Qualifying success for Great Britain on opening night of European Track Championships

Team pursuit squads set the standard in Grenchen

The opening night of the European Track Championships belonged to Great Britain with the fastest times in the men's and women's team pursuit qualification in Grenchen.

The Bradley Wiggins led quartet that included fellow Team WIGGINS riders Steven Burke, Owain Doull and Andrew Tennant put in a time of 3:57.277, almost two full seconds quicker than Switzerland in second place on 3:59.026.

"We didn't really know what to expect coming in because we've been doing a lot of training into it," said Doull of the ride. "That was the aim to do something around that time and have a nice smooth consistent ride. Yeah pretty successful."

Great Britain qualified fastest at last year's championships in Guadeloupe, going on to win gold for the second straight year and fourth time in five years since the discipline was added to the Championships. Tennant has been part of the team pursuit squad on all four occasions it has won gold and looks well placed to add a fifth win to his palmares and another goal ticked off for Wiggins' build up to the Rio Olympic Games.

Having finished second in qualifying, the hosts will be looking for a good performance in the morning's first round ride as it looks to make up for its loss in the bronze medal final last year and impress on home soil.

Earlier in the evening Great Britain's women's team pursuit squad of Joanna Rowsell Shand, Laura Trott, Elinor Barker and Ciara Horne put in a smashing ride of 4:21.089, more than nine seconds faster then second placed Russia. The quartet started with the fastest first kilometre of the qualifier and continued to set the best time with Ciara Horne leading the team home for the fourth and final kilometre on her Euro's debut.

"Really happy - we qualified fastest. It was a really good, solid team effort, really chuffed," said Horne. "We were trying a new strategy and yeah it worked really well so happy with that."

Great Britain have been paired with Poland in the first round ride with the winners going through to the gold medal final to be held Thursday afternoon.

For Cyclingnews coverage of the European Track Championships, click here 

 

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