James and Varnish take team sprint bronze at Worlds

27 February 2014 / 08:28

Great Britain's Becky James and Becky Varnish declared themselves happy after claiming team sprint bronze at the track cycling World Championships in Colombia.

The pair were narrowly trailing Russian rivals Elena Brezhniva and Anastasiia Voinova at the midway point but rallied to match the medal double world champion James won with Victoria Williamson 12 months ago.

"It was a solid performance tonight," said Varnish, back in the team after a career threatening back injury left her 'walking around like a Granny'.

"It's a really different track to what we've ridden on and you can't really compare it to other performances. I think we should be happy and it's a really good start."

Olympic champions Miriam Welte and Kristina Vogel retained the world title for Germany but there was disappointment for Britain's Olympic champions in the men's team sprint.

Jason Kenny and Philip Hindes were joined by Kian Emadi but New Zealand, the eventual gold medallists, Germany, Russia and France all went quicker in qualifying.

“We're disappointed with the result, but the time itself and the way we rode wasn't that bad,” three-time Olympic gold medallist Kenny told britishcycling.org.uk. 

“It could've been a little bit tidier. We're only fractions off and we've definitely made a step forward, particularly from where we were last year. We've been consistently getting better this year, which is promising."

Two-time Olympic champion Ed Clancy admitted behind the scenes issues were the reason Great Britain's team pursuit quartet settled for eighth in Cali.

Clancy was joined by 21-year-old Sam Harrison and 20-year-olds Jon Dibben and Owain Doull and their time of 4:04.419 ranked them eighth as Australia retained their world title.

"We didn't announce it but behind the scenes we've had some problems," admitted Clancy, whose more established team-mates, former world champion Andy Tennant and Olympic gold medallist Steven Burke, were ruled out through injury.

"We knew a week ago our back was against the wall. But despite the fact we didn't have a couple of our more established riders in the line-up, we were still hoping to get a ride in the final.

"It's like a stack of cards - if one part falls down it all comes tumbling down pretty quickly. There wasn't one of us that was really on fire."

Elsewhere, Olympic team pursuit champion Dani King was eighth in the women’s scratch race.

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