Big night for team GB in Manchester with Hoy, Pendleton, Newton and Thomas taking World Cup wins
Thomas sets new standard in 4km pursuit to boot...
It was a night of glory in front of a partisan crowd in Manchester last night, with a fine display from team GB netting them wins in four discsiplines. But whereas we'd normally be talking about Sir Chris or Vicky P, last night the spotlight fell on Geraint Thomas, who set a blistering new standard of 4:15.015 in his 4km pursuit heat – the fastest time recorded since Chris Boardman's superman position was banned 13 years ago – and went on to catch Dominique Cornu with 300m of the final still to run.
Whereas it was a procession for Thomas the big hitters of the GB team found it harder on the night, but showed their experience and quality when it mattered to find the top of the podium. Hoy was fifth at the bell in his Keirin heat but showed an astonishing burst of power along the back straight to come over the field for the win. The final was a more recognisable affair, with the big Scotsman setting up shop behind the derny right from the start and never giving ground right to the line.
Pendleton's final was a thrilling best of three against fierce rival Guo Shuang, but even before that she'd been in a tough battle with Panarina of Belarus who found Pendleton out in the first match and cruised to the line, leaving Pendleton with plenty to do to even reach the final. But reach it she did, and she went ahead of Guo before the Chinese rider pulled the race level, coming round Pendleton on the final straight. It was Pendleton who edged the final leg, though, in front of a baying Manchester crowd.
Chris Newton added another gold to his bulging medal cabinet with a hard-fought race in the points, and amid some confusion: when the peloton broke up after a group of ten riders, including Newton, went off the front, the lap they gained was ruled out to begin with, and then later reinstated, putting Newton in command of the race. He worked hard to keep control picking up points in the intermediate sprints, and when a group went off the front before the final sprint it effectively ended the challenge of closest contender Krug (GER) who eventually came in third, equal on points with Kwok of Hong Kong.
Also impressive on the night was prospect David Daniell - his time of 1.01.698 in the kilo was not quite enough to trouble the experienced German, Stefan Nimke, but he's certainly one to watch. Lizzie Armitstead was hopeful of a podium finish in the women's scratch race but she was closely watched, and an attack by Barbara Guarischi of Italy eventually led to six riders going clear, and Armitsteads attempts to reach the leading group were fruitless in the end, the lap being gained ten from the end. She eventually finished in fourth.