Silver linings for team pursuit squads at Track Cycling World Championships
Cycling Track

Silver linings for team pursuit squads at Track Cycling World Championships

28 February 2019 / 21:27
Elinor Barker doubled her World Championship medal tally as Great Britain's team pursuit consistency was rewarded with double silver in Poland.

 

Barker prevailed in the scratch race on the opening night but this time had company in fellow Olympic champions Laura Kenny and Katie Archibald, as well as Ellie Dickinson.

On this occasion, gold was not to be the order of the day despite a monumental fightback, running Australia right to the line in the final in Pruszkow.

That honour followed in the wheels of the male quartet, with Ed Clancy, Kian Emadi, Charlie Tanfield and Ethan Hayter also bagging silver behind Australia in their own gold-medal race.

There were also impressive performances from Jack Carlin and Matt Walls in their respective races, with the British team possessing plenty more medal chances on the boards.

The women’s team pursuit quartet are regular fixtures in the medal race, with this event proving no different having second qualified fastest against the clock.

First-round victory over New Zealand saw the Olympic champions face rivals Australia, with a first world title in five years on the line having also bagged silver 12 months ago.

But an upgrade was not to come this time around, despite a late comeback that had the Australians wobbling, with Barker, Archibald, Kenny and Dickinson stopping the clock in 4:14.537, just two tenths of a second

It was a similar story in the men’s competition, with Australia once again ruling the roost – storming to a world record performance which saw Britain do very little wrong.

Clancy, three-time champion in the event, led the charge with his youthful squad, comfortably reaching the final after beating Denmark by more than three seconds.

But from there they could nothing to prevent an impressive Australia smashing the world record with a effort, with Clancy, Emadi, Tanfield and Hayter stopping the clock in a far-from-disappointing 3:50.810.

“It was quick, definitely,” said Hayter. “We were a little bit messy and could have tidied it up to go a bit quicker, but we’re not going to walk away disappointed with a 3:50.8.

“It’s disappointing not to win a world title, but we’ve got more to come.”

While Clancy added: “The Australians are good, there’s no doubt about it – they’ve been good for a long time and they were the favourites coming into this event.

“We just saw what they are capable of, and at this point in time they are the better team. But we always tend to produce our best performances in the Olympic Games, we can certainly go quicker in Tokyo.”

More medals nearly came the British team’s way as Carlin battled to fifth place in the keirin, having narrowly avoided a crash en route to the final.

Victory went to the Netherlands’ Matthijs Buchli while Yudai Nitta of Japan and Germany’s Stefan Botticher denied the Brit a place in the top three.

Sixth place was the order of the day for Walls, the European champion in the elimination race denied in the scratch by a late charge which saw Samuel Welsford take gold for Australia – his second of the night having been part of the team pursuit quartet.

Friday’s action will see Laura Kenny back on the track as she takes on the multi-discipline omnium across the day.

Olympic bronze medallist Katy Marchant will go in the sprint while Joe Truman, John Archibald and Mark Stewart will contest the kilo, individual pursuit and points race respectively.

Pics: SWpix.com

Sportsbeat 2019