
|MEN’S TEAM SPRINT|
The British and French teams dominated the team sprint qualifying, with Sky+HD trio Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny and Jamie staff now set to meet Cofidis in the final.
Another French team, US Creteil, will face the Great Britain squad of Matt Crampton, David Daniell and Ross Edgar for bronze tonight.
1 Sky+HD (Hoy, Kenny, Staff) 44.110
2 Cofidis (Bourgain, Pervis, Sireau) 44.285
3 US Creteil (Bauge, D’Almeida, Jollet) 44.666
4 Great Britain (Crampton, Daniell, Edgar) 44.759
|WOMEN’S INDIVIDUAL PURSUIT|
Joanna Rowsell is into the medal race and will face Verena Joos of Germany for the bronze medal in Friday night’s final.
The Team 100% ME rider qualified fourth fastest with a time of 3-41.042.
1 Eleonora Van Dijk (Netherlands) 3-38.145
2 Tara Whitten (Canada) 3-38.746
3 Verena Joos (Germany) 3-40.719
4 Joanna Rowsell (GB, Team 100% ME) 3-41.042
Victoria Pendleton (Sky+HD) topped the leaderboard with a flying 200-metres time of 11.210 seconds. Lyubov Shulika was second. Great Britain’s Anna Blyth (11.608) qualified for the knockout rounds in ninth place, but Helen Scott, making her World Cup debut was 19th.
Pendleton beat Germany’s Miriam Welte, but Blyth lost to Lulu Zheng.
Victoria Pendleton qualified for the evening’s semi-finals by beating Lulu Zhengf. She will now face Dutch rider Willy Kanis.
Victoria Pendleton (Sky+HD) beat Lulu Zheng (China)
Lyubov Shulika (Ukraine) beat Lisandra Guerra (Cuba)
Clara Sanchez (France) beat Shuang Guo (China)
Willy Kanis (Netherlands) beat Kristina Vogel (Germany)
Victoria Pendleton (Sky+HD) v Willy Kanis (Netherlands)
Clara Sanchez (France) v Lyubov Shulika (Ukraine)