Trott: Australia's team pursuit world record is achievable

GB team hoping Worlds setback will enable them to reach new heights

It may have been difficult to swallow at the time, but Laura Trott believes that the monumental setback suffered by Great Britain's women's pursuit team at the UCI Track World Championships earlier this year was a necessary evil in inspiring them to kick on and reach new heights.

In Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Britain's team, as good as invincible for so many years, were bowled over in the final by Australia. They had set each of the past nine world records, but saw a huge three seconds shaved off the fastest time they had ever ridden.

"As much as it's bad to say, I almost think that we needed it [the defeat]," says Trott in an interview with Sky Sports. "We had gone into the events thinking we were going to win everything. Not taking anything for granted – I don't think we did that – but you set your stall so high that you never think you are going to lose.

"I have lost the omnium before, so I knew how I was going to feel, but to see some of the girls and the way they were upset about it was horrible and it wasn't a nice place to be. It was quite hard to take and accept."

Since then the core team, made up of Trott, Katie Archibald, Joanna Rowsell, Elinor Barker and Ciara Horne, have been working together on the track during the off-season with reinvigorated focus. 

Their first proper test comes this week at the European Track Championships in Grenchen, Switzerland, which will be a chance to get themselves back into the flow of competition and assess where they really are up to. After that, things will start to get more serious with the World Cup events over the winter, followed by the 2016 Worlds, which will be a key marker on the road to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Prior to February's defeat, the team had won gold at the Worlds four years in a row. Now, they find themselves on the back foot, scrambling to get back to the top of the perch ahead of Rio next summer. They have a daunting benchmark hanging over them, but it's one that Trott believes they can surpass, returning them to their former glory. 

"It was pretty frightening," she says of the Australians' world record. "And their ride wasn't seamless either. They have obviously got stuff to improve on, which is also scary.

"It was a phenomenal time but one that is achievable if we can get it right. We have now got five girls who are going well and we can chop and change now, whereas before we were always just relying on four girls.

"We have changed the dynamic of the team now, we all know where we are heading, we have all bought into the same training plan and I feel like that is what we needed to bring us together."

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