Cycling: Team GB launch pursuit of glory with two golds

 

Melbourne

The British trio of Dani King, Laura Trott and Jo Rowsell produced the two fastest times in the history of women's pursuiting to win Britain's third gold of the World Track Championships here in Melbourne yesterday.

But while the three were all smiles bedecked with their gold medals and rainbow jerseys, the sentiment was that the champagne was very much on ice, the job only half-done with London looming.

A beaming King said: "Bring on the Olympics," while Rowsell, bouncing back from a litany of injuries and illnesses, took things further adding "hopefully we'll be invincible by the Olympics".

Her wish is perfectly plausible. In what was their last competition before the Games, it would be unwise to bet against them in an event which is arguably as much about mental strength as it is about the riders' speed.

In qualifying, the British trio had watched as the Australian team, made up of Annette Edmondson, Melissa Hoskins and Josephine Tomic, broke the initial world record with a time of 3min 17.053sec only for the British to steady their nerves and wrest the record back with their subsequent qualifying ride of 3:16.850, 10 minutes later.

Britain had broken the world record at Manchester Velodrome only wearing training kit two days before flying to Australia so were confident of going quicker in the final. But their coach, Paul Manning, winner of Olympic gold in the team pursuit in Beijing, opted to break the news to them before the final that their Aussie rivals had achieved the same feat in a recent training run.

Initially, the pep talk appeared to unsettle rather than lift his riders, who fell nearly one-and-a-half seconds behind their hosts in the final. Rather than panic, though, they stuck to Manning's plan to ride a consistent pace for the 12-lap duration of the race.

They led when it mattered, moving ahead with three laps to go, thanks to a final 1,000 metres that was half-a-second a lap quicker than what the Australians could muster for a new world's best of 3:15.720 nearly a second clear.

Trott, the youngest of the trio at 19, admitted afterwards she may look too diminutive to be capable of competing at the highest level but she proved arguably the strongest asset in the latter stages, putting in longer turns later on than both King and Rowsell, who hailed Trott as "awesome" afterwards.

Trott added: "We wanted to beat them on their home soil, especially before the Olympics. It puts out a strong message. They've got to beat us now, at our home town."

For King, 21, and Trott it was a second world title of their brief careers while for Rowsell, it was her third, marking the end of a bad run of luck.

"I didn't make the team last year," she said. "I'd had glandular fever the summer before and then I had broken my elbow in the winter. These things happen in sport and I'm glad all that happened back in 2010. Now bring on the Olympics."

Britain remain on course to add to their medal tally today courtesy of Victoria Pendleton, who looks to be riding herself into form at just the right time in the 200m sprint. Bronze looks the likeliest outcome, however, having been paired against Anna Meares in the semi-finals, Meares having set a world's best of 10.782sec in yesterday's qualifying.

Pendleton started the day slowly with only the fifth-quickest time in qualifying, confidently beating Yvonne Hijgenaar in round one before edging China's Junhong Lin, who had earlier knocked out Jess Varnish, in the next round. The Olympic champion saved her best for last, however, beating France's Virginie Cueff twice by a bike length in their best-of-three quarter-final to progress to the semi-finals of the individual sprint for a 10th straight world championship.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own