Illness hindered Great Britain’s men’s team sprint squad in the opening session of the London Track World Cup today, as the trio finished seventh.
Philip Hindes, Jason Kenny and Callum Skinner topped the series’ standings after last month’s opening round of this winter’s event in Guadalajara.
However, a bout of flu has hindered the entire British squad’s preparation for this week’s meeting, and the men’s sprint team finished eight-tenths of a second behind fastest qualifiers Germany.
“We’ve had illness throughout the team, I’m not sure if it’s really affected us or not, but it gives us something we can go away and work on,” said GB sprint coach Justin Grace.
“Normally we’d have somebody else we could bring in as a reserve, but because of the illness, we came with the best team we could.”
Man two Kenny was sick after his ride, and Grace singled him out as the team’s best performer on the day. His ride was the second fastest by any man two; Hindes was the fourth fastest man one, while Skinner was only the 18th best man three.
He said: “Jason’s ride was solid, coming off Phil’s start which was solid but not his best. We’re happy where Jason is right now.
“Only in the last few days has Callum begun to sound like we expect him to be. These things probably take their toll, but we have to get on and do what we can.”
Grace admitted that the trio may now have the unwanted task of travelling to the final World Cup round in Cali, Colombia, in January to ensure they pick up crucial Olympic qualifying points.
“Iain [Dyer, lead GB sprint coach] and I are sitting down later and working out the calculations. We may have to send this team to Cali, but we’re not sure yet.”
Analysing his ride, Hindes said: “Being man one it [illness] affects you a little bit because you don’t have the strength you normally need to ride, but I wasn’t happy with my performance today.”