Ed Clancy is the self-proclaimed old dog of Britain’s team pursuit squad but when it comes to world champion status, this track star is back up to his old tricks.
Thirteen years since first donning the rainbow bands, Clancy was back at it on day two in Apeldoorn, with a few young starlets with him for company.
Ethan Hayter, Kian Emadi and Charlie Tanfield were just kids when the 32-year-old first stood atop the podium but the quartet looked as if they’d ridden all their lives together, a superb performance taking Great Britain to their first gold of the World Championships.
Overcoming Denmark, the team had to show maturity beyond most of their years in the pressure of a gold-medal final, trailing well into the latter stages of the pursuit.
But constantly narrowing the advantage the team looked unfaultable, staying together as cracks started to appear in the Danish quartet. Their prize for togetherness was golden.
“I’m happy just to still be here,” joked triple Olympic champion Clancy. “I’m 33 years old in a couple of weeks’ time and when you’re riding around with Ethan and Charlie who are 19 and 20 years old, I love it more and more every year.
“It’s still special for me, I’ve still got a massive passion and every time I race I want to go out and win.
“It’s been ace riding with these boys, I’ve known Kian the longest out of anyone here and he’s made a great transition from the sprint squad.
“He’s had back issues so to be stood here as team pursuit world champion is pretty special, the other two young guys are both massive talents as well and there’s an epic future for both of them.”
Meanwhile, anything Jason can do, Laura can too after the Kennys both celebrated silver in the Netherlands, the latter in the team pursuit.
Jason had already enjoyed team sprint honours but it was over 4,000m where Laura earned her spot on the podium, joining forces with Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker and Emily Nelson.
The gold was just out of their grasp as the United States made it three titles in succession but you could take nothing away from a strong British ride, offering unity boding well for what’s to come two years out from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
In a race that ebbed and flowed from the very first lap, the Britain quartet had wrestled themselves an advantage heading into the closing stages as all four worked well in a smooth race.
But the Americans came into this race as defending champions for a reason, upping the pace despite having only three riders in the closing stages, their pace proving enough to take home gold against the Olympic champions
Britain’s medal tally now sits at three with just two days completed in the Netherlands, with one gold and two silvers a far from problematic tally heading into the weekend.
There is still plenty more to come too, with Archibald taking to the boards for the omnium while Mark Stewart is in points race action.