Jess Varnish capped a perfect week at the 2013 British National Track Championships by claiming the keirin title, after the women’s team pursuit dream team began a new era for the event by setting a world best benchmark.
Varnish (Team V-Sprint Racing), who now holds the national title for the 500m time trial, the individual women’s sprint, the women’s team sprint and the keirin, was delighted with her week’s work:
“I just wanted to get a good week’s training," she said. "I’ve never actually won a keirin before, and I’m quite surprised that I actually have.
"I just wanted to give 100% in all of the races, and it’s worked really well.”
In their first competitive event over the women’s team pursuit’s new distance of four kilometres, Elinor Barker, Dani King, Joanna Rowsell and Laura Trott (Wiggle Honda) set a world best of 4:32:721 and smoothly rebuffed the threat from silver medallists VC St Raphael, who posted 5:12:242.
Returning to the team after missing the world championships in Minsk earlier this year, Rowsell explained that the Olympic champions and emerging starlet Barker are relishing the fresh challenge: “It will be great to see how we progress this year.
"We’ve got the three kilometre world record, which should stand forever, and it’s exciting to be able to try and do that all over again with the new event.”
There was another gold for Jason Kenny (Sky Track Cycling), racing with Matt Crampton and Kian Emadi (Tunstall Whls CC) in the men’s team sprint, and silver for Olympic champion Philip Hindes, competing alongside Callum Skinner (City of Edinburgh RC) and Matt Rotherham (Sportcity Velo).
John Paul (City of Edinburgh RC), Bruce Croall (City of Edinburgh RC) and Jonathan Biggin (Glasgow Life TCT) finished in third place.
Trott and King also grabbed a comfortable victory in the women’s madison. Having quickly established a two-lap advantage over the rest of the field with her Wiggle Honda colleague, Trott then proceeded to delight the Sunday afternoon crowd at the Manchester Velodrome with an almost unimpeachable display of sprinting prowess.
Second-placed combo Katie Archibald (City of Edinburgh RC) and Charline Joiner (MG-Maxifuel Pro Cycling) toiled wilfully throughout, and did manage to prise one of the five sprints from Trott’s clutches, while third place went to Hayley Jones (Node 4 Giordana) and Emily Kay (Scott Contessa Epic).
King said: “It was a brilliant race, but, to be honest, we made it hard for ourselves! Taking two laps so early is never going to be easy, and we were going for the sprints in between as well. We just wanted to get out there, get stuck in and make it a really aggressive race to finish the week off.”
Elsewhere, Jon Mould (Team USN) took three of four races in the men’s omnium to record an impressive win, and a pulsating men’s junior madison race was won by dominant duo Jacob Ragan (Wheelbase Altura MGD) and Oliver Wood (Team Sportscover) after an entertaining tussle with second-placed combo Tristan Robbins (Cardiff JIF) and James Shaw (Forme Bikes UK).