Despite claiming team pursuit gold on the opening day of the London Track Cycling World Cup, Laura Trott says staying on top of the game is harder than ever.
Trott, alongside Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker and Ciara Horne, helped Britain’s women’s team pursuit quartet beat Australia to gold as the velodrome in London’s Olympic Park opened its doors.
Fellow Olympic champion from London 2012 Joanna Rowsell had raced earlier in the day but was absent for the final as Britain clocked 4:22.194 minutes to comfortably see of the Australians.
And Trott believes the pressure from inside and out is as immense as ever as competitors and teammates alike all show signs of improvement.
“It’s getting harder. You definitely feel the pressure now,” she said. “We want to win every race but people are getting better and better. It’s good for the sport.
“It’s that battle to get into the squad that keeps us going.”
There was more joy on the track as the men’s team pursuit quartet matched the women’s efforts to take gold against New Zealand.
Ed Clancy, Steven Burke, Owain Doull and Andy Tennant qualified second to set up a first-round draw with Denmark.
After edging out the Danes, Mark Christian took the place of Clancy for the final and Britain broke down the New Zealand resistance to finish in 4:01.151 and seal their first World Cup win since the first round of the 2013/14 leg in Manchester.
“It was a first for us, three rides in a day and I have to say it was really hard,” said Burke.
“We had a bit of a practice doing it last week in training. We needed to try and get used to that sort of day and learn from it may bring.
“It was a tough day out and I’m just glad we came out with a win really.”
While there was joy in the team pursuits, there was less to shout about in the men’s team sprint with Philip Hindes, Jason Kenny and Callum Skinner coming in seventh.
And, while the women’s team fared slightly better, they were unable to clinch a place in a medal race – Jess Varnish and Victoria Williamson finishing fifth.
© Sportsbeat 2014