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Track Cycling World Championship gold for Laura Trott, Dani King and Elinor Barker

Olympic hero Trott at full pelt to lead Britain to their first gold of World Championships

By
Sam Cunningham

PUBLISHED:

17:45 GMT, 21 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

02:58 GMT, 22 February 2013

Great Britain's women brought golden memories of last summer’s Olympic Games flooding back by successfully defending their world team pursuit title.

Laura Trott and Dani King, who won Olympic gold with Joanna Rowsell, teamed up with A-level student Elinor Barker to clinch gold in the Track Cycling world championships in Minsk.

They completed the 3km race in 3min 18.140sec to beat Australia’s Annette Edmondson, Ashlee Ankudinoff and Melissa Hoskins by 1.773sec.

Wheely good: Laura Trott, Dani King and Elinor Barker won women's team pursuit gold in Minsk

Wheely good: Laura Trott, Dani King and Elinor Barker won women's team pursuit gold in Minsk

This is the last time the women’s
team pursuit will feature in its current format. It is set to be
extended to four kilometres and an extra rider added.

Trott said: ‘It seemed to flow nicely
and we changed a few things from qualifying and it came off. If someone
thought they couldn’t cope on the front they came off. It tops it off
for us. To win the race the last time it will be as a 3km is amazing.’

Barker added: ‘I feel really
overwhelmed. I thought I was just riding round the Manchester Velodrome
in a training ride and then we won. I just feel shocked. It is above and
beyond what I’ve dreamed of.’

King said: ‘It means everything.
We’ve worked so hard since the Olympic Games and although Jo Rowsell
will come back, it’s great to have Elinor on the team.’

Wheely good: Laura Trott, Dani King and Elinor Barker won women's team pursuit gold in Minsk

Wheely good: Laura Trott, Dani King and Elinor Barker won women's team pursuit gold in Minsk

Wheely good: Laura Trott, Dani King and Elinor Barker won women's team pursuit gold in Minsk

Becky James, who is one of
Sportsmail’s Magnificent Seven who we are tracking to the Rio Olympics,
won her second bronze of the championships in the 500m time trial.

Martyn Irvine became the first
Irishman to win a medal at the championships in 117 years when he won
gold and silver within an hour of each other.

‘I’m not sure it’s hit me yet,’ said Irvine. ‘I just can’t believe I’m standing here with a rainbow jersey.’

Irvine came second in the individual
pursuit, beaten by reigning champion Michael Hepburn, and won gold in
the 15km scratch race.

Gold standard: The girls celebrate with their hard-fought medals

Gold standard: The girls celebrate with their hard-fought medals

In a dramatic finish, Irvine accelerated away with 10 laps to go and managed to hold off his rivals.

He added: ‘I just stuck to what I know, just committed 100 per cent and it paid off.

‘I just stayed near the front, stayed out of trouble. Once I went, it was all or nothing. I didn’t look back. It was full gas.’

Team GB"s cyclists win gold and silver medals in Rio Olympics 2018 preparations

Team GB's cyclists make a promising start to Rio preparations with bronze and silver medals

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Two of the London Olympic-winning quartet – Ed Clancy and Steven Burke – were present in the squad which lost the world champion rainbow jerseys to Australia.

Over the moon: Great Britain's Becky James (left) and Vicky Williamson celebrate Bronze in the team sprint

Over the moon: Great Britain's Becky James (left) and Vicky Williamson celebrate Bronze in the team sprint

Silver service: The men's team pursuit pick up a second place

Silver service: The men's team pursuit pick up a second place

Clancy, Burke, 2012 world champion Andy Tennant and Sam Harrison, who won world bronze in 2011, qualified second fastest and were unable to overturn their seeding, finishing in four minutes 00.967 seconds, to their rivals' 3mins 56.751secs.

Australia led throughout the 16-lap final, even though Glenn O'Shea dropped out entering the final kilometre, leaving Alex Edmondson, Michael Hepburn and Alex Morgan to hold off Britain in the finale.

Clancy, who experimented with the team sprint earlier this winter before reverting to his usual discipline, said: 'It does hurt to lose to the Aussies, but it's an Olympic programme. It's bike racing, you can't win all the time.

'It's disappointing, but if you don't look at it so black and white there's a lot of positives.'

Clancy pointed to the absences of Geraint Thomas and Peter Kennaugh, focusing on their road careers with Team Sky after their Olympic glory, and the fact Britain finished fourth in Pruszkow in 2009, a year after winning gold in Beijing.

Vicky Williamson (bottom) and Becky James (top) pick up the bronze medal during the women's team sprint event

Vicky Williamson (bottom) and Becky James (top) pick up the bronze medal during the women's team sprint event

The quartet were not quite firing on all cylinders.

'We had at least one set of legs in there that weren't quite on it,' Clancy said.

'I'm not saying we're happy about coming second, but we're not in a bad place, that's for sure. If you look at where we were in Poland, we've done a hell of a lot better than we did there.'

While there was a sense of disappointment for Clancy and co, for James and Williamson there was joy.

The 19-year-old Williamson was a late replacement for Jess Varnish, who has a back injury, while James was fulfilling second-lap duties previously occupied by the now-retired Victoria Pendleton.

Sprint coach Iain Dyer says 21-year-old James, who pushed Olympic champion Anna Meares close for Commonwealth gold in 2010, is in the form of her life.

