Track Cycling World Championships: Becky James & Jess Varnish win team sprint bronze

Posted: March 3, 2014 by kirisyko in Bike, Track cycling
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Jess Varnish, left, and Becky James won Britain's first medal of the world championships

Jess Varnish, left, and Becky James won Britain’s first medal of the world championships

Becky James and Jess Varnish claimed Great Britain’s first medal of the Track Cycling World Championships in Colombia by beating Russia to bronze in the women’s team sprint.

The duo had trailed by almost two-tenths of a second after the first of two laps, but James overhauled the deficit with a blistering final leg as she crossed the line in a time of 33.032 seconds.

“It was a solid performance,” Varnish said afterwards. “It is a really different track to what we have ridden on and you can’t really compare it to other performances. I think we should be happy. It is a really good start.”

It is the second consecutive year that Britain have won bronze in the women’s team sprint and the success gave the squad much-needed reason to cheer after an otherwise difficult opening day of the championships.

While James and Varnish booked their place in the medal finals by qualifying third fastest, Jason Kenny, Philip Hindes and Kian Emadi could only set the fifth-quickest time in qualifying in the men’s team sprint and were eliminated by 0.13 seconds.

Kenny ‘disappointed’

Kenny said: “We are disappointed with the result, but the time itself and the way we rode wasn’t that bad. It could have been a little bit tidier.

“We are only fractions off and we have definitely made a step forward, particularly from where we were last year. We have been consistently getting better this year, which is promising.”

The trio’s exit came just hours after the British men’s team pursuit quartet failed to reach the medal finalsby qualifying just eighth fastest.

In their absence, Australia won gold for the second year in succession by defeating Denmark in a time of 3min 57.907sec, while New Zealand overcame Russia to claim bronze.

In the women’s team sprint gold-medal final, Germany’s Miriam Welte and Kristina Vogel won world title for the third year in a row by comfortably beating China.

Kiwis topple Germany

New Zealand narrowly edged out defending champions Germany in both qualifying and the gold-medal final in the men’s team sprint, while France overcame Russia to claim the bronze medal.

Elsewhere, Belgium’s Kelly Druyts claimed gold in the women’s 10km scratch race after mounting a late attack.

The 24-year-old followed a move by Ireland’s Caroline Ryan six laps from home and although Ryan later faded and was caught, Druyts was able to hold off the chasing pack.

The championships continue on Thursday with the women’s team pursuit, men’s keirin, women’s 500m time trial, men’s scratch race and men’s individual pursuit.

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