Great Britain’s youthful selection had mixed results at this weekend’s Track World Cup in Cambridge, New Zealand. There was disappointment in the sprint events but the endurance side of the team are heading home with a medal of each colour.
Mark Stewart got the team off the ground on Saturday with his victory in the scratch race ahead of Colombia’s Brayan Stiven Sanchez. He added a bronze medal in the Madison event on the last day of racing, despite his partner Germaine Burton crashing during a mid-race sprint. Chris Latham made it a full set of medals after taking silver in the omnium behind Olympic Champion Lasse Norman Hansen.
The pair went into the final event, the points race, with just two points separating them but Hansen edged further ahead with second place in the event compared to Latham’s fourth. Nevertheless, it is a strong result for the 21-year-old.
“I've been knocking on the door waiting for that opportunity and sadly Ed (Clancy) was going to do this but he's had a back injury so I've jumped in and took the opportunity,” he told the British Cycling website. “It’s massive, a real big performance. First world cup (of the season) and to get a silver, well happy with that, I'm delighted.”
In contrast, the sprinters will be disappointed after failing to medal in the three-day event. Both Lewis Oliva and Callum Skinner were unable to make it out of the first round in the men’s individual sprint, while the team sprinters lost out to Team Jayco-AIS in the bronze medal match up on Saturday evening. Jason Kenny made it into the final of the Kerin but came across the line in sixth.
Katy Marchant did better in the women’s individual sprint, taking sixth overall. Becky James lost out to Marchant in the first round but was happy to be back in international competition after a two-year spell on the sidelines due to a knee injury.
“It's been really nice just to be back racing again and being in this environment because I was a little bit nervous and didn't really know what to expect but I'm happy to where I've got at this level in such a short time,” said James. "It's a good step forward and I'm a long way off but I'm hoping I'm going to keep progressing and I've got a lot more work to do so hopefully in the next few months I'll be back to my best.”
Germany and Australia dominated the weekend with the former taking home three gold medals. The next round of the World Cup will take place in Hong Kong, from January 16-17, where Mark Cavendish is set to make his first appearance on the track since suffering a shoulder injury in September.