Gold for Rebecca Romero in the women?s pursuit, silver for Victoria Pendleton in the women?s sprint and bronze for Chris Newton in the men?s points: as GB track manager Shane Sutton said, ?It really couldn?t have been much better for Great Britain in the opening day of the World Cup.?
Newton?s bronze at the fourth and final round of the World Cup in Ballerup, Denmark is arguably the most significant result of the three long-term. It means the veteran rider now has automatic qualification for the Olympic Games thanks to his outright victory in the series – although he has yet to be selected. Consistency – he was the only rider to score points in all four rounds of the series – made all the difference.
?You can?t say what?ll happen about the Olympics but the numbers are definitely in his favour,? Sutton told Cycling Weekly. ?It?s certainly a massive step forward. Some people had – wrongly – written Chris off but this shows what he can do.?
At Ballerup, Newton gained a lap together with 11 other riders, and then took points in the first and ninth sprint, as well as winning the final dash for the line. Pim Lighardt of Holland scored 49 for overall victory, with Poland?s Rafa Ratajczyk just four ahead for the silver medal.
Romero?s gold is another big step up for the former rower, already the winner of a silver medal in the Beijing round of the World Cup in December.
?Considering the strength of the opposition, taking on people like Sarah Hammer and beating them all is a real acheivement,? Sutton said. In the final, Romero comfortably outgunned Vilja Serekaite with heer second time of 3-35 of the day – despite a slower start than the South African – whilst United States rider Hammer took third.
Sutton was equally pleased with Victoria Pendleton, who finally secured silver in the sprint against Holland?s Willy Kanis in a 2-0 duel. ?Considering she?s still coming back from injury and has missed out on a lot of work as a consequence, it?s a fabulous result,? Sutton said. The fastest qualifier – clocking 11.178 – Pendleton then easily outclassed the reputable Christina Muche of Germany before going on to take out Yvonne Hijgenaar of Holland in the quarter finals and Shuang Gao of China in the semis.
The one disappointment came in the men?s team sprint, where Great Britain?s trio finished fourth behind the Cofidis squad.
BRITISH MEDAL COUNT: 1 Gold 1 Silver 1 Bronze
|WOMEN?S INDIVIDUAL PURSUIT|
Gold Rebecca Romero (Great Britain)
Silver Vilija Sereikaite (Lithuania)
Bronze Sarah Hammer (USA)
|MEN?S POINTS RACE|
Gold Pim Ligthart (Netherlands)
Silver Rafal Ratajczyk (Poland)
Bronze Chris Newton (Great Britain)
|WOMEN?S SCRATCH RACE|
Gold Marianne Vos (Netherlands)
Silver Jarmila Machacova (Czech Republic)
Bronze Anastasiay Chulkova (Russia)
The Brits Kate Cullen reached the final and was 11th.
|MEN?S TEAM SPRINT|
The Brits The British trio of Chris Hoy, Craig MacLean and Jamie Staff were beaten by Cofidis in the bronze medal race.
|MEN?S INDIVIDUAL PURSUIT|
Gold Sergi Escobar (Spain)
Silver Alexei Markov (Russia)
Bronze Luke Roberts (Australia)
Gold Willy Kanis (Netherlands)
Silver Victoria Pendleton (Science in Sport)
Bronze Shuang Guo (China)