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Great Britain secure two wins on first weekend of track cycling in Cottbus

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Published: 23 June 2014
Words: Simon Powers

Great Britain won two gold and one silver medal at the second round of the Sprintercup in Cottbus, Germany this weekend.

The race was the first of two competitions that the 12 strong squad of sprinters will take in during their two week training camp in the German town of Cottbus, 80 miles south east of Berlin.

The weekend got off to a strong start with Olympic Podium Programme rider Phil Hindes winning the men’s sprint in what was a strong international field of riders. The 2012 Olympian qualified in 24th place but fought his way back through the round to take the top spot at the end of day one.

Sprint coach Iain Dyer explained: “Winning the men’s sprint was a bit of an unexpected highlight.  We couldn’t have guessed that qualification would pan out quite like that. For Phil to go from 24th to first during the course of the day was a considerable performance from him.”

After finishing in sixth place in the sprint, Stoke rider Kian Emadi took silver in the kilometre time trial after entering the event at the final hour.

“We didn’t know a kilo was on this weekend so we borrowed some bars and he did it on his regular sprint bike,” Dyer said.

“It was one of those situations where it comes at you very quickly so you get out there and give it your best shot really. He did a super job with some good riders behind him with riders such as Lafargue who are similar age kilo campaigners so that is very encouraging,” he affirmed.

In a fitting round up to the weekend, Jess Varnish took gold in the 500m time-trial against a strong field of riders which included current world champion Miriam Welte as well as a strong display from Russia. Katy Marchant missed on a podium spot eventually placing fourth overall after 18 riders completed the race.

“There were some good riders in the field,” Dyer confirmed.

“A lot of the Russian girls are very fast over 500. The world champion was in there along with Vogel so some good scalps taken there so that was a strong performance. Katy got close to the podium also so that was a good result from her.”

Dyer was encouraged by such strong performances in both the individual time trials as they are both included in the Commonwealth Games track programme which begins on 24 July.

“For both Kian and Jess, with the time-trial figuring in this summer’s Commonwealth Games programme, it is nice to have a little hit out even though you might not choose to do it on a concrete 333m track in the wind and the rain but it worked out well for them.”

As this was always meant to be a training camp rather than a racing trip, the team aren’t looking to taper at all ahead of this weekend’s grand prix (which will be held at the same track in Cottbus). Instead, they will hit the gym and train through to the weekend’s racing with the eye on peak conditioning for the Commonwealth Games.

“We are keeping our foot down to the floor this week we are in the gym today,” Dyer explained.

“We are conscious of not being tapered and 100 per cent for this week because that will be much more important in the weeks to come that we are at our best so it’s very much four days of competition wrapped up in a two week training camp.

“It’s all very much about getting the hard work in and making sure we get the most benefit from being out here. We will put in the finer points to our training when we get back to Manchester next week.”

The team will be in action again this Friday and Saturday at the Cottbus Grand Prix.