Day 1 - Women's Team Pursuit Qualification | Men's Team Pursuit Qualification
The opening session of the London Track World Cup saw Great Britain’s male and female riders competing in the qualifying rounds of the Men’s and Women’s Team Pursuit. Geraint Thomas, Ed Clancy, Steven Burke and Peter Kennaugh represented GB in the men’s event, while Joanna Rowsell, Laura Trott and Wendy Houvenaghel competed in the women’s event, on an evening that marked the competition debut for the London Olympic Velodrome.
Images by Luke Webber
MEN'S TEAM PURSUIT QUALIFICATION
The Great Britain pursuit squad of Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Pete Kennaugh and Steven Burke produced a 3:58.446 to qualify for the gold medal final, just behind the Australian squad of Bobridge, Edmondson, Dennis and Hepburn.
The atmosphere was electric as the GB squad took to the track, with the crowd producing a wall of noise for the entire sixteen laps of the GB squad’s qualifying ride. The quartet were 1.6 seconds up on the Belgian squad who occupied the top spot until GB took to the track. They continued to build on their advantage, over four seconds up at the halfway stage, eventually finishing over seven seconds ahead of the Belgians with a time of 3:58.446.
Then came an anxious wait as five strong squads followed GB, all eager to secure a medal ride. First up the Netherlands, who never threatened GB but dropped into 3rd place. Next came the Danes, strong in 2009 but ragged on the night. New Zealand were next and considered a real threat, however they too failed to depose the GB foursome. So with just two teams to go, GB were guaranteed a medal ride of some colour.
Australia were next to challenge and kept the crowd on the edge of their seats, starting steadily and edging ahead of the Brits, before slowing up mid race. A top qualifying spot looked on the cards until Australia turned up the wick in the final quarter of the race, eventually drawing further ahead of the GB squad to post a 3:57.885.
Just the Russians to go – also a squad considered a real threat – however on the night they were shambolic, starting badly and never really recovering, ensuring that GB were guaranteed a gold medal ride, the second of the night for the British team.
Guy Swarbrick Day One Images
Behind GB and Australia, New Zealand and Belgium secured their places in the bronze medal final.
Speaking to British Cycling after the GB team’s qualifying ride Geraint Thomas said “I think we did a decent ride there – I was a bit disappointed with the time but we’re always striving for more. Technically, we wanted to come here and go through the process and I think we did that. We’ll analyse that now, we’ve got plenty of time to iron out those factors we can improve on really.”
1 AUS Australia 3:57.885
2 GBR Great Britain 3:58.446
3 NZL New Zealand 4:04.218
4 BEL Belgium 4:06.596
VAN HOECKE Gijs
DE KETELE Kenny
WOMEN'S TEAM PURSUIT QUALIFICATION
The Great Britain team of Joanna Rowsell, Laura Trott and Wendy Houvenaghel raised the roof of the London Olympic Velodrome, qualifying second fastest behind Canada in the women’s team pursuit.
The GB trio lit up the crowd immediately with a startling opening lap, 0.8 seconds up on their rivals Canada. Great Britain continued to press, well inside world record pace for much of the ride, fading slightly towards the end to post a 3:21.370 with Canada’s team stopping the clock at 3:20.786.
The USA team of Hammer, Reed and Tamayo were first to set a serious benchmark posting a 3:23 early on but this was quickly quashed by a terrific ride by the Canadian team of Tara Whitten, Gillian Carleton and Jasmin Glaesser, who threatened USA’s world record in the overpowering 28 degree heat of the London venue. The young Australian team of Edmondson, Hoskins and Tomic also went within world record pace before running out of gas in the final third of the race, eventually finishing in 3rd, while the Netherlands team bucked the trend of fast starting with a measured ride of 3:22.776, securing the final berth in the medal rideoffs.
After the qualifying session, GB women’s endurance coach Paul Manning said: “We’ve got 24 hours now so it’s quite a productive time to look at the four riders and see who we use”, revealing that they he may call on Dani King’s services for the final, before hinting that the massive crowd support may have, ironically, negatively affected the GB trio’s ride; “The crowd got behind them and we got excited about that. We’ve just got to remain focussed on our goals for the ride... ... despite that we still got second. That’s what you’ve got to do, get into the top two and go for the win in the race scenario.”
1 CAN Canada 3:20.785
2 GBR Great Britain 3:21.370
3 AUS Australia 3:21.426
4 NED Netherlands 3:22.776
VAN DIJK Ellen