Elinor Barker claims points race gold to end 2017 Track Worlds on a high - Road Cycling UK

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Elinor Barker claims points race gold to end 2017 Track Worlds on a high

Youthful British team return from Hong Kong with two gold, two silver and one bronze

Elinor Barker and Katie Archibald both struck gold at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships 2017, as a young Great Britain team returned from Hong Kong with five medals in all.

Barker added a gold medal in the points race to silver medals won in the scratch race and the inaugural women’s Madison with Emily Nelson, to crown a superb week for the 22-year-old Welsh rider.

Archibald, meanwhile, won omnium gold and Chris Latham bagged a bronze medal in the men’s scratch race.

Elinor Barker won gold on the final day of the UCI Track Cycling World Championships 2017, to add to her two silver medals from earlier in the week (pic – Alex Broadway-SWpix.com)

Four years on from her World Championship debut, Barker was one of the most experienced riders in the British squad, with Joanna Rowsell Shand having retired and Laura Kenny currently taking time off as she is pregnant.

And, having been narrowly pipped to victory in the scratch race by Italy’s Rachele Barbieri on the opening day, bagged the first individual gold medal of her senior track career in the points race.

Barker was narrowly beaten to gold in the scratch race (pic – Alex Whitehead-SWpix.com)

Barker was one of two riders, along with American Sarah Hammer, to gain two laps on the bunch, and also bagged 19 sprint points – more than any other rider – to storm to victory.

Hammer finished second, eight points in arrears on 51 points, with Kirsten Wild (Netherlands) third on 35 points.

Barker had earlier teamed up with Nelson in the Madison, where they finished second – ten points behind Belgian pairing Lotte Kopecky and Jolien D’Hoore.

Archibald, meanwhile, proved a more-than-adequate replacement for Kenny in the women’s omnium, winning both the scratch race and tempo race before finishing fourth in the elimination race.

It meant she went into the final points race – the format has been reworked since Rio, with this being the first major Championships to use the four-event, one-day system – level with Australia’s Amy Cure.

Katie Archibald celebrates winning her first individual gold medal with British Cycling’s new performance director Stephen Park (pic – Alex Whitehead-SWpix.com)

And the Scottish rider bagged 11 sprint points in all to beat Cure, and the Netherlands’ Kirsten Wild to gold.

Neither of the two Olympic team pursuit champions raced in the first round of the team pursuit, however, with Nelson, Ellie Dickinson, Emily Kay and Manon Lloyd qualifying in fifth place.

It meant the best the Brits could hope for was a bronze medal, but – with Barker returning in place of Revolution team-mate Emily Kay – they were fifth fastest again in the second round, meaning no medal for the first time since the discipline was added to the World Championships in 2008.

Elinor Barker, union jack, UCI Track Cycling World Championships, 2017, pic - Alex Broadway-SWpix.com - 2
Katie Archibald, world champion, gold medal, rainbow jersey, UCI Track Cycling World Championships, 2017, pic - Alex Whitehead-SWpix.com
Elinor Barker, Emily Nelson, Great Britain, UCI Track Cycling World Championships, silver medals, 2017, pic - Alex Broadway-SWpix.com

Archibald also missed out on a medal ride in the individual pursuit, qualifying fifth fastest in a time of 3.31.331 – less than three-tenths of a second outside the top four; Chloe Dygert won gold to add to the gold the Americans in the team pursuit.

Katy Marchant was the lone British representative in the women’s sprint events but was knocked out in her first match sprint to finish 16th in the event she claimed bronze in at the Olympics.

She was also unable to progress beyond the first round in the 500m time trial or the keirin.

On the men’s side, Sir Bradley Wiggins’ post-Rio retirement, and the extended rests afforded to Jason Kenny and Ed Clancy, among others, meant a youthful squad flying the British flag in Hong Kong.

And Latham, who rides for Team Wiggins on the road, was the only one of the men’s team to return with a medal – claiming bronze in the scratch race behind Poland’s Adrian Tekilinski and Germany’s Lucas Liss.

The men’s sprint team – even sans Kenny and Philip Hindes – arrived in good form in Hong Kong after two World Cup wins, but the trio of Ryan Owens, Jack Carlin and Joe Truman were surprisingly beaten in the quarter-finals by the Netherlands.

Owens recovered to book a medal ride in the individual sprint, but having lost in the semi-finals to Dutchman Harrie Lavereysen, was then beaten to bronze by New Zealand’s Ethan Mitchell as Russia’s Olympic bronze medallist Denis Dmitriev claimed gold.

Truman went on to finish eighth in the keirin and 11th in the kilo time trial.

Ryan Owens qualified for the sprint bronze medal final, but ultimately missed out on a medal (pic – SWpix.com)

The pursuit team, like their women’s counterparts, was a blend of youth and experience, with two-time Olympic gold medallist Steven Burke joining Andy Tennant, Kian Emadi and Oliver Wood to qualify fifth fastest.

Latham and Mark Stewart replaced Burke and Emadi for the second round, as they qualified for the bronze medal race in 3.56.276, but Stewart, Burke, Emadi and Wood lost out on a medal to the Italians – Australia beating New Zealand to gold.

Stewart raced the points race, finishing seventh, but ran out of steam as he and Wood failed to finish the Madison – won last year by Wiggins and Mark Cavendish.

Latham raced the omnium, meanwhile, but found himself well down the pecking order as he eventually finished in 18th place.

It meant a return of two gold medals, two silver and one bronze for the experimental British team, and joint fourth place in the medal table, which was topped by Australia.

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