Team Breeze dominate opening days of British Track Championships

(Image credit: Andy Jones)

Huub-Wattbike also pick up multiple medals in the men's races

Athletes from British Cycling’s academy programme, Olympians and the Huub-Wattbike team shared most of the spoils in the first two days of competition at the National Track Championships.

The women’s BC academy team of Team Breeze had a strong Saturday winning the team pursuit and then locking out the podium of the women’s scratch race which 19-year-old Welshwoman Ella Barnwell won with a deadly surge of speed in the final lap.

Barnwell said: “Obviously being first year in the under-23s is a big step up from junior but I'm doing my best every time and hopefully the year will be pretty good.”

In the team pursuit earlier in the day the quartet, including Barnwell, made the catch in under 2km to take the team pursuit title. The quartet, that contained the newly crowned individual pursuit national champion Josie Knight had made easy work of the qualifying round clocking a time of 4.32.084.

Less than 24 hours before Knight had claimed the individual pursuit title and said: “I really wanted this. This time last year I wasn’t on the Great Britain Cycling Team programme but I was here, trying to record a time to get me on the programme, and I just managed to do that, so to come back and win this year is really special.”

It was also good 48 hours for the riders of the Huub-Wattbike team in what is set to be their last season as an outfit as the UCI have bought in regulations that will lock them out of the top level of international competition from later this year.

First John Archibald clocked a 4.14.572 in the individual pursuit final to retain his title. The Scotsman was the bet of a strong bunch from the Huub-Wattbike team, which not only locked out the podium with Jonathan Wale and Dan Bigham in second and third respectively, but occupied the top five spots in the event.

Wale then went on to claim the national kilo title the following day, besting Bigham and third place Kyle Gordon in the process.

That clutch of results bodes well for the team’s trip to altitude in Bolivia in April where they plan an assault to break the team pursuit, individual pursuit and hour records.

Perhaps the most convincing victory of the first two days was that of Team Inspired, including Olympic great Jason Kenny, who eased through the rounds to take victory in the team sprint. The Trio of Ryan Owens, Jack Carlin and Joe Truman rode the final.

The most closely fought contest of the first two days of competition was the women’s sprint title, eventually won by Lauren Bate (Team Terminator), who beat Milly Tanner in three rides in the final.

Lauren Bell took the women’s keirin title after launching a long sprint in the final going with just over one lap left to go.

Other national champions crowned included Rhys Britton (Team Inspired), who triumphed in a hotly contested men’s points race, Scots woman Lauren Bell (Black Line) who won the women’s Keirin after launching a long sprint in the final and Hamish Turnbull from the Slingshot team who won the men’s sprint.