Great Britain’s women’s team pursuit quartet qualified fastest at the world championships in Cali this morning and will ride in the gold medal final later today.
The team of Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell, Elinor Barker and Katie Archibald finished in a time of 4:28.597 minutes. The time is 12 seconds outside of their world record, and is the first time they have ridden the four kilometre distance in international competition and not broken the world record.
But a fast ride was never on the cards in today’s conditions. The wind started to pick up as team pursuit qualifying started forcing all teams to ride open front wheels (typically five spokes) with disc rears – as the men did the day before. Neither is the track particulalry favourable to pursuiting as the long straights and tight bankings make it hard for the riders to maintain a constant speed.
The Brits were two seconds faster than second place Canada and looked as if they were riding to a comfortable schedule. Australia qualified third and will race Poland for the bronze medal.
This is the first senior world championships where the women have covered the four kilometre distance. Great Britain has won this title for the last three years, and have only been beaten once, by Australia in 2010, since the inaugural event in 2008.
Ireland’s Ryan Mullen produced a personal best in the men’s individual pursuit qualifying to get through to the bronze medal ride. The 19-year-old An Post rider rode a 4-22.419 minute ride to place fourth.
Britain’s Owain Doull finished in 15th place with a 4-28.193. Jason Kenny narrowly avoided a crash in his keirin round one race before going on to win it and progress safely through to the next round. Matt Crampton had to get through via the repechage while Kian Emadi didn’t make it through.
Mixture of youth, experience and five defending world champions will go to Colombia