Track Worlds 2016: men’s team pursuit silver but Trott bags gold
Sir Bradley Wiggins and co beaten by Australia in final
Ed Clancy’s return to the Great Britain men’s team pursuit quartet was not enough to secure World Championship gold as Australia won a thrilling final.
Clancy lined up alongside Sir Bradley Wiggins, Jonathan Dibben and Owain Doull for the final, having sat out of the qualifying and semi-final – his first competitive outing since back surgery in the winter.
But Great Britain had to settle for silver, for the second year running, as Australia’s Sam Welsford, Michael Hepburn, Callum Scotson and Miles Scotson secured bragging rights ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Having qualified fastest, thanks to a huge shift from Wiggins in the first round, Britain booked their spot in the gold medal final with a brilliant victory against Italy – only easing off on the last lap preventing them from qualifying fastest again.
Great Britain swapped out Andy Tennant and Steven Burke from their semi-final win, for Dibben – who rode in qualifying – and Clancy.
But Australia dug deep in the final, taking an early lead that could not be brought back, winning gold by a more than one second.
The silver was one of three British medals won in London on the second day of the 2016 UCI Track Cycling World Championships.
Laura Trott led the way, claiming gold in the scratch race to make amends for a disjointed team pursuit in which – after a good start – her and Elinor Barker became split from Joanna Rowsell Shand and Ciara Horne behind them.
Trott came from behind in the scratch race, closing a half-lap gap to the front group with just two laps to go, before an incredible turn of speed on the final lap earned her sixth career worlds gold medal.
In the team pursuit, however, a sixth place finish in qualifying means the best the British quartet can hope for now is bronze – which would be their lowest finish in the nine years since the women’s team pursuit was introduced to the worlds.
There was better news in the women’s keirin though as, having come through the repechages to book her place in the medal final, Becky James returned to the podium by claiming bronze.
Kristina Vogel of Germany took gold, while Australia’s Anna Meares bagged the silver medal.
But, after an injury-ravaged two seasons, Welsh ace James proved she is approaching her best form again – when it matters most – with just five months to go until Rio.
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