Houvenaghel and team pursuiters clinch World Cup series titles

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Wendy Houvenaghel and the men's team pursuit quartet clinched the overall World Cup titles as the series drew to a close on the Olympic track in Beijing at the weekend.

A small British team headed to China for the fourth and final World Cup meeting of the season, with the young team pursuit squad of George Atkins, Mark Christian, Luke Rowe and Erick Rowsell finishing eighth in qualifying in a time of 4-11.486. The Australians topped the qualifying table and beat the Dutch in the final.

But the Great Britain team, albeit a very different one from the one in action in China, had done enough to clinch the overall World Cup crown.

Although Houvenaghel was not racing in China, she also had done enough after winning the individual pursuit races in Manchester and Melbourne at the start of the track season to win the overall title.

In China, Luke Rowe and Mark Christian qualified for the final of the Madison, where they finished a very creditable fifth in a race won by the Hong Kong pair.

Apart from the opening round in Manchester in the autumn, it has been a low-key winter for the Great Britain track teams. After a hectic 18 months building up to the Beijing Olympics, many of the top stars have made the most of the opportunity to have some down time before the race for London 2012 really takes off.

However, a full-strength British team will be in action in the World Championships in Copenhagen in March, offering a chance to assess form and see where they stand in relation to the rest of the world with a little over two years to go until the Olympic Games.

Check out the winners of all this season's World Cup track events in our international track results 2009-2010 round-up.

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