World Cup: Double Gold for GB in Manchester

There was double Gold for GB at the Track Cycling World Cup on day 2 whilst Team KGF go close to their first medal

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World Cup: Double Gold for GB in Manchester

By Phil Jones in Manchester, Sportsbeat

Great Britain grabbed double gold on a raucous night at the TISSOT UCI Track World Cup in Manchester. The home men’s team pursuit quartet got the party started in the night’s first final as they beat Denmark comfortably in the gold medal ride.

And in the very next race it was Elinor Barker and Katie Archibald who, in their first international Madison as a pair, beat the Belgian world champions to a stunning gold.

Four other titles were decided on the night as Daria Shmeleva took the 500m time trial, Harrie Lavreysen won the men’s Sprint, Kristina Vogel was victorious in the Keirin and Benjamin Thomas claimed Omnium gold.

Britain show Olympic pedigree
Reigning Olympic Champions Great Britain showed their class in the men’s Team Pursuit to put in a dominant display and give the sellout Manchester crowd the gold they craved.

Ed Clancy – in his first GB track appearance since Rio 2016 – combined with Kian Emadi, Ollie Wood and Steven Burke to beat Denmark by nearly six seconds, with a time of 3:55.847.

European champions France taking bronze after being pushed so hard by British team champions Team KGF who led all the way until the final kilometre when the French hit back. The KGF team’s Jacob Tipper said later on twitter, “Can’t say we aren’t devastated but shows how far we have come to be disapointed loosing to the European champs in a World Cup medal ride off. Still some gains to be made, and thanks for all the support so far.

Dan Bigham of KGF added: “Ride or die, and today I died. Put it on the line for a 4 lapper and just couldn’t hang on in the final 2 laps 😔 We’ll come back stronger. World Cup win coming…”

Meanwhile, over the winners camp, “I’ve missed the boys, I’ve missed the team pursuit, I’ve missed the track,” said three-time Olympic champion Clancy. “That was a nice way to kick it off again at a home World Cup. “I have to admit, I love the place, it feels like home. It’s nice to come here and do this.”

Clancy hailed Wood as their strongest man in the closing stages, a compliment the 21-year-old was happy to accept. “It’s quite flattering for Ed to say that. You’re only as fast as your weakest man, so we need to be as strong as each other ideally,” said Wood. “For everyone to do what we did there, I think we all need to give ourselves a pat on the back.”

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Made for Madison
Going up against the reigning world champions Jolien D’Hoore and Lotte Kopecky, Barker and Archibald – reigning points race and omnium rainbow jersey holders – showed no fear as they won five of the first six sprints and were second over the finish line to beat the Belgians by two points overall, with Italy’s Rachele Barbieri and Elisa Balsamo finishing third.

“It’s never as easy as saying we’re two world champions, that’s what should happen,” said Archibald. “There were a lot of things in today’s race that I’ve seen on video, but today they finally clicked into place.” Barker added: “It feels pretty good to beat the world champions in front of a home crowd. “I’ve done quite a few Madisons this year and had a lot of seconds and thirds and come really close to a win.”

“So it was nice to save it for in front of a home crowd.”

Vogel doubles up
Reigning world champion Vogel dominated the keirin throughout the day and with the final being marred by a crash involving four riders, the German – in the lead when Australia’s Stephanie Morton crashed behind her – was given a free ride to the finish line to add gold to her team sprint title from Friday.

“This one is nice to have – it’s another gold medal – but it’s not the way you’d want to win,” said Vogel. “It’s just good that the ladies are alright and nothing is broken. It’s always hard when it’s full gas, there’s no space to handle and change positions.

“I felt Stephanie clip my wheel but in the end my tactic of staying on the front worked.”

Shanne Braspennincx took silver for the Netherlands with compatriot Laurine van Riessen claiming bronze as Fatehah Mustapha was disqualified and Morton failed to finish. The night’s other women’s sprint event saw another world champion prevail as Russia’s Daria Shmeleva beat European champion Miriam Welte in the 500m time trial by just 0.021s, with Ukraine’s Olena Starikova picking up the bronze.

Thomas shows his stripes
The penultimate race of the omnium saw Benjamin Thomas once again in contention, but he was beaten in the elimination race by Denmark’s Niklas Larsen as Britain’s Mark Stewart took third.

That meant the French reigning world champion took a six-point lead over Larsen into the final points race, with European champion Albert Torres a further ten back. Thomas maintained his lead in the points race, eventually finishing 11 points ahead of Larsen, but not before Mark Stewart threw a cat among the pigeons with a solo lap gain – eventually finishing fifth.
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“It was not easy, it was a really hard day. Niklas and Torres were really strong – they pushed me to my limits in the points race so I’m really happy to win, finishing my season with a victory,” said the Madison world champion. “Mark Stewart did a great race. I knew that I had enough points on him but if he took the lap he’d be on the podium and I’d have to take the lap”.

“So that’s what I did with Torres and Niklas, so it worked. But Mark did a great race after his crash in the scratch race and for me it was the perfect day.”

Lavreysen just too good
The men’s sprint saw Lavreysen romp to victory in the final, beating Poland’s Mateusz Rudyk in straight rides after overcoming fellow Dutchman Matthijs Buchli in the semi-finals.

Buchli’s crash in the the last ride of that semi-final left him injured and unable to contest the bronze medal match, meaning Australia’s Matthew Glaetzer took the medal. Can’t get enough of the track? Hot on the heels of the TISSOT UCI Track World Cup, tickets for the 2018 HSBC UK | National Track Championships in Manchester are now on sale. Buy now:



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