British trio strike gold

  • Last Updated: November 16 2012, 22:19 GMT

Olympic champions Laura Trott and Dani King recovered from a shaky qualifying ride to win women's team pursuit gold on the opening day of the Track World Cup in Glasgow.

Laura Trott, Dani King and Elinor Barker strike gold

Trott and King, world and Olympic champions, were joined by Elinor Barker in the three-kilometre event, but the trio made a ragged start in their first ride together.

Barker, 18 and studying for her A-Levels, was a late replacement for world and Olympic gold medallist Joanna Rowsell, but it was King who struggled in the afternoon, losing contact with Trott in the latter stages.

Trott, who won double gold in London, did not hide her thoughts after the trio put together a much-improved ride to win in three minutes 21.043 seconds ahead of Australia.

The 20-year-old said: "Qualifying didn't go that great. We had a break after the Games, so we were never going to come into this with top form.

"It was a bit like hope for the best and see what happens. And obviously Dani didn't have a great ride..."

King acknowledged her performance was sub-standard and her workload was reduced for the final as Britain overhauled fastest qualifiers Ashlee Ankudinoff, Amy Cure and Melissa Hoskins in the final kilometre as the Australians had to settle for second in 3mins 22.026secs.

"We had to make a few adjustments," Trott added.

"We changed two things from qualification. Me and Elinor had to do half a lap longer each to take a bit away from Dani."

It was an eventful opening day for the hosts as the men's team pursuit squad crashed out, Jess Varnish and Becky James won team sprint gold and Philip Hindes, Jason Kenny and Ed Clancy finished second in the corresponding men's event.

Two-time Olympic team pursuit champion Clancy was making his debut in the shorter event alongside two of the three-man London 2012-winning team.

Clancy, riding in the position filled by Sir Chris Hoy in August, performed well as the British trio finished in 44.175 in just their second competitive ride, following qualifying this afternoon. Germany won in 43.887.

Clancy, 27, said: "You try to talk it down, but you do feel it a bit when you're riding with two Olympic champions who have just done a world record and you're in the Chris Hoy Velodrome, keeping his seat warm for him.

"It's like 'bloody hell, hope I'm not riding round on my own for three laps', so it could've been worse.

"I think I did a reasonable job. I feel it's been a good place to start, but we have got some way to go if we're going to win the worlds and beat world records and so on."

Three-time Olympic champion Kenny believes the trio will challenge for the world title come February's Track Cycling World Championships in Minsk.

The 24-year-old from Bolton said: "It was good, technically. Ed dropped straight in and we've all done reasonable rides on our first time racing since the Olympics.

"We just need to do the same again but a bit quicker now.

"We've definitely got potential to go really, really fast in this combination."

In the corresponding women's event, Varnish and James were fastest qualifiers and clocked 33.428 seconds to win by a handsome margin from Spain's Tania Calvo and Helena Casas, who finished in 34.102secs.

Varnish focused on the specialist starting position at London 2012, but her Games ended in disappointment following an infringement in her takeover to the now-retired Victoria Pendleton.

In combination with James, the 20-year-old Commonwealth medallist from Wales, the duo reigned supreme with a comprehensive triumph which bodes well for Belarus.

"It's really good to be back on top of the podium," Varnish, who then placed sixth in the 500m time-trial, told the BBC.

"I want to get as much track time and as many races under my belt as possible. We've got to keep building on all of this."

James added: "This evening I did a big PB (personal best), so I'm really happy."

Earlier, an inexperienced men's team pursuit squad's competition ended when three of the four-man team tumbled to the track, suffering skin abrasions.

Owain Doull was the only rider to stay upright as Joe Kelly clipped the back of his wheel, going down and taking Sam Harrison and Andy Tennant with him. Tennant required four stitches to a gash on his leg, while Denmark won the event.

Simon Yates was fifth and Jon Mould 10th in a men's scratch won by Switzerland's Tristan Marguet ahead of Ireland's Martyn Irvine.

At the halfway stage of the men's omnium, Jon Dibben was out of contention for a medal.

The women's omnium begins on Saturday with Trott competing, while Kenny rides in the men's keirin, Tennant in the men's individual pursuit and Varnish and James in the women's sprint.


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