Britain’s track cyclists took their gold medal haul from this weekend’s World Cup in Manchester into double figures, home riders winning three events this afternoon to add to the seven they had won on Friday and Saturday.
Each of the wins on the final day of competition came in team events, the strength of the country’s talent on the track amply demonstrated by the men’s team sprint, which pitted the Sky+ HD team of Sir Chris Hoy, Jamie Staff and Ross Edgar against a Great Britain trio of Matt Crampton, David Daniell and Jason Kenny.
Led by Hoy, the more experienced team won in 43.423 seconds, just 0.395 seconds ahead of the younger pretenders, and the win gave the Scot his third gold medal of the weekend after wins in the keirin and the individual sprint, an event in which Crampton and Kenny took the remain podium places to make it a British clean sweep.
A further gold followed in the men’s team pursuit, with Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Steven Burke and Andy Tennant overhauled Spain with the race, scheduled to last 4 kilometres, a little over the halfway point. Cheered on by a partisan crowd, the quartet kept racing as they sought to beat the world record time of 3:54.314 Great Britain set at last year’s Olympics, finishing barely a second down to set the second fastest time ever.
It was left to Great Britain’s women to give the fans a team pursuit world record to cheer and put the seal on a memorable weekend, Lizzie Armitstead, Joanna Rowsell and Wendy Houvenaghel setting a time of 3:21.875.
And there was one further home success to cheer as Matt Crampton carried off the £13,500 prize for winning the international keirin.
British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford said afterwards that the success of the country’s track stars over the weekend proved that the squad was back to its best, telling the BBC: “We always said that after Beijing we were going to back off a bit for a year and to be honest I think the rest of the world got a bit chippy and thought that's the end of it and that we were a one-trick pony team. So we came into this World Cup wanting to put down a marker and that's what we've done.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.