Altitude boosts performances in Mexico, GB leads standings with one round left

Great Britain came away from the second round of the UCI Track World Cycling Classics in Aguascalientes, Mexico, with three gold medals after a weekend on which world records tumbled. With one round to go in this season’s competition, the country leads the national standings.

On Friday’s first day of competition, Great Britain’s women team pursuit quartet once again broke their own world record in an event that this year switched to a four-rider, 4km format.

The four riders that set the new record of 4:16.552 included Katie Archibald, the Scot making her first Great Britain track world cup appearance.

Riding alongside Elinor Barker, Joanna Rowsell and Dani King, Archibald had come into the team in place of Laura Trott, who focused on the omnium this weekend.

However, the Olympic champion was beaten into second place yesterday in that event by the USA’s Sarah Hammer, the reigning world champion.

There were gold medals yesterday for two of Britain’s men – 27-year-old Matthew Crampton, who won the keirin, and 20-year-old Owain Doull, who triumphed in the scratch race.

The world record in the women’s team pursuit was one of seven set at the track in Aguascalientes, those performances helped by the city’s altitude of around 1,900 metres above sea level.

Australia’s Anna Meares beat her own world record in the 500m time trial, completing two laps in a time of 32.836 seconds.

Other world records were broken by Germany in both the men’s and women’s team sprints, with their country’s Kristina Vogel also setting a new world best time for the 200m flying lap.

But perhaps the most stellar ride of the weekend came from Frenchman François Pervis.

The 29-year-old, who had already set a world record in the men’s 200m flying lap, went on to set another in the kilo, which he rode at an average speed of 63.9kph.

The 29-year-old’s time of 56.303 smashed by two and a half seconds the previous record set 12 years ago in La Paz, Bolivia, by another French rider, Arnaud Tournant.

Great Britain also secured five silver and two bronze medals during the weekend, those podium placings helping the country extend its lead at the top of the season standings.

With just one round left in Guadalajara, Mexico in January, Great Britain is on 4738.5 points, with Australia second on 3869.5 and Germany third on 3266.1.

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.