Team pursuit squads on the podium in Canada

Olympic qualification has begun in perfect style for Great Britain's team pursuit squad after securing their first gold medal of the Track World Cup season.

Rio 2016 champions Laura Kenny, Elinor Barker and Katie Archibald joined forces with Ellie Dickinson to supreme effect in Milton, Canada, their time of 4:18.138 proving enough to beat Italy in the final.

Indeed it also secured Britain’s first gold in the second event of the season, while Olympic champions Ed Clancy and Steven Burke enjoyed pursuit success of their own.

While Jason Kenny and Philip Hindes teamed up to good effect in the team sprint, with the Rio champions and Ryan Owens also reaching the podium in Canada.

Six events form the World Cup season – the fourth of which is at the home of the London 2012 Games in December – with the UCI points on offer aiding qualification for the next Olympic Games, with less than two years to go until Tokyo 2020.

And, after being rested for the France leg last week, the women’s pursuit started their bid in top form, adding to their European title in style having qualified fastest earlier in the day.

With Olympic, world, Commonwealth and European titles aplenty, the quartet were certainly expected to put in a quick showing.

But Kenny, Barker, Dickinson and Archibald certainly delivered that and then some in their gold-medal race, leading by nearly a second after the first kilometre against Italy.

From there, there was only going to be one winner as they headed towards the 4km mark, eventually winning by nearly four seconds to claim gold.

The men’s equivalent squad put in a similarly dominant performance in their ride with bronze their prize for overcoming France.

The team had struggled in their medal race last time out despite winning silver but there were no such troubles this time around, Clancy and Burke – who boast five Olympic medals between then – joined by Kian Emadi and Ollie Wood en route to the podium. Their bronze was bettered by another British team, however, with the HUUB Wattbike Test Team of Harry Tanfield, John Archibald, Dan Bigham and Jonny Wale winning silver.

Wood’s medal wasn't his only one of the day however, claiming silver in the scratch race to follow up his omnium honours last week.

The sprinters also proved more than a match of their endurance teammates with Hindes, Jason Kenny and Owens also adding a bronze medal to their luggage.

The three missed out on the team sprint gold-medal race but bounced back to good effect, stopping the clock in 43.126 seconds to beat the Netherlands for the last spot on the podium.

The action continues into Saturday with the men’s omnium and keirin while the women’s individual sprint and Madison will take centre stage in Canada. Image credit: SWpix Sportsbeat 2018