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Jess Varnish and Victoria Pendleton celebrate their team sprint win and world record
Momentum key as Olympics beckon
The rest of the world should watch out. According to British Cycling head coach Shane Sutton, Great Britain is on the hunt as it moves ever closer to the London Olympic Games in August. Sutton was speaking at the end of day two at the London velodrome after four world records were shattered in a thrilling day of racing.
The British pair of Jessica Varnish and Victoria Pendleton set the ball rolling for the home team, beating world champions and previous world record holders Anna Meares and Kaarle McCulloch in the team sprint. The women’s pursuit team followed suit, dispatching of Canada in their final, and breaking the world record in the process.
The men’s team sprint failed to reach the final in their event but held on for a bronze in their ride.
“There were a lot of standout performances. You look at individual laps, records across the board, there have been great performances,” Sutton told Cyclingnews.
“We’re hunting other nations now. We know what it’s like because we’ve been at the top of the game and used to be hunted by the others. We’re hunting them down now. Lets be honest with you, a lot of these teams have runs on the board but I think we’re doing well and we’re coming.”
Germany, Australia, France and New Zealand are among the number of nations who have improved their track pedigree since the Beijing Games four years ago but like the Olympic Park, the Great Britain team is still a work in progress.
“We couldn’t ask for anymore,” said Sutton as he watched Ben Swift compete in the final omnium event of the evening.
“We came here with the attitude of seeing where we were at and not to be governed by the others and we stuck to our plan. There’s still a long way out until the Games but we’re on track.”
“Today has been a really good day but the crowd has obviously lifted the whole team. bearing in mind that it wont be a full British crowd at the Olympics we’re just keeping our feet firmly on the ground and working hard. The rewards will come but this will give us a bit of momentum. I think we needed a bit of momentum. The iconic figures in our team, Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton, they stepped up to the plate and it just filters down the team.”