Ed Clancy collected his fifth team pursuit world title in Apeldoorn tonight as he lead a young and disparate group to a gold medal with a world class time of three minutes and 53 seconds. Great Britain’s second fastest time outside of Olympic competition.
Clancy, Britain’s ever reliable man one, was joined by former GB sprinter Kian Emadi, 19-year-old Academy rider Ethan Hayter and Charlie Tanfield who isn’t currently on any British Cycling programme. Add to that mix the fact the quartet are being coached by stand in endurance coach Iain Dyer.
As modest as ever, Clancy was quick to highlight his team mates performances: “I’m 33 now and I’m riding around with Ethan Hayter who is only 19. You know, I ain’t getting any slower but these boys are quick.”
It was Hayter who put in the night’s most impressive performance, leading the final three (after Emadi swung up) across the line at the end of a massive three and a quarter lap turn that progressively and consistently put time in to their Danish opponents. An effort for which Dyer struggled to find a superlative.
“We had a two turn strategy and after my first [turn] I was still comfortable and got back in the line fine,” was Hayter’s modest assessment of his own ride.
The 19-year-old from Norbury in South London started training with the senior squad in January when other riders fell ill.
“I’ve been going well in TP for a while now. I got my foot in the door [in January] and ended up getting selected.”
If Hayter’s selection was a surprise, Tanfield’s was a track cycling fairy tale. He and KGF team mate Dan Bigham first came to the attention of the BC coaches at last year’s national track championships.
They were invited to train with the British squad late last year but their performances at the Minsk world cup in January, especially Tanfield’s individual pursuit – he rode the fourth fastest in history, forced them in to contention for this year’s worlds. Bigham is set to ride the individual pursuit tomorrow.
“I thought winning a World Cup in Minsk was outrageous so to come here and win a world champs it’s hard to believe what we’ve achieved I’m gobsmacked,” Tanfield said.
Britain’s women had to settle for silver in their team pursuit final as the Americans, lead by Red Bull sponsored Chloe Dygert, proved too strong. Earlier in the day Katie Archibald had pulled out of the omnium later this week, saying ‘her body was working against her’ while Laura Kenny has only done three full team pursuit training sessions since coming back from having her first child.
“I couldn’t really do anything in that final ride, I just didn’t have the legs,” Kenny said.
“I haven’t done two rides in a day since the Rio games.”
Kenny’s first track training session was in January, and after a training camp in Majorca was able to record the necessary times to get selected.
Elinor Barker will go on to ride the omnium in place of last year’s winner Katie Archibald, while the Madison duo is yet to be decided.