Brits clean up at track world cup

British team win 14 of the 17 titles up for grabs

by Tony Farrelly   October 31, 2008  

road.cc news

British riders dominated  racing at this weekend's the track world cup with the women winning every gold medal on offer. In total the British team won 14 of the 17 gold medals on offer making this the British team's most successful world cup competition ever. 

Such was the British team's dominance that the weekend ended with team GB sporting director, Dave Brailsford, fending off accusations that such dominance was bad for the sport and would turn people off track cycling [ except possibly in Britain…].

Standout performances included Wendy Houvenaghel winning the women's individual 3000m pursuit and Ed Clancy the men's 4000m individual title on Friday and the British women taking all three podium spots in the points race. Victoria Pendletron ended the meet with three Gold medals in the sprint, 500m time trial, and keirin, but so too did 19 year old Lizzie Armistead who won the points race, 3000m team pursuit (the men's team also won their pursuit crown), and scratch race. 

Other wins included Anna Blyth and Jess Varnish taking the women's team sprint, while Ross Edgar, Jamie Staff, and Jason Kenny taking the men's sprint prize. Kenny also added the individual sprint crown in spectacular fashion sliding over the line in the final to take the win after he and Australia's Shane Perkins crashed 20m from the line. Chris Newton gave another spectacular Brit performance in the points race dominating from start to finish and taking 10 of the 12 sprints bagging 58 points and finishing 20 points ahead of his nearest challenger, Spain's Eloy Teruel Rovira.

Chris Hoy was rested for the event, but a significant marker for the future was put down in the kilo time trial, the event he made his own, by 18 year old David Daniell who took the title in style.

Such success, if possibly not on this scale, has now become normal service from the Brits, and predictably there was something of a backlash in the air with some questioning whether Britain's unprecedented dominance of track cycling was bad for the sport. Team GB performance director, Dave Brailsford was typically robust in his response, speaking to he Daily Telegraph he said:

"We have raised the bar but speak to the foreign coaches here this weekend and they are determined to claw it back. They are not stupid, they've been watching how we work and will bounce back.

"The UCI are lobbying the IOC hard for even more cycling events in London and with more medals there will be even more incentive.

"People have short memories. At the Commonwealth Games here in Manchester just six years ago we got absolutely battered by the Aussies, who were also the dominant nation in Athens, and we had to go away and respond to the challenge."