Track Cycling World Championships 2014: Laura Trott takes omnium silver and Becky James wins Keirin bronze to bring curtain down on Championships in Cali
Five-medal haul falls short of expectations as Great Britain's women outshine their male team-mates
Monday 03 March 2014
Laura Trott won omnium silver and Becky James Keirin bronze as Great Britain completed the Track Cycling World Championships in Cali with a five-medal haul.
Given Britain topped the medal table in Minsk 12 months ago with nine medals - five of them gold - there may be questions asked about a performance which comes two years out from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
The British men, in particular, have cause for concern: they leave Colombia on Monday evening with nothing.
The haul was two short of head coach Shane Sutton's target of six medals from the 10 Olympic disciplines.
Britain won two gold medals - in the women's team pursuit and for Joanna Rowsell in the individual pursuit, a non-Olympic discipline - and also claimed bronze for Jess Varnish and James in the women's team sprint.
The best male results were four fifth places: for Jason Kenny in the sprint and Keirin, for Phil Hindes, Kenny and Kian Emadi in the team sprint and for Ed Clancy in the omnium.
Trott, the Olympic champion, had a difficult task on the second day of the six-discipline omnium if she was to overturn the six-point overnight deficit to defending champion Sarah Hammer.
Trott finished second in Belarus and again had to settle for silver as Hammer won three of the six disciplines to win by six points.
Trott was content with her performance, particularly in the points race, usually her Achilles heel, where she finished third on Saturday.
"I am actually happy with how this has turned out," the 21-year-old from Cheshunt said.
"I always think - although I do always want to win every single race that I enter - this time before London where was I?
"I was still a junior. And the next year (2011) was Apeldoorn and I finished 16th. And then went on to win the following year (in Melbourne).
"Although I would've absolutely love to have won, I'm really pleased with how I got on and how I am improving in each event."
Trott was a member of the British team which won team pursuit gold on day two, claiming her fourth world title in the event and among the most enjoyable of her career.
"That team pursuit that we won out here was probably my favourite one," she said.
"The Olympics was different because it was a home event. It was a massive deal to us.
"But this one was so relaxed and because we had the little mishap as well (when they avoided a crash in the closing stages), when we came down it actually made it really funny. I love being around the girls."
For James the World Championships did not quite reach the same heights as 12 months ago in Belarus, when she returned with medals from all four of her events, two of them gold, including in the Keirin.
On Sunday the 22-year-old from Abergavenny needed a repechage to advance to the Keirin semi-finals and claimed bronze behind Kristina Vogel as the German claimed her third title in Cali.
Australia's Anna Meares was second. Jess Varnish was 12th after placing sixth in the minor final.
"I'm really happy," said James, who will now go on holiday with Varnish to Dubai.
"It's always disappointing not to win but Kristina Vogel has been flying all season. She deserved it."
Despite missing out on a repeat of the highs of 2013, James was happy as everything is building towards Rio.
"Last year I had the perfect run-up," added James, whose next target is July's Commonwealth Games with Wales.
"From when the Olympics were on all the way up to the worlds I had really hard training and I was on top, top form.
"This year has been just a little bit more laid back. It was incredible to win all those medals last year but it's kind of nice to have this setback as I have so much to work towards now.
"I can't wait to get back to training."
Vogel's personal haul was equalled by Francois Pervis of France, who won the men's sprint.
Pervis, who beat Olympic champion Jason Kenny at the quarter-final stage on Saturday, beat defending champion Stefan Botticher of Germany 2-0 in the final for his third gold medal after wins in the Keirin and one-kilometre time-trial.
The unpredictable Madison saw British pair Owain Doull and Jon Dibben finish last having been hampered by a crash.
David Muntaner and Albert Torres won gold, but only after a long deliberation by officials which saw Belgium's Jasper De Buyst and Kenny De Ketele relegated.
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