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Disappointing world track championships for Great Britain

By:
José Been
Published:
March 03, 2014, 11:32 GMT,
Updated:
March 03, 2014, 10:25 GMT
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Monday, March 10, 2014
Race:
UCI Track World Championships
The Great Britain women's Team Pursuit quartet at speed

The Great Britain women's Team Pursuit quartet at speed

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Team returns home with only five medals

The Great Britain team will return home from the track World Championships in Cali with two golds, one silver and two bronzes, all won by women. The British men were left empty handed after failing to win a single medal on the track in Colombia. Team GB finished fourth in the medals table. They topped the table last year in Minsk with five gold, two silver and two bronze medals, indicating that other nations have raised their game, while Great Britain has back pedaled. 

The success of the British women, helped deflect the poor performance by the men. Kate Archibald, Joanna Rowsell, Elinor Barker and Laura Trott beat Canada to win gold in the team pursuit. Unbeaten since 2010, the four women were seriously under threat by Canada this year. Up to the three kilometre mark Canada led the way but the British women managed to edge ahead of the Canadians in the last kilometre.

The other British gold medal in Colombia was won by Joanna Rowsell. The 25-year old already was instrumental in the team pursuit gold and repeated her consistent performance in the three kilometre individual event. She beat the USA's Sarah Hammer by over a second in the final to take her first individual gold medal at a world championship.

Olympic and world omnium champion Laura Trott could not repeat her 2012 golden medal haul. Just like in Minsk last year she lost to Sarah Hammer. The American won three of the six events and took her second consecutive gold medal. Trott had to settle for silver. The world championships turned out to be a bit of a disappointment for Becky James. She qualified second fastest in the women's sprint competition but lost to teammate Jess Varnish in the quarter finals. In the team sprint event James teamed up with Varnish to beat the Russian women for bronze. There was another bronze medal in the Keirin race for the 22-year old Welsh rider but no world titles this year.

The British men's team traveled to Colombia with young riders like Owain Doull, Sam Harrison and Jonathan Dibben. They were not expected to strike gold at this year's event but the older, more experienced riders in the team such as Ed Clancy, Jason Kenny and Philip Hindes all under-performed.

The team pursuit quartet finished a disappointing eighth. Former sprint and keirin world champion Jason Kenny was left with two fifth places in his events. Teaming up with Philip Hindes and Kian Elmadi for the team sprint they failed to qualify for the medal races despite Great Britain being the reigning Olympic champions.

Ed Clancy managed to win three of the six events in the men's omnium but was off the pace in the other events. While prevailing in the flying lap, scratch and one kilometre time trial, the 2010 world champion and London Olympics bronze medal winner was only 13th in the points race and 11th in the individual pursuit. It resulted in a disappointing fifth place for the 28-year-old.

Great Britain team manager Dave Brailsford did not travel to Cali and has promised a review of the management structure of the squad. The mixed results and their rivals' improvements will no doubt add extra impetus to any changes as the vital Olympic qualification process begins next winter.  

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