2014 UCI Track Cycling World Championships coverage | Get into track cycling |
Published: 2 March 2014
Written by: Eddie Allen
Images: Luke Webber
Laura Trott is on course to increase her medal tally in the 2014 UCI Track Cycling World Championships, with the Olympic champion lying in silver medal position in the omnium after three events.
There were no medals for Great Britain’s male and female sprinters however, with both Jason Kenny and Jess Varnish coming away empty-handed.
The fourth day of competition in Cali also saw the conclusion of the men’s omnium and the women’s points race, with British interest in both events.
The women’s omnium got underway and with it Laura Trott’s chance to emulate teammate Joanna Rowsell and claim a second rainbow jersey of the championships. Trott began by finishing third in the flying lap behind Australia’s Annette Edmondson and reigning world champion Sarah Hammer of the USA.
Hammer went on to win the points race, gaining a lap along with home rider Jannie Salcedo Zambrano. Trott, who pointed consistently throughout the 15-kilometre event, finished third, leaving her in silver medal position after two rounds, three points adrift of Hammer.
Then came the elimination race, an event which has become Trott’s trademark. The Briton rode much of the race from the front, avoiding trouble until she became boxed in behind Hammer with just four riders left on track. Trott was unable to come around eventual winner Hammer and picked up four points, leaving Trott still in silver medal position, albeit six points behind the world champion.
Team pursuit world champion Katie Archibald finished an impressive fourth in the points race, the 19-year-old winning the second sprint before gaining a lap mid-race.
Archibald animated the race in the early stages and was within touching distance of a bronze medal until the final sprint, with the world title going to Amy Cure (AUS) ahead of Stephanie Pohl (GER) and Jasmin Glaesser (CAN).
Jason Kenny could only reach the quarter finals of the men’s sprint, losing to Francois Pervis in two straight rides. The on-form Pervis was three-tenths of a second faster than Kenny in qualifying and made it count when the pair met on track, the Briton salvaging some pride by convincingly winning the 5th-8th final.
Kenny had a tough path to the quarter-final stages, the 25-year-old from Bolton qualified 14th fastest with a 10.001 flying 200m time before winning his 1/16 final heat against Michael d’Almeida of France by just four hundredths of a second.
Kenny went on to face 2013 world champion Stefan Botticher in the 1/8 final and the German’s firepower was too much for the Olympic sprint champion, forcing Kenny into the repechage where he faced Robert Forstemann and team-mate Matt Crampton, who out-qualified Kenny in the 200 metre flying lap and won his 1/16 final against Pavel Kelemen (CZE) before succumbing to Max Niederlag (GER) in the 1/8 final.
Kenny took the three-up sprint by one-thousandth of a second, making the quarter-finals by the skin of his teeth. With only the winner of the repechage progressing, Crampton was out.
"It's fractions," Kenny said. "Unfortunately we're at the wrong end of those fractions. We want to be fractions in front instead of fractions behind.
"The three-fifths tend to speak for themselves. I feel a little bit behind the top runners."
Ed Clancy finished fifth in the men’s omnium, despite the 2010 world champion winning three of the six events.
After winning the flying lap on the first day, Clancy had a disappointing points race and elimination and began the second day with 11th in the individual pursuit leaving him in seventh place overall. But the 28-year-old from Barnsley pulled an impressive scratch race win out of the bag, hitting the front with three laps to go and setting a pace that no-one could match.
Clancy’s effort lifted him to sixth overall with just the kilometre time-trial to come, which saw a blistering 1:01.691 from the Brit, easily winning the final round and elevating him to fifth place, with the world title going to Thomas Boudat of France.
"With the form I had (fifth) is the best I could've hoped for," Clancy said.
"The pursuit I was going nowhere. Points and scratch and elimination race weren't that bad. It's the pursuit where we lost ground here today.
"Back to the drawing board and we'll try to sort it out next year."
After defeating reigning world champion and teammate Becky James in the quarter-finals the previous day, Jess Varnish faced Zhong Tianshi of China in the semis. The Chinese rider was responsible for dispatching Anna Meares to the minor final so was always going to be a tough competitor.
And so it proved, Varnish losing to Tianshi in two straight rides and moving into the bronze medal final against Lin Jonhing.
Match one went to the Chinese rider, putting Varnish into a must-win situation if she was to come away with a second bronze to match her team sprint medal. However, Jonhing was too strong in the end, taking the second match and the bronze, with the world title going to Kristina Vogel of Germany, beating Tianshi in two straight rides.
Varnish said: "It's disappointing not to be on the podium. I thought it was going to be doable today but it just wasn't there for me."
The championships conclude tomorrow with the final three rounds of the women's omnium, the climax of the men's sprint, the women's keirin and the men's Madison.
Men’s sprint qualification
Men’s sprint 1/16 final
Men’s sprint 1/8 final
Men’s sprint 1/8 final repechage
Men's sprint 1/4 final
Men's sprint 5th-8th final
Women’s omnium I
Women’s omnium II
Women's omnium III
Men’s omnium IV
Men's omnium V
Men's omnium VI
Men's omnium overall
Women's sprint semi final
Women's sprint final
Women's points race