Sir Bradley Wiggins helps Great Britain win European team pursuit gold

British quartets race to double victory in Grenchen but sprinters falter

Sir Bradley Wiggins made a winning return to international track cycling competition as Great Britain won team pursuit gold at the 2015 European Track Championships.

Wiggins, Owain Doull, Andy Tennant and Jon Dibben beat hosts Switzerland in the final in Grenchen, sealing a Great British double after the women’s quartet also struck gold.

Great Britain’s men and women both won European gold in the team pursuit (pic: Alex Whitehead/

In the absence of injured Ed Clancy, the British men used six riders through the three races, with Steven Burke and Matthew Gibson also in action during qualifying.

Burke, Doull, Tennant and Wiggins qualified fastest from the first round of qualifying, setting a time of 3.57.277 thanks to a blistering final kilometre, before Gibson replaced Tennant as they booked their place in the final.

Switzerland, with BMC Racing’s world team time trial champions Sylvan Dillier and Stefan Kueng in their quartet, actually broke the 3.57 mark to join them in the shoot-out for gold.

However, with Wiggins an ever-present for all three efforts, the Brits averaged a speed of 61.213km/h in the final to post a winning time of 3.55.243 – two seconds faster than the hosts.

In the women’s event, Great Britain also took advantage of the opportunity to test all of their riders, with Laura Trott, Elinor Barker, Ciara Horne and Jo Rowsell-Shand more than nine seconds faster than any other team in the first round of qualifying.

Owain Doull and Sir Bradley Wiggins were ever-presents throughout the three heats for the Great British men (pic: Alex Whitehead/

They went even faster in the second round, with Katie Archibald replacing Trott, as they completed the 4km in 4.17.708 before emphatically beating Russia in the final.

Trott returned to replace Horne in the quartet for that final as they raced round in 4.17.010, catching their Russian opposition en route as they posted an average speed of 56.028km/h.

The team pursuit success was in stark contrast to the team sprint, however, as both the men’s trio of Lewis Oliva, Jason Kenny and Philip Hindes and the women’s duo of Jess Varnish and Katy Marchant failed to qualify beyond the first round.

Both had to settle for fifth place as the Netherlands won the men’s event and Russia beat Olympic champions Germany to victory in the women’s event.

In the only other two events completed so far in Grenchen, Barker finished eighth in the women’s points race and Gibson was eighth in the men’s scratch race.


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