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Great Britain on course for team pursuit medals at UCI Track Cycling World Championships

Great Britain on course for team pursuit medals at UCI Track Cycling World Championships

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The Great Britain Cycling Team kept their medal hopes on course in the team pursuit on a mixed opening day at the 2015 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Paris.

Both men’s and women’s squads delivered classy rides at the French national velodrome to finish second in their respective qualifying competitions and progress to the first rounds.

But there was disappointment in the team sprint as the men’s and women’s squads ended qualifying in eighth with only the top four moving through to the medal finals.

Bidding for a fifth consecutive world title, Britain stuck with the 2014 champions Laura Trott, Katie Archibald, Joanna Rowsell and Elinor Barker in the women's team pursuit.

The quartet were given a superb start by Archibald and were narrowly behind rivals Australia for the entirety of the 4000m, eventually losing out by just seven-hundredths of a second with a time of 4:18.207.

They will now face Canada in round one on Thursday knowing victory will hand them a chance of yet another gold.

Ed Clancy, Steven Burke, Owain Doull and Andy Tennant flew the flag in the men’s discipline and a steady ride, after a typically superb start from double Olympic champion Clancy, handed them a time of 3:57.716, second to only New Zealand.

Denmark and Australia both floundered in the remaining heats to leave Britain to focus on a first round clash with Germany.

The evening session began with the chance of third consecutive world-championship medal in the women’s team sprint after bronze medals in 2013 and 2014.

With Becky James recovering from injury, Jess Varnish partnered Vicky Williamson but it was not to be as a time of 33.583 seconds over was only enough for eighth.  

China flew to the title and a new world record with Russia collecting silver and Australia bronze.

It was a similar story in the men’s event as Philip Hindes, Jason Kenny and Callum Skinner - making his debut at a senior world championships - were paired with France in qualifying but a fractured ride saw the trio finish eighth in 43.808 seconds.

France took a popular gold in the final as New Zealand were relegated. Germany won bronze.

"Phil and Jason both delivered what we were looking for, unfortunately Callum didn't quite get on," said Great Britain Cycling Team coach Jan van Eijden.

"Unfortunately we knew that was our challenge and unfortunately we haven’t quite got it correct for today but we have got 18 months until Rio so well aim to turn it around by then."

On the women's event, van Eijden added: "Unfortunately Jess didn't quite perform the way we have seen in training. We are around half a second behind the gold medal standard so we need to look and see where we lost the time."

The championships continue in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines on Thursday with the team pursuit first rounds and finals, men’s keirin, women’s 500m time trial and men’s scratch race.

Results

Women's team pursuit qualifying
Men's team pursuit qualifying
Women's team sprint qualifying
Men's team sprint qualifying