Rowsell misses out on a medal in the individual pursuit and admits Britain faces stiff challenge

Joanna Rowsell was beaten in the ride-off for third place by Amy Cure

Defending champion Joanna Rowsell finished fourth in the women’s individual pursuit as Great Britain failed to win a medal on day three of the track world championships.

Rowsell was part of the women’s team pursuit squad which saw their four-year unbeaten run ended on Thursday’s second day in Saint-Quentin-En-Yvelines, near Paris, picking up silver behind Australia.

Rowsell won her first solo world title in the 3km individual pursuit in Colombia last year, but qualified in fourth. The 26-year-old met Amy Cure in the ride-off for bronze and once again Australia prevailed. Cure clocked three minutes 32.907 seconds to Rowsell’s 3min 36.330sec.

Katie Archibald, who was also in the British team which won silver on day two, clocked 3:31.276 to place fifth in qualifying and miss out on a ride for a medal.

Britain have two medals from the opening three days of competition, both silvers in the team pursuit disciplines.

Rowsell, who raced in all three team pursuit rounds on the opening two days, said: “You’re never really going to be happy with fourth, but you can see that across the board everyone has stepped up.

“Everyone was about down yesterday [after the team pursuit defeat], but I came out today and I was determined to fight. Fourth in the world isn’t bad. I can’t complain really. It shows what a good achievement it was winning those two golds last year. Last year I was absolutely flying and it went perfectly. This year has been a real battle.”

Rowsell is excited about Britain responding to the loss of the team pursuit title they had won for four straight years. She added: “I’m relishing the challenge. It’s nice to have that carrot to aim for again and try to go for that.”

Jess Varnish claimed the notable scalp of Olympic champion Anna Meares in the women’s sprint competition, but was unable to advance to today’s semi-finals, losing 2-0 to Meares’ fellow Australian Stephanie Morton.

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