Double silver for Great Britain at track cycling worlds

19 February 2015 / 21:34

All that glittered was silver for Great Britain's team pursuit quartets at the track cycling World Championships in Paris.

Katie Archibald, Laura Trott, Elinor Barker and Joanna Rowsell arrived in the French capital seeking to protect an unbeaten British record that stretched back more than four years.

But they lost in the final - and also lost their world record - as arch-rivals Australia laid down an impressive marker for next year's Olympics in Rio.

The British quartet were timed at 4:16.702 but Australia smashed Great Britain's previous world best, set last year at altitude, by nearly three seconds, clocking 4:13.683.

"They rode unbelievably and they've really stepped up over the last year. They've been throwing out different teams and strategies but they are now an incredible team, so hats off to them," said double Olympic champion Trott.

"In training we've been putting good times together and we knew the world record was going to go, it's just a question of which team was going to break it - and unfortunately for us it was Australia."

But while the women's quartet was downbeat, there was plenty of reasons for optimism for Ed Clancy, Steven Burke, Owain Doull and Andrew Tennant.

Great Britain may be Olympic champions but they've not won a world title in this event since 2012 and suffered a shocker 12 months ago in Cali.

And despite being narrowly beaten by New Zealand, their time of 3:54.687 gives cause for optimism, especially with four-time Olympic champion Sir Bradley Wiggins due to return to the track in the months ahead.

"It was only a month ago that I didn't think we were coming here," said Clancy.

"Steven was lying in the road with a broken collarbone, Doull was cut to ribbons (after being involved in the same crash) and 

"We had a shocker of an event last year and understandably we got a fair bit of flack for that. This was a massive improvement.

"Shane (Sutton) said to us this morning, irrespective of what happens today we can do Rio now - and he's right. There's more to come."

Meanwhile, three-time Olympic champion Jason Kenny blamed two nightmare rides for a disappointing show in the men's keirin.

Kenny was crowned world champion in the discipline two years ago in Minsk but he failed to progress through the repechage, later claiming he needed to pile on the pounds to be competitive before next year's Games.

"I was just a spectator and it was never really there for me," admitted Kenny, who watched from the sidelines as home favourite Francois Pervis retained his rainbow jersey.

"I don't know what the problem was, it was just ridden out of me. It's a nightmare. I hit the front too early and that made me vulnerable."

Elsewhere, Katy Marchant and Victoria Williamson finished 13th and 15th in a women's 500m time trial that was won by Russia's Anastasia Voynova, who edged world record holder, Australia's Anna Meares, into silver.

And British World Championship newcomer Matt Gibson, just 18, produced a solid performance to finish ninth in the men's scratch race, which was claimed by Germany's Lucas Liss.

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