Laura Trott and Becky James won medals on the final day of the UCI Track World Championships to rescue a largely disappointing campaign for Great Britain.
Trott finished second in the omnium for the second year running to take silver, while defending champion claimed bronze in the keirin in what was the Welsh rider’s sixth World Championship medal in two years.
But there was further disappointment for the men’s squads as Owain Doull and Jon Dibben finished last in the madison to leave the British men without a medal from the championships.
Trott had sat second overnight after three of the six omnium events – trailing defending champion Sarah Hammer (USA) by six points – and the American increased the lead further by edging the Essex rider into second in the individual pursuit.
In the scratch race, Hong Kong’s Xiao Juan Diao’s solo attack was enough to win the event, with Hammer again finishing one place ahead of sixth-placed Trott to stretch her lead to eight points ahead of the time trial.
And though Trott finished second in the final event behind Australia’s Annette Edmondson, Hammer’s fourth place ensured she beat the Olympic champion to the rainbow jersey, with Edmondson claiming bronze.
But Trott insists she is satisfied with the progress she is making towards the 2016 Olympic Games.
She said: “I am actually happy with how this has turned out. I always think – although I do always want to win every single race that I enter – this time before London where was I?
“Although I would have absolutely loved to have won, I’m really pleased with how I got on and how I am improving in each event.”
James was forced to come through the first round repechage in the keirin after being relegated into last place in her heat – with compatriots Jess Varnish and Victoria Williamson also unsuccessful first time out.
The 22-year-old qualified second behind Anna Meares (Australia) in the repechage, however, with Varnish also coming through a final heat, which saw Williamson place last.
Both Brits – who had been drawn together in the sprint quarter-finals earlier in the week when Varnish beat James on her way to fourth overall – were kept separate in the second round.
But while James qualified behind German sprint queen Kristina Vogel in her heat, Varnish finished fifth in her own race to miss out on a spot in the final.
In the final Vogel led the sprint out and, having already won sprint and team sprint gold, never looked like being beaten as she powered to yet another victory. James, meanwhile, was second halfway round the final lap, but Meares passed her to claim silver, with James settling for her second bronze of the week after finishing second in the team sprint with Jess Varnish.
The Abergavenny-born rider was nevertheless happy with her performance, saying: “It’s always disappointing not to win but Kristina Vogel has been flying all season. She deserved it.
“I was going out to win it. I should have tried to beat her to the jump but she went over on Anna, and Anna had a nice little slipstream while I was just hanging on the outside.
“I really enjoyed it. It’s a nice way to finish.”
The men’s sprint also concluded on the final day, with Jason Kenny having already finished as Great Britain’s best-placed rider with fifth the previous day.
With the Bolton rider not in action, it was left to France’s Francois Pervis to claim his third gold of the championships, beating Stefan Botticher (Germany) in the final while Denis Dmitriev took bronze.
In the madison, Doull and Dibben finished four laps down and failed to pick up a single point as they finished last, with Spain’s David Muntaner and Albert Torres securing gold. Martin Blaha and Vojtech Hacecky (Czech Republic) and Swiss duo Stefan Kueng and Thery Schir were second and third respectively.
In all, and with two years until the 2016 Olympic Games, it meant Great Britain fell short of the six-medal target coach Shane Sutton set in Olympic disciplines.
The haul of two golds, one silver and two bronze medals placed the Brits fourth overall, with Germany – thanks to Vogel and Miriam Welte’s clean sweep of all four women’s sprinting titles – the best-placed nation.