Published: 10 June 2014
Written by: Simon Powers
Image: Neil Robb
Great Britain sprint coach Iain Dyer has spoken of his satisfaction with the performances of Great Britain’s riders over the course of three days of racing at the Vier Bahn Tournee in Germany last weekend.
The event saw British Cycling Podium Programme Riders Callum Skinner, Katy Marchant and Lewis Olivia as well as Academy athletes Dannielle Khan and Matt Rotherham compete alongside a strong international field in Germany.
“Overall I am very pleased with the way it went,” Dyer said.
“It gave the younger riders a lot of valuable experience both in terms of what coming to an event encompasses in terms of getting organised but also in terms of the racing as well. It was a new experience for some people and it was a return to the same event for others.”
The event was held over four days at a variety of different tracks but the team along with many other riders decided not to attend day one in Singen as it was a long way from the other events and proved logistically difficult.
“We did three days, although it was four days in theory, the first day was a long way away from the others. It was a track we were not familiar with and a very long way away so we opted to miss that one, as did a lot of the other teams to be fair,” Dyer commented
Day two saw a win for Great Britain Olympic Podium Programme rider Katy Marchant in the women’s sprint and a third place for Dannielle Khan in both the keirin and the sprint in which she overcame Miriam Welte to earn a spot on the podium.
Day three in Oschelbronn saw British Cycling Olympic Podium Programme rider Callum Skinner make it all the way to the men’s sprint finals where he settled for silver after losing out to Neiderlag of Germany in the finals.
The last day of racing was held in Dudenhoffen and saw Katy Marchant and Dannielle Khan advance through into the quarters of the individual sprint.
In the men’s sprint, Matt Rotherham got the better of Callum Skinner and Lewis Oliva in the round one repecharges to advance to the quarters. Dannielle Khan went all the way to the final but lost out to local rider and Olympic team sprint champion Miriam Welte after a hard fought battle ending in silver for the Sollihull rider.
“Miriam is the local girl, had done the Japanese keirin circuit and been back about a month,” Dyer said.
“She took the middle day off. If you can imagine, you are getting back to the hotel at midnight after a scorching day with mid-thirties track temperatures which we have had each day here. I think missing that second day worked in her favour on the last day,” Dyer explained
Despite the extra rest and any possible home advantage, Khan rode an impressive race to earn her silver and place on the podium.
“Obviously she wanted to go well on her home track but Danni gave her a really good match in the final and made her work for it. It’s a really good think for a rider like Danni to be up there competing with riders such as Welte.”
At the conclusion of day three, Khan, Marchant and Oliva all made it through to the finals in the keirin but due to a mechanical problem there was no derny available to pace the riders.
“What was unusual about the keirin was that the derny broke down before the finals. Tim Welte who was a former sprinter rode as the pacer instead. He rode it well but when he pulled off in the back straight everyone felt really frisky I think,” Dyer explained.
“It really was a very animated keirin and Danni and Katy nearly came down with a lap to go, it did spoil the run a little bit, when you have a little bit of a tangle like that. I really thought they were coming down but they managed to stay upright.
“Lewis had a big tangle with Hubner in the final, he thought he was coming down, I thought he was coming down but somehow, he managed to keep it upright.”
The team will travel home to Manchester but are only home for a short time then they will travel to Cottbus next Sunday.
“We will do a week in Cottbus then we’ll do the Cottbuser Sprint Cup. This normally attracts a strong international field because the week afterwards, it is the Cottbus sprint grand prix so we will be staying in Germany another week for that too.
“Following that, we have got three weeks of preparation for the Commonwealth Games or for a few of the younger riders, the Under23 European track championships in Portugal.”