Varnish and James add to Great Britain medal tally at Glasgow Track World Cup

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Great Britain sprinters Jess Varnish and Becky James added to their team sprint gold medals with silver and bronze respectively in the individual sprint on day two of the Glasgow Track World Cup.

The pair met in the semi-finals where Varnish got the better of her teammate before losing out to Germany’s Kristina Vogel, whilst James beat Lee of Hong Kong for third.

Jason Kenny and Lewis Oliva both crashed out of the keirin, Oliva in the second round and Olympic champion Kenny in the final, though the latter was awarded fourth after inadvertently completing the race on his road bike.

Academy rider Jonathan Dibben ended the men’s omnium in an impressive fifth including a winning run in the individual pursuit, whilst Olympic and world champion in the women’s event Laura Trott is placed 4th after three of the six disciplines in the women’s event.

Andy Tennant – a day after taking a heavy fall in the men’s team pursuit - was denied a medal in the individual pursuit, qualifying in fifth.

After her silver, Varnish said: "Really happy. It was good. It's another level now when you get into a final.

"It's nice to be actually in a final. I just want to be able to step it up another level now. I'm not in the best shape, so I've not played all my cards.

“It was great. In the second race I saw what I did wrong and I was shocked what I did wrong,” she added on her bout with James.

"It's always hard to come back from that and I'm really happy to beat her. It's really nice to gain experience at the moment and build on to the worlds."

James said: "I'm so happy. It's been such a hard day, getting three rides up against Jess was really tough and then missing out on the gold/silver ride-off was hard. I had to get my head round it and I did not want to come away with no medal, so I'm really happy.

"It's difficult going to three rides in the final. It all worked out in the end."

Great Britain came into the second day at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome hoping to add to the two gold medals they picked up on Friday. After winning gold together in the team sprint on Friday night, the focused switched to individual performances for Varnish and James in the match sprint.

Varnish put her marker down first in the flying 200m qualifying lap, 11.186 putting her straight to the top but her stay was to be short lived. British champion James, attempting to better the silver she won at the Cali World Cup in October, usurping her teammate by just two hundredths of a second, stopping the clock in 11.166.

With a one-two on the cards, Germany’s Kristina Vogel ended GB’s stranglehold – the last rider out in 11.100 to progress quickest.

The 1/8 finals proved a formality, James always in control against China’s Xuemei Li and Varnish too strong for Russia’s Anastasiya Voynova with a late surge in the final straight. Next was the quarter-finals and again, the pair’s progression never looked in doubt. James chose to lead out both of her rides against Calvo, the Spaniard powerless to respond to the Welsh rider’s raw speed.

Varnish, who had been savouring the chance to focus more on the individual events after being devoted to the team sprint ahead of the London Games, replicated the score against France’s Olivia Montauban to set up an all Great Britain semi-final clash.

There was little to choose between GB’s sprint prospects. Varnish led out heat 1, James then reversed the score to set up the decider. An entertaining, tactical match was eventually taken by Varnish by a narrow margin, setting up a gold medal final ride with Vogel.

James responded well in the bronze medal ride, victor by a score of 2-1 against Hong Kong’s Lee, the highlight a perfectly executed dive under her opponent in the final ride to get the inside line and with it the deciding heat . Vogel, the main threat to GB all day, proved too strong for Varnish over two heats - though the Briton will take encouragement from her day’s exploits with the keirin to come on Sunday.

Olympic sprint champion Jason Kenny was untroubled in the early stages of the men’s keirin. The 24-year-old cruised through the first round, accompanied in round two by Great Britain Academy rider Lewis Oliva who was in the colours of Welsh Cycling trade squad Team USN. Oliva required the repechage, but determinedly held to the lead in the final 200m.

A crash on the final corner in the second round ended Oliva’s keirin journey and the Welsh cyclist left the track on stretcher to a warm applause from the crowd. Team USN later stated he had suffered mild concussion and skin abrasion. Kenny continued where he had left off in the first round, with an intelligent and well executed ride for first and a final spot.

But there was to be more anguish for GB in the final, Kenny clipping the back wheel of Stefan Boetticher, sending him down onto the boards as the German went onto win amid the carnage. He got to his feet and completed the ride on a road bike whilst acknowledging the partisan crowd.

Sprint coach Iain Dyer explained: "He looks a bit second hand and he feels a little bit second hand. That skinsuit's already in the bin and other than that he's doing okay for a crash at 75kph, which was when his power meter stopped working.

“He's come off comparatively well. Nothing broken. He's taken a lot of skin off. He got caught in a bit of a drag race with Steffan Boetticher, the German guy, which he didn't really want to take on at that point on the race.”

Andy Tennant, who required stitches after Great Britain’s team pursuit crash on Friday, returned to the boards for the individual pursuit. He was denied a medal ride in the final heat, missing out by one place in fifth, his time 4:28.806.

The team pursuit had worked out considerably better for Laura Trott alongside Dani King and Elinor Barker, though she experienced an indifferent day as three of the six events took place.

In the flying lap, an event she won in the Olympic Velodrome, she was forced to settle for fourth. The points race followed later that session and although unable to take a lap on the field, 11 points gained including a win on the sixth sprint placed her ninth.

The elimination race which has become the 20-year-old’s trademark ended in another victory as she gave a masterclass in the art. Crucially it leaves Trott just one point off the lead ahead of Sunday.

As Trott began her omnium quest, Jon Dibben concluded his. Promoted to British Cycling’s Academy, he came into the day 11th but instantly set about improving that position. A personal best in the individual pursuit, 4.26.982, was untouchable to a field that included world champion Glenn O’Shea.

He then finished 7th in the scratch race, the first home of the riders who hadn’t gained a lap. In the final event, the 1km time-trial, he enhanced his rank further, 1.03.955 gave him third in the event and fifth overall.

“I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s my first time riding in front of a big home crowd, it’s a massive support. Rio 2016 is a big aim for me,” Dibben said.


Men's individual pursuit - qualifying
Women's sprint 200m TT qualifying
Women's omnium I - flying lap
Women's sprint - 1/8 final
Men's keirin - 1st round
Women's sprint - 1/4 final
Women's sprint - 1/4 final (B)
Women's sprint - 1/2 final (B)
Men's keirin - repechages
Women's sprint - B final
Women's omnium II - points race 20km
Women's sprint - 5th-12th places
Men's omnium IV - individual pursuit 4km
Women's sprint - 1/2 final
Men's omnium V - scratch 15km
Men's individual pursuit - finals
Women's sprint - finals
Men's keirin - finals
Women's omnium III - elimination race