Great Britain’s team pursuiters continued their dominant display at the European Track Championships in Grenchen, Swizterland, on Thursday with both the men’s and women’s teams coming away with gold.
Sir Bradley Wiggins punched the air with delight after he, Andy Tennant, Jon Dibben and Owain Doull roundly beat the Swiss quartet to take the European title.
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In the process, they set a fast time of 3-55.243 over the four kilometres to send out a warning shot to their Olympic rivals that they are already in great form as the Rio 2016 Games rapidly approach.
Switzerland settled for silver, with Denmark having earlier beaten a ragged-performing France to take the bronze medal.
Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell Shand, Katie Archibald and Elinor Barker scored GB’s first gold of the championships earlier in the evening by obliterating the Russian team, catching them at around the half-way point.
The British team then continued on despite the catch to set a quick time of 4-17.010. Belarus beat Poland to claim women’s team pursuit bronze.
Both British squads look to be at their best and functioning as well-drilled units. The tactic of riders taking longer turns on the front, and then dropping a rider to finish with three appears to be working.
Also noteworthy is that both men’s and women’s teams swapped riders in and out of their line-ups through the qualification and rounds, showing that they do not have a lack of talent at their disposal.
It will be interesting to see how the teams perform against stiffer international opposition – notably from Australia and New Zealand – during the forthcoming UCI Track World Cup rounds and World Championships.
There was little joy for Britain’s team sprinters, however, as both the men’s and women’s squads placed fifth in qualifying to miss out on riding in the medal finals.