Laura Trott wins individual pursuit gold on day one of British Track Championships while over on the road Lizzie Armitstead gears up for world title bid. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours.
- Double Olympic champion Laura Trott battles back to take individual pursuit title ahead of Katie Archibald
- Olympic silver medallist Lizzie Armitstead keeping cards close to her chest ahead of Saturday’s women’s road race in Virginia
- Trott insists British Cycling moving in the right direction ahead of Rio 2016
- Gymnast Louis Smith considering prolonging career until Tokyo 2020
- Leon Taylor excited by British diving prospects for next year’s Olympics
Trott pips Archibald on day one of British Track Champs
Scotland’s Katie Archibald piled the pressure on Laura Trott but the double Olympic champion came through to win individual pursuit gold on day one of the British Track Championships in Manchester.
Archibald had almost a second lead at the halfway stage but 22-year-old Trott dug deep to come across the line 0.3 seconds ahead and take gold.
Elsewhere Andy Tennant retained his men’s individual pursuit title while Matt Crampton and Katy Marchant won maiden titles in the men’s keirin and women’s individual sprint respectively.
"This is my first individual pursuit at the British Champs – I’ve always got people like Joanna Rowsell Shand when she’s at her best, she’s a world class rider in the individual pursuit so to try and compete against those kind of riders - it’s really difficult,” said Trott.
“Katie (Archibald) gave me a really good run for my money so I’m really pleased just to come out on top.”
“My motivation is winning. That’s what makes me keep going and I knew after London there was no way I was ever going to retire so what could I target? Go for more medals and try and win the two again.
“That’s what makes me strive during training - I want to win those two gold medals and I will commit 100% to training and the stuff my coaches throw at me because I seriously want to win.”
Armitstead refusing to give anything away ahead of world road race bid
Lizzie Armitstead insists she has done everything in her power to be ready for a tilt at the road race world title – it just all comes down to what happens on the day.
The 26-year-old won team time trial silver with her Boels-Dolmans squad last Sunday but she will be hoping to upgrade on that when she switches to national colours for Saturday’s race in Richmond.
An Olympic silver medallist at London 2012, Armitstead had appeared one of the favourites for last year’s World Championships but came unstuck due to tactical hesitation.
And the cyclist was playing her cards close to her chase this time around in the build up to the race.
"I'm very confident of my physical shape right now. Everything I've been able to control has gone smoothly," she added.
"It just comes down to tactics on race day now. It's down to other teams, like the Italians, like the Dutch, the Australians, the Americans. It's their race to lose.
"I'd hope they'd want to get rid of riders like me and (Belgium's) Jolien d'Hoore into the finish, so hopefully it will be an aggressive race
"I'm hoping to be that unknown factor - I don't want to give too much away.
"I don't want to go in with an exact plan. I have to be flexible in the race and go with how I feel and instinct."
Trott: We're moving in right direction ahead of Rio
Laura Trott knows it will be a tough ask for British cyclists to repeat their Olympic heroics of 2008 and 2012 but insists they are heading in the right direction.
Over the last two Olympics, GB cyclists have won 26 medals, including 16 gold, but pocketed just three silvers at the 2015 Track World Championships.
Although Trott is adamant that has only stoked the fire more for next year.
"The Worlds were disappointing, but I think it's spurred us on," she said.
"A lot of people say that we're under pressure to perform after what happened in Paris and to try and back up what we did in Beijing and London, which is a massive ask.
"British Cycling have made it look easy and that makes people forget winning Olympic medals isn't easy, but I feel we're moving in the right direction.”
Smith tempted by thoughts of Tokyo 2020
Louis Smith admits changes in the gymnastics programme for Tokyo 2020 could persuade him to prolong his sporting career.
The pommel horse specialist already has an impressive collection of medals from Olympic Games – bronze at Beijing 2008 followed by silver and team bronze at London 2012.
He took a break from the sport following the home Olympics but has since returned and is targeting a place on the team for Rio 2016.
Although the 26-year-old, who won gold at this year’s European Championships in Montpellier, admits he could be tempted to go on even longer.
"I haven't made any decisions yet but I will have to listen to my body the older I get."
At the minute you only get to send a team to the Olympics Games. For the 2020 Games you can send a team but also send specialists, which completely benefits people like myself who don't do four, five, six apparatus.
"As long as I am still winning medals and one of the best in the world, the 2020 Olympic Games is a really big opportunity for me."
Taylor impressed with GB divers' progression
When Leon Taylor won silver with Pete Waterfield at Athens 2004 the pair ended a 44-year diving medal-drought for Team GB.
The result for the 10m synchro pair was Britain’s best since silver came for Beatrice Armstrong in 1920 and was the country’s sixth since diving made its first appearance at the summer Olympics in 1904.
Luckily for Britain the wait for the next medal wasn’t quite as long with Tom Daley taking bronze at the London Aquatics Centre and, if recent performances are anything to go by, there will be more to follow in 2016.
At this year’s World Aquatics Championships, Britain were in fine form, finishing second in the medal table behind China.
And Taylor believes the next generation are now in a position to add a new chapter to British diving history at the Olympics.
“To be able to watch the divers do so well and finish second on the medal table is incredible,” said Taylor.
“It is unheard of, we normally only win one medal at the World Championships.
“To come away with four medals is exceptional work and the good news is it is not about one diver or a pair of divers it’s strength across all disciplines.” Read more here.