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Great Britain women sweep World Cup

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Lizzie Armistead rounds off a great weekend

Lizzie Armistead rounds off a great weekend (Image credit: Gerry McManus)
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Young Jess Varnish leads Anna Blyth

Young Jess Varnish leads Anna Blyth (Image credit: Gerry McManus)

By Laura Weislo

The British were expected to dominate their home Track World Cup round, but in Manchester this weekend, the women pulled of an unprecedented coup - taking home the gold in every single event. Even more surprising was that they did it without Olympic gold medallist Rebecca Romero, and won the team sprint without Victoria Pendleton.

Beijing silver medallist Wendy Houvenaghel opened up proceedings with gold in the individual pursuit, but it was a group of freshmen who took home gold in the remaining endurance events. Elizabeth Armistead emerged as the country's long-missing mass start contender, and with her Team 100% ME teammate Katie Colclough in bronze and GB's Lucy Martin in silver, the British pulled off a never before seen sweep of the points race medals.

The next evening, Pendleton showed that she is a class above the rest with a win in the 500m time trial, while her young compatriots Anna Blyth and Jessica Varnish pulled of a stunning win in the team sprint.

On the final afternoon, Pendleton cruised to her third gold of the event in the women's keirin, while the depth of the British program could not have been better demonstrated than with a victory in the team pursuit with just one member of the world championship squad on the boards.

Lizzy Armistead, Katie Colclough and Joanna Roswell went more than four seconds faster than the German team of the experienced Becker sisters Charlotte and Christian and Lisa Brennauer.

The men enjoyed nearly equal success, with Ed Clancy taking home the pursuit prize, Jason Kenny winning the sprint, David Daniell emerging as the next kilometre star and Chris Newton putting on a display of expertise in the points race. The British team also took home gold in the team pursuit and team sprint, giving up the win only in the Madison (to Germany), the scratch race (to Dutch rider Wim Stroetinga) and the Keirin (to Frenchman François Pervis).

See also, Procycling's Daniel Friebe wonders "When does brilliance become boring?"

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