World Track Cycling Championships Day 5: It all ends bronze
Armistead goes home with full set of medals as Team GB build for the future
“It's all gone bronze” was how Cactuscat summed day one of these World Track Championships and bronze was how it finished too, when Liz Armistead took third place in the women's point race. In between there was a reasonable smattering of gold and silver too, but nothing like the level of domination seen at last year's world championships in Manchester. Team GB ended the tournament in third place in the medals table.
After her performance in the points race, which meant she went home from Poland with a medal of every colour and as the most successful member of the British team, Armistead professed herself happiest with the Bronze. Speaking to the BBC she said:
“From lap one I felt awful,” she said.
“The bronze is the most satisfying. It's strange, just because I've made it onto the podium.
"I'm really happy to get there, it's my favourite event and it's an Olympic event.
"I definitely exceeded my expectations halfway through that race - I didn't think I was going to come away with a medal there, so I'm really pleased.”
Armistead once again finished behind the Cuban rider, Yumari Gonzalez Valdivieso, who beat her in the scratch race, and both were beaten by Italy's Giorgia Bronzini – who took gold.
After her dramatic day on the track yesterday in the women's sprint, Victoria Pendleton returned to action in the keirin – however, after her exertions winning the sprint gold there wasn't much left in the tank for the keirin, she finished 11th. Afterwards she revealed that she got back to her hotel so late last night that there was no food left and her post ride meal consisted of a bar of chocolate (normal post-ride fare here at road.cc, but then we are not and never will be world champions).
Elsewhere Jonny Bellis finished 13th in the men's omnium.
In the men's sprint final Gregory Bauge was taken all the way by Malaysia's Azizulhasni Awang before he took the gold medal in the deciding race and succeeded Sir Chris Hoy as world champion.
Afterwards, British Cycling's Performace Director, Dave Brailsford said that not winning as many titles hurt, but he also pointed to the success of the women's endurance squad and to Pendleton's performance as particular high points.
Speaking to the BBC he also suggested that not having to defend so many titles would work to the team's advantage in the future in that they would now be chasing rather than defending titles:
"It's a good thing that some of the world titles are resting on other people's shoulders now and they become the hunted and we become the hunters," he said.
He also quite reasonably pointed out that Team GB's aim had been to peak for Beijing, which they did so successfully and their next peak would be London. This was a stepping stone along the way, which allowed them to assess the youngsters coming through, give people like Armistead the chance to step up to the world championship mark, and to try new things in terms of tactics and formations – all with the aim of coming back strongly for London 2012.