Medals for Welsh cyclists at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup, London

Medals for Welsh cyclists at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup, London

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Great Britain took gold in the men’s and women’s team pursuit at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in London, with more medals to follow in the UCI Class 1 events over the weekend.

The opening day of competition saw Elinor Barker and Ciara Horne continue the team pursuit squad’s unbeaten run that began in 2010, taking gold in the women’s team pursuit. The squad qualified fastest, ahead of Australia to face USA in the first round match. A comfortable win, as Great Britain caught USA just over half way, saw Great Britain face Australia in the gold medal final.

Wales’ Ciara Horne recently joined the Great Britain team pursuit squad, and has won gold in both rounds of the World Cup this year, “It’s a huge honour to be part of such a successful unit. You get goose-bumps on the start line. It’s incredible especially with the atmosphere here and the crowd.”

Great Britain beat Australia to take gold and continue their unbeaten run in the team pursuit.

Wales’ Team USN also competed in the women’s team pursuit event at the Track world Cup. A young team of four girls were first off in qualifying on Friday morning. Manon Lloyd and Ellie Coster make the step to senior in 2015, whilst Emily Kay and Amy Roberts continue their development as part of Team USN through the winter.

Through the first half, the quartet were on track to set a time worthy of a top ten finish. However, in the last 750m, a few mistakes were made that saw Team USN finish 16th in qualification.

Welsh Cycling Head coach, Darren Tudor said “The girls are still very young; Manon and Ellie are still junior cyclists. Competing at events like this early on in their career allows them to experience racing at world class level, and there isn’t the pressure to medal but to perform at their best. It is disappointing, but they will learn a lot from this experience and will look to improve their racing skills through more competition.”

Team USN’s Emily Kay also competed in the UCI Class 1 Scratch Race, were a crash at 5 laps to go caused confusion amongst riders, commissaires and coaches. Kay finished 10th overall after a strong performance in the final laps of the race.

Owain Doull and the Great Britain team pursuit squad returned to winning ways as they got their first world cup win in over a year. Doull, along with Ed Clancy, Steven Burke and Andy Tennant qualified in second, facing Denmark in the first round. A close match saw Great Britain edge through to the final against New Zealand.

New Zealand set off in good form, leading until the first kilometre. Great Britain went down to three men, but brought home the gold in 4:01.151.

Cardiff’s Elinor Barker went on to take bronze in the UCI Class 1 Points Race, and Owain Doull added to his team pursuit gold with a gold in the UCI Class 1 Madison alongside Mark Christian.

Doull said, “I've done a fair few Madisons – the world championships a few times – but it’s always special racing in front of a home crowd. The crowd lifts you so much. Usually when the lactic (acid) kicks in and you're really suffering, the noise carries you. It's unbelievable.”

The 2014/15 UCI Track Cycling World Cup Series concludes in Cali 15 – 18 January 2015.