Laura Trott led the British women’s team pursuit quartet to two more world records in Manchester on Friday night as the team continues to search for its limits.
In their qualifying ride, with no other team on the track and a half empty velodrome, they took three seconds off their own record set on the notoriously slow pursuiting track in Apeldoorn two weeks ago.
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In the final later in the evening, with Canada to chase and the Manchester velodrome crowd in fine voice, Trott, Dani King, Joanna Rowsell and Elinor Barker slashed another four seconds off the record, lowering it to 4:19.604 minutes.
“No idea!” Barker said when asked where the team’s limits were. “That’s by no means our best team. Jo’s had a bad year, she’s had her tonsils out and she broke her collar bone. We’ve all had a little bit of illness in the last week, Laura had a crash last week in the Euros and we didn’t think she’d ride at all.”
The team is already seconds clear of their closest rivals and, through no fault of their own, in danger of making this a non event. Worringly for their rivals they believe they could end up riding the four kilometre event faster than the three kilometre due to the extra shelter from the fourth rider.
VIDEO: Women’s team pursuit gold final
The men’s team pursuit again saw Great Britain win gold ahead of their regular foes Australia, despite the latter losing a man just after half distance. “This is the real start of Rio,” said team captain Ed Clancy. “Everyone’s picking themselves up after the Olympic hangover. We didn’t set the world on fire, but we did all right. It was a great ride in qualifying, we just didn’t quite back it up in the final, but it was our third weekend on the bounce after Apeldoorn and the Revolution.”
With three consecutive weekends on racing the British riders are making a significant impression on the qualifying points they need to compete at the world championships next February. The new qualification system, brought in by the UCI this year in part to force the worlds top track riders to compete more, has lead to a certain amount of confusion however. A competitor from Columbia was turned away after learning he didn’t have the necessary qualifying points to ride in Manchester.
A silver medal came courtesy of Victoria Williamson and Becky James in the team sprint. The pair were well beaten by the German pairing of Miriam Welte and Kristina Vogel but came to the event with little specific training. “Before the European [championships] I hadn’t been doing any [training for the] starts.” Williamson said. “At the Euros I did the sprint and kierin so it was a bit of a shock to be thrown in, but at the same time it’s an opportunity for me.”
Kate Archibald furthered her international track credentials with a silver medal in the scratch race. Two weeks after making a successful debut with the British team pursuit squad at the European championships, Archibald, riding for a Scottish registered team, was one of four riders to gain a lap on the field. She was beaten in the final sprint by Malgorzata Wojtyra of Poland.
Britain’s final medal of the night came in the men’s team sprint as Philip Hindes, Jason Kenny and Matthew Crampton, replacing Kian Emadi for the final ride, pipped New Zealand by less than a tenth of a second. The Germans were clear winners.
VIDEO: Men’s team pursuit gold final
Results in brief
Women’s team pursuit
1. Great Britain 4:19.604 bt
2. Canada 4:27.083
3. Australia 4:30. 831 bt
4. Russia 4:32.696
Men’s team pursuit
1. Great Britain 3:58.654 bt
2. Australia 3:59.293
3. Denmark 4:01.934 bt
4. Netherlands 4:03.999
Women’s team sprint
1. Germany 32.788 bt
2. Great Britain 33.635
3. Max Success Pro Cycling 33.372 bt
4. Russia 33.533
Men’s team sprint
1. Germany 43.293 bt
2. Russia 43. 844
3. Great Britain 43.972 bt
4. New Zealand 44.044
Women’s scratch race
1. Malgorzata Wojtyra (POL)
2. Kate Archibald (SCB)
3. Tetyana Klimchenko (UKR)
4. Sofia Arreola (Mex)
5. Laurie Berthon (FRA)
7. Dani King (GBR)
19. Amy Hill (WAL)
VIDEO: Highlights of the action from day one in Manchester