James and Varnish impress in team sprint as Cali World Cup begins

James and Varnish impress in team sprint as Cali World Cup begins

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Becky James and Jess Varnish took victory in the team sprint as part of an impressive opening day for Great Britain at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Cali, Colombia.

The pair qualified fastest in a time of 33.466 at the Alcides Nieto Patiño velodrome before overcoming Japan in the gold medal final.

Kian Emadi - making his world cup debut - set a new personal best in the 1km time-trial for an encouraging second place for the British kilo champion.

There was also silver for Welsh Cycling Team SWI in the women's team pursuit which featured British Cycling Olympic Development Programme rider and junior women's world time trial champion Elinor Barker. Amy Roberts, part of the team pursuit line-up, also competed in the scratch race finishing ninth.

The afternoon session in Colombia saw the 2012/13 edition of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup officially underway - with Great Britain riders involved from the start.

James and Varnish, reunited in the team sprint after Victoria Pendleton's retirement following the London Olympic Games, displayed the potential that coach Iain Dyer believes they have in abundance.

With James deployed in the man one position - more normally associated with Varnish who took on the role in the Games - the duo stopped the clock quickest, a whole one and a half seconds ahead of the second-best Japanese team to book their place in the evening's gold medal clash.

Equally adept were Welsh Cycling Team SWI in their first world cup outing. The trio of Elinor Barker, Amy Roberts and Ciara Horne topped qualifying in the women's team pursuit in 3.32.390 to set up a gold medal ride with Italy.

The medals were then decided in an evening session witnessed by a capacity crowd at the Alcides Nieto Patiño velodrome.

James and Varnish ensured they started their international season perfectly with Japan unable to offer a response from qualifying, Great Britain's 33.734 marginally slower than their earlier effort. For 20-year-old James, it was a fifth successive title after winning four British championships at the Manchester Velodrome two weeks ago.

Team SWI then returned for their team pursuit gold medal ride against Italy, but would be forced to settle for silver as their opposition managed to reverse the qualifying standings.

The trio of medals was completed by Emadi, who had overcome a sinus infection that had forced him to withdraw from the final two days of the British Track Championships.

A new best of 1:01.368 for the British Cycling Olympic Academy Programme rider saw him finish just behind Colombia’s Fabian Puerta with the keirin and sprint competitions still to come for the promising youngster.

Results

Women's team sprint

Women's team pursuit

Men's kilo

Women's scratch race

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