Track gold rush for Great Britain on day two of the World Championships

Hosts take four new para-cycling titles, while the USA also continue track success

Jody Cundy in the men C4 1km time trial
Jody Cundy earned a 20th world title inside the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.
(Image credit: Alex Whitehead/SWpix)

No national anthem played more than 'God Save the King' inside the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome on Friday evening, as Great Britain bolstered its rainbow jersey tally, taking four world titles in the track para-cycling. 

There were gold medals for Paralympic stars Jody Cundy and Jaco van Gass, as well as tandem duos Jenny Holl and Sophie Unwin and Neil Fachie and Matt Rotherham on day two of the home World Championships. The success meant GB tripled its title count, adding to the two earned on Thursday

Friday’s gold rush brought an impressive career milestone for Cundy, who took his 20th rainbow jersey with victory in the C4 1km time trial (kilo). The 44-year-old has now won the event 14 times on the trot, and was congratulated afterwards with a long hug from his parents. 

“This [world title] is probably the best of the lot,” he told the media, including Cycling Weekly, inside the velodrome. “There’s a massive home crowd, I mean, that’s amazing. I was just riding round that last lap and all I could hear was noise, and it was getting louder and louder.” 

The victory came in what has been a difficult year for Cundy, who has been battling depression following an injury. “In that time, I put on weight and just lost the motivation to be on the bike,” he said, before adding with a smile: “And here we are, talking to you about another world title in the bag.” 

In the men’s blind kilo, Fachie and his pilot Rotherham won a dramatic gold medal, pipping fellow GB duo James Ball and Steffan Lloyd in the closing seconds of their run. 

Speaking afterwards, Fachie, who has the visual impairment Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), said he was unaware of his splits during the four-lap race. “All we could hear was the crowd roaring,” he said. “I assumed, ‘We must be going really well here because they’re cheering us, so we must be on fire. I had no concept of the fact we were behind.” 

Fachie’s victory was made even more special by the fact his 10-month-old son was in the stands for the first time. After the race, Rotherham steered Fachie over to his family so he could share a moment with them beside the track. 

“I’ve got to thank Matt for spotting them in the crowd for me,” Fachie said. “The thought of [my son] in the crowd was pushing me on in that last lap as well, so he deserves it as much as we do.” 

Jaco van Gass celebrating in GB kit

(Image credit: Getty)

It was a British one-two in the men’s C3 kilo, with defending champion Van Gass coming out on top against his friend and team-mate Fin Graham. Van Gass, who lost his arm in a grenade explosion in Afghanistan, won by just under three tenths of a second on the night, clocking a 1-06.187. 

“We’re always pushing each other,” he said of his relationship with compatriot Graham. “I think it’s great having good competition with a team… I need it, he probably needs it. He looks up to me. He wants to have what I have, and I need to defend knowing he’s very hot on my wheels. I’ve got a target on my back.” 

There was another one-two, and a fourth world title, later in the evening for GB, when Holl and Unwin held off Lora Fachie and Corrine Hall in the 3km women’s blind individual pursuit. 

The victory marked the duo’s second in as many days, after they earned gold in the kilo on Thursday. “This was the event we came in hoping to win really,” said Holl of the IP. “To execute it after qualifying second on Wedneday is brilliant.” 

For Unwin, the all-British bill gave her extra confidence going into the event. “Today, during the day, I was thinking, ‘Great. Win-win. The Brits are going to win’,” she said. “But once I’m on the start line, I try and forget that it’s my friends on the other side of the track.”


british women's team pursuit on the track in glasgow

(Image credit: Getty)

In the day’s morning session, the GB women’s team pursuit squad qualified first for Saturday’s first round. The quartet of Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker, Josie Knight and Anna Morris stopped the clock at 4-10.333 in the 4km event, beating New Zealand to top spot by almost a second and a half. 

In the men’s team pursuit, Denmark posted the fastest time in the first-round heats, recording a 3-45.634 and bettering their top qualifying time by over a second. The Danes will meet Filippo Ganna’s Italy team in Saturday’s final, while New Zealand and Australia will face off for the bronze medal. 

The GB men’s quartet - the defending champions - were absent from the event’s first round after they crashed out of qualifying on Thursday. Charlie Tanfield, having been distanced by his team-mates, came down on the final bend and suffered a concussion, and the team failed to post a time. 


Emma Hinze celebrates in the Glasgow velodrome

(Image credit: Getty)

In Friday evening’s sprint events, Germany and the Netherlands reclaimed titles they lost in Paris last year, with Emma Hinze winning the 500m time trial, and the Dutch trio triumphing in the men’s team sprint. 

Last year's 500m TT champion, France’s Marie-Divine Kouamé, took a shock early exit from the competition, placing tenth in qualifying and missing out on the eight finals spots. Having qualified first, Hinze repeated the feat later on in the evening, taking her eighth world title with a time of 32.820, and adding a second rainbow jersey to her suitcase at this year’s Championships. 

In the men’s team sprint, Dutchmen Harry Lavreysen, Jeffrey Hoogland and Roy van den Berg were down on the Australians for all of the first 500m, before Hoogland brought it back in the final lap. 

Speaking to the media afterwards, the trio’s British coach, Mehdi Kordi, said there was a worry of a “turn of the tides” in the event after the Australians ended a Dutch four-year streak last year. “A lot of people thought that,” Kordi continued. “But I certainly didn’t. I was backing the riders and I’m just happy it all came together.” 

GB finished fourth in the men’s team sprint, missing out on the bronze medal to the French. 


Jennifer Valente with her hands in the air

(Image credit: Getty)

In her first event of the Championships, Olympic Omnium champion Jennifer Valente (USA) threw down the gauntlet in the endurance category with a dominant victory in the Scratch race. 

The American thundered off the front on the final bend of the 40-lap race, and held off a late charge from Maike van der Duin (Netherlands) to take her first world title in the event. 

“This is really the best possible way we could have opened these World Championships,” Valente said of her US team. The victory brought a second gold medal for the Americans, after Chloé Dygert bounced back from injury to win the individual pursuit on Thursday. 

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Tom Davidson
News and Features Writer

Tom joined Cycling Weekly as a news and features writer in the summer of 2022, having previously contributed as a freelancer. He is the host of The TT Podcast, which covers both the men's and women's pelotons and has featured a number of prominent British riders. 

An enthusiastic cyclist himself, Tom likes it most when the road goes uphill and actively seeks out double-figure gradients on his rides. 

He's also fluent in French and Spanish and holds a master's degree in International Journalism.