Track Cycling World Championships 2015: Pursuit loss sums up poor day for British hopes


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The Independent Online

Great Britain’s women were beaten in the team pursuit for the first time in more than four years in qualifying on the opening day of the Track World Championships near Paris.

Aiming for a fifth successive world title in the discipline, Britain fielded the same quartet who had won the gold medal at the event 12 months ago in Cali, Colombia.

Katie Archibald, Laura Trott, Elinor Barker and Joanna Rowsell clocked 4min 18.207sec to qualify for Thursday’s semi-final in second place, behind Australia.

Annette Edmondson, Ashlee Ankudinoff, Amy Cure and Melissa Hoskins finished in 4min 18.135sec.

Britain will meet the third-fastest qualifiers Canada (4:20.699) in the last four for a place in the final, which also takes place on day two.

Jess Varnish and Victoria Williamson were eighth in the two-lap, two-women team sprint and missed out on a medal ride.

Russia were quickest in a time of 32.518, with the British duo clocking 33.583. Both Varnish and Williamson are specialist starters, focusing on the first lap, but the pair have been forced to team up – Varnish went first and Williamson second – owing to the lengthy lay-off enforced on Becky James’ knee injury.

Britain’s men were also eliminated in the team sprint qualifying, clocking 43.808 to place eighth in the three-man, three-lap event.

Phil Hindes and Kenny had made accommodations for third rider Callum Skinner, who was selected ahead of Kian Emadi.

But the Scot, riding in his first World Championships, could not keep up with the pair, who won London 2012 gold with Sir Chris Hoy.

The results signify there is plenty of work to do before the 2016 Olympics.