Great Britain complete world tandem pursuit double

Great Britain complete world tandem pursuit double

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The Great Britain Cycling Team put on an individual pursuit masterclass as first Lora Fachie and Corrine Hall and then Steve Bate and Adam Duggleby claimed the women’s and men’s world titles in Rio.

The double success continued the successful start to the 2018 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships with Megan Giglia also claiming C3 500m time trial gold and Katie Toft winning C1 500m time trial silver on Friday.

That took Great Britain’s medal tally in Brazil to nine with two days of competition remaining at the Rio Olympic Velodrome.

Golden rush for tandem pursuit riders

The quartet of Fachie, Hall, Bate and Duggleby were returning to the Rio boards with fond memories having claimed the respective Paralympic titles two years ago.

None had yet won the world title together though with Hall teaming up with Sophie Thornhill to take gold last year in Los Angeles.

But those stats were changed on Friday night as the British riders turned up the heat on their rivals.

Fachie and Hall had qualified fastest for the gold-medal ride and they were then too much of a match for Belgium’s Griet Hoet and Anneleen Monsieur.

"It's been a long time coming," said Fachie. "This is my eighth track World Championships and at last I have the jersey. We knew we were capable of winning but we had to shot it on the day. We've broken the curse. I think this velodrome in Rio suits us."

Bate and Duggleby meanwhile were second-fastest in qualification, with Spain’s Ignacio Avila Rodriguez and Joan Font Bertoli 0.3 seconds quicker.

But they turned the tables in some style on their rivals in the ride for the gold medal, clocking 4:12.579 to beat the Spaniards by more than two seconds.

"Coming back here has been great. It's been like a dream come true," said Bate. "We knew we had a good chance. We always set the bar high."

Giglia gains her revenge

Giglia was forced to settle for silver on day one in Rio as Germany’s Denise Schindler beat her to gold in the women’s C3 3km individual pursuit final.

But revenge was sweet 24 hours later as Giglia turned the tables in the C3 500m time trial, posting a time of 42.091 to blow away her rivals.

That was 0.362 seconds faster than Schindler with America’s Jamie Whitmore taking the bronze.

The result completed a career hat-trick of world track titles for Giglia after time trial and pursuit golds at the 2016 Montichiari Para-cycling Track World Championships.

Toft at the double

Toft showed once again that she is taking everything in her stride on her Para-cycling Track World Championships debut with her second medal is as many days.

Fresh from claiming gold in the women’s C1 individual pursuit on Thursday, Toft picked up silver in the women’s C1 500m time trial, clocking 47.153 behind China’s Jieli Li who set the first world record of the Championships with a time of 43.434.

Toft returned to action in the women’s C1-3 scratch race but was unable to finish after a fall.

Close for Rolfe as Watson impresses

Louis Rolfe faced an agonising wait to see if he could hold on to a podium place in the men’s C2 1km time trial but ultimately finished fourth.

The double Paralympic medallist clocked 1:16.195 but then watched on as a further seven riders all attempted to better his time.

And when penultimate rider Tristen Chernove of Canada moved into second place, Rolfe was bumped down to fourth, as Colombia’s Perea Arango Alejandro took gold.

Ben Watson was also in action for Great Britain and recorded encouraging results on his Worlds debut, finishing seventh in the men's C3 scratch and 12th in the C3 1km time trial.