Warm up: After a magnificent medal haul at London 2012, Team GB will be hoping to show similar form at the Rio Olympics

Warm up: After a magnificent medal haul at London 2012, Team GB will be hoping to show similar form at the Rio Olympics

As if to prove it, James allowed a gap to open up by going up the banking coming into the changeover to allow her to accelerate into her lap.

The technique was devised in the last session of the Newport training camp ahead of travelling to Minsk.

James, who made up deficits in each of her rides, said: 'We just thought we'd try something new and because my form's come through quite nicely we wanted to get as much speed as possible off the lap.

'I'm just absolutely buzzing. I'm so shocked. I can't believe it, my first world medal.'

Williamson, who received text messages of support from Varnish in the build-up to Minsk, said: 'I'm gobsmacked. To come out with a bronze medal is just amazing.'

James will now ride in the 500 metres
time-trial tomorrow, the first of three individual events in which she
is targeting further success.

She added: 'Seeing the form I've got I'd really like to be up there this week. I'll give it my best shot.'

Pedal power: The Danish team competes during mens team pursuit qualifying race of the event in Minsk

Pedal power: The Danish team competes during mens team pursuit qualifying race of the event in Minsk

Kian Emadi competed in the corresponding men's event, the one-kilometre time-trial, placing an impressive fourth on his debut.

In an event removed from the Olympic programme following Sir Chris Hoy's win in Athens in 2004, Emadi clocked 1:01.756, with Francois Pervis of France winning in 1:00.221, New Zealand's Simon Van Velthooven second in 1.00.869 and Germany's Joachim Eilers third in 1:01.450.

Emadi's time was short of his personal best, set at altitude in Colombia, but he was content with his display.

The 20-year-old will now ride in the men's team sprint on day two alongside Philip Hindes and Jason Kenny, taking Hoy's man three slot in the three-lap event.

Emadi is confident of combining well with the Olympic champions.
He said: 'There's good signs in training. Everyone's stepping up and getting faster as the competition has come closer.'

Three more events take place tomorrow, including the women's team pursuit, featuring Olympic champions Laura Trott and Dani King, with Elinor Barker making up the trio.

Owain Doull is entered into the men's scratch race, with Burke entered in the 4km men's individual pursuit.

Chris Hoy wins gold in sprint at Velodrome

Hoy's gold run goes on as British star wins sprint on final day at Velodrome

Sir Chris Hoy claimed his second gold medal of the Track World Cup at London's Olympic Velodrome with victory in the men's sprint.

After winning the Keirin on day three, Hoy beat Germany's Maximilian Levy 2-0 to win the cat-and-mouse discipline and once again illustrate his supreme form in Olympic year.

Sprint star: Sir Chris Hoy battles with Maximilian Levy at the Velodrome

Sprint star: Sir Chris Hoy battles with Maximilian Levy at the Velodrome

In the second bout, Levy attempted to round Hoy on the back straight, but the Scot had the inside line and responded by showing a trademark acceleration to coast to victory.

It was Britain's third medal of the day, after the team pursuit squad of Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Steven Burke and Peter Kennaugh had to settle for silver behind arch-rivals Australia and Laura Trott took bronze in the women's multi-discipline omnium.

In the team pursuit, world champions Australia qualified fastest on Thursday night, with the teams made to wait for the final to satisfy the television schedule demands to show the blue ribband event.

Pure delight: Hoy earned a standing ovation for his performance

Pure delight: Hoy earned a standing ovation for his performance

The 'Ashes' duel did not disappoint as Australia's Jack Bobridge, Rohan Dennis, Alex Edmondson and Michael Hepburn won in three minutes 54.615 – the third fastest time in history – and the British quartet finished in 3mins 56.330secs.

Australia's time was behind only Britain's world record of 3:53.314, set in winning gold in Beijing in 2008, and another effort by the hosts from November 2009.

Meanwhile Jason Kenny experienced mixed
emotions on the final day of the Track World Cup after struggling to
fulfil his own expectations while wearing the world champion's rainbow
jersey at the Olympic Velodrome in London.

It
was Kenny's one opportunity to wear the coveted prize – one he
inherited last month after France's Gregory Bauge was stripped of the
2011 title for an anti-doping infringement – ahead of April's Track
Cycling World Championships in Melbourne.

Final effort: Kenny finishes fifth in the men's sprint

Final effort: Kenny finishes fifth in the men's sprint

But
the 23-year-old from Bolton qualified sixth fastest, handing him a
challenging route through the knockout rounds, and he was beaten in the
quarter-finals by Germany's Maximilian Levy before responding to win the
race for fifth place ahead of compatriot Matt Crampton, Bauge and
Japan's Kazunari Watanabe.

And Victoria Pendleton was unable to follow Hoy's lead, finishing fifth in the women's Keirin behind winner Simona Krupeckaite of Lithuania.

Pendleton, who on Friday's second day won the team sprint alongside Jess Varnish, was seeking to respond from her fourth place in the individual sprint but could not round the field on the final lap.

Lee Wai Sze of Hong Kong was second with Guo Shuang of China third. World champion Anna Meares of Australia was sixth.

No response: Pendleton eventually finished fifth in the Keirin

No response: Pendleton eventually finished fifth in the Keirin