UCI Track World Cup 2014: Double gold for Team GB after illness threatens to ruin first day

British women show no signs of letting slip their cycling domination

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The Independent Online

The dominance of Great Britain’s women shows no sign of waning after another gold medal winning performance on the opening day of the Track World Cup in London yesterday.

In the first championships at the Olympic Velodrome since the London 2012 Games, when Britain won seven of the 10 gold medals available, the hosts won two titles.

Britain’s men won the team pursuit after Olympic champion Laura Trott, world champions Elinor Barker and Katie Archibald and European champion Ciara Horne combined to win the women’s event, in a venue now officially known as the Lee Valley VeloPark.

It is four years since Britain’s women last lost a team pursuit – at the Track World Cup in Cali, Colombia in December 2010 – which last year saw an additional kilometre and rider added.

Whatever the rider combination, their astonishing dominance remains as the British quartet clocked four minutes 22.167 seconds to finish ahead of Australia, who finished in 4min 24.335sec.

Olympic champion Steven Burke was then joined by Andy Tennant, Owain Doull and Mark Christian in the corresponding men’s event and the quartet also struck gold.

Britain clocked 4:00.957 to New Zealand’s 4:05.425, after world champions Australia suffered an unfortunate puncture in their semi-final defeat to their antipodean rivals. The win for Britain’s men demonstrated a marked improvement following a woeful eighth-placed finish in February’s Track World Championships.

Britain’s Vicky Williamson (left) and Jess Varnish missed out in the sprint

Earlier in the day illness contributed to Great Britain’s failure to advance in the men’s team sprint. Despite fielding Olympic champions Philip Hindes and Jason Kenny, alongside Callum Skinner, Britain placed a lowly seventh, with only four teams progressing to the medal races.

Kenny, a three-time Olympic champion, dug so deep after a shortened build-up that he was vomiting in a rubbish bag after the qualifying ride. He is scheduled to return to the track in today’s keirin.

The British Cycling sprint coach, Justin Grace, said: “We’ve had illness throughout the team.These things probably take their toll, but we have to get on and do what we can.”

Jess Varnish and Vicky Williamson also missed out on a medal ride in the corresponding women’s event after placing fifth in qualifying.