For golds and one bronze for GB at Lea Valley Velopark - but sprinters finish out of the medals

Laura Trott yesterday repeated her performance at London 2012 as she came away from the UCI Track World Cup in the velodrome at the Lea Valley Velopark with a gold medal in the Omnium to add to the one she had helped win in the team pursuit. Great Britain finished the three days of competition with four gold and one bronze medal, although the country's sprinters drew a blank.

The first international competition at the venue since the 2012 Olympic Games saw Great Britain’s men and women both win their team pursuit events on Friday evening.

In the men’s event, two of the quartet that clinched Olympic gold here two years ago, Ed Clancy and Steven Burke, were joined by Owain Doull and Andy Tennant to qualify second fastest then beat Denmark to reach the final against New Zealand.

With Mark Christian coming in for Clancy, Great Britain pulled back New Zealand, who had started quickly, and at the halfway point began to pull away after the Kiwis went a man down. Christian dropped off before the end, but his team mates rode on to secure gold.

The women’s event saw Katie Archibald, Laura Trott, Elinor Barker and Joanna Rowsell qualify fastest then, with newcomer Clara Horne replacing Trott, beat the USA in the elimination round to set up a final against Australia.

There, Trott came back into the line-up in place of Rowsell. The Australians led early on but were soon reeled in and Great Britain went on to continue an incredible winning streak in the event that now stretches back to 2010.

Saturday evening saw Great Britain take its third gold medal in the Madison, with Doull partnering Christian, while Barker took bronze in the women’s points race, won by Australia’s Amy Cure.

The final session on Sunday saw Trott, who had a two-point overnight lead over Kirsten Wild of the Netherlands, wrap up victory in the Omnium, despite a late challenge in the final two events, the flying lap and the points race, by Jolien d’Hoore of Belgium.

Trott was among the British riders who praised the crowd for the support they gave, reminiscent of London 2012.

“To race in front of a home crowd again is just amazing and it is such a confidence boost to win again here in London,” she said.

With the Omnium overhauled this season and now finishing with the points race, Trott said she had been working with Beijing bronze medallist Chris Newton to improve her performance in the event.

"It's really paid off.,” she said. “Winning the points race at the Commonwealth Games I never expected. In the Omnium it has given me a massive confidence boost."

While there was success for Great Britain’s endurance riders, the sprinters came away from London without a single medal.

Technical director Shane Sutton had said before the weekend’s event that Olympic qualification points were more important than medal-winning performances.

However, with a little over a year and a half to go until the Rio Olympics, the lack of success will be of concern given the country’s dominance of the six track events at London 2012, where it won four gold and one silver medal.

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.


electricmud [8 posts] 2 years ago

Well on the sprint side, they had two of the best sprinters GB ever had. Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton. With their retirement, it's obvious the team misses them. Also, doesn't help that Jason Kenny seems to have gone backwards. And with Becky James missing through injury, the sprint team are hurting in performance IMO.