Track Worlds Day 3: Denmark, Great Britain claim team pursuit titles

Track World Championships: Great Britain celebrate gold in the women's team pursuit
Track World Championships: Great Britain celebrate gold in the women's team pursuit (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Women's Team Pursuit

Great Britain may have missed out on defending their title in the men's team pursuit but the women's team came through with the gold medal, soundly beating New Zealand.

The gold medal race started with the two teams separated by milliseconds in the first 2km, but Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker, Josie Knight and Anna Morris turned on the afterburners in the final kilometre and powered away from the Kiwis to win by 4.5 seconds.

Barker came back from maternity leave this year to join her younger sister Meg and former schoolmate Morris in the team and it paid off with a victory in front of a rousing cheer from the home crowd.

"It was amazing," Barker said. "When you win the pain in your legs just disappears - it's a magical experience. At the time it was an absolute blur of pain and it was absolute relief to get to the line.

"Josie's turn at the end was so long and so smooth I felt like I almost recovered and wanted to start the celebration.

"This is such a rare opportunity. The last time we had a home Worlds was London 2016. It doesn't come around often. We missed out then, we messed up in the qualifying. The chance to win at home - I'm just happy we did it."

The bronze medal final was a much closer affair, with France topping Italy by just 0.275 seconds.

Great Britain's gold-medal effort was propelled by a raucous home crowd in Glasgow, with hometown rider Archibald the centre of most of the love from the crowd.

The Glaswegian lost her partner Rab Wardell last August to cardiac arrest. She and Wardell had hoped to both compete in the event that has made Glasgow the world centre of cycling with the unified championships.

"Rab was so involved in this Championships and this dream of a home worlds. He had such a love for sport on two wheels and for Glasgow that's what this whole event is about," Archibald told the BBC last week.

Archibald understandably skipped the post-pursuit media interviews, with the British federation saying she will not talk to media until after the Omnium.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Women's Team Pursuit results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Great Britain (Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker, Josie Knight, Anna Morris)4:08.771
2New Zealand (Michaela Drummond, Ally Wollaston, Emily Sherman, Bryony Botha)4:13.313
3France (Marion Borras, Valentine Fortin, Clara Copponi, Marie le Net)4:13.059
4Italy (Letizia Paternoster, Martina Fidanza, Chiara Consonni, Vittoria Guazzini) 4:13.334
5Australia (Chloe Moran, Georgia Baker, Alexandra Manly, Maeve Plouffe)
6United States (Jennifer Valente, Lily Williams, Olivia Cummins, Chloé Dygert)
7Germany (Lena Charlotte Reissner, Franziska Brausse, Lisa Klein, Mieke Kroger)
8Canada (Maggie Coles-Lyster, Sarah van Dam, Ariane Bonhomme, Ruby West)Row 7 - Cell 2
9Ireland (Lara Gillespie, Emily Kay, Kelly Murphy, Alice Sharpe)Row 8 - Cell 2
10Poland (Olga Wankiewicz, Karolina Karasiewicz, Karolina Kumiega, Wiktoria Pikulik)Row 9 - Cell 2
11Japan (Yumi Kajihara, Maho Kakita, Tsuyaka Uchino, Mizuki Ikeda)Row 10 - Cell 2
12China (Susu Wang, XIaoyue Wang, Suwan Wei, Hongjie Zhang)Row 11 - Cell 2
13Spain (Tania Calvo Barbero, Laura Rodriguez Cordero, Isabella Maria Escalera, Isabel Ferreres Navarro)Row 12 - Cell 2
14Mexico (Victoria Velasco Fuentes, Yareli Acevedo Mendoza, Maria Antonieta Gaxiola Gonzalez, Lizbeth Yarely Salazar Vazquez)Row 13 - Cell 2
15Nigeria (Grace Ayuba, Tombrapa Gladys Grikpa, Mary Samuel, Ese Ukpeseraye)Row 14 - Cell 2

Men's Team Pursuit

Denmark regained the top spot in the men's team pursuit with a commanding performance against Italy. Niklas Larsen, Lasse Leth (née Norman Hansen), Carl-Frederik Bévort and Rasmus Pedersen delivered a stinging blow to the defending Olympic champions, covering the 4km in the Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow in 3:45.161, 2.235 seconds quicker than Italy.

Italy were up on the Danes through the midpoint of the race but steadily lost ground after their quick start. They lost Manlio Moro after 2.5km raced and Filippo Ganna, Jonathan Milan and Francesco Lamon had to fight against a strong team of four.

Denmark, by comparison, was steady as an arrow, wavering not much more than a tenth of a second from their target pace.

Coach Casper Jørgensen was clearly pleased with the team's result. "We came here in a good shape and our last pro races in the last months have been perfect. We were just in better shape than the rest."

Jørgensen said the team weren't focused on what Italy were doing, they were just going for the fastest time and hoping it would be enough to win.

With the defending champions Great Britain crashing out in the qualifying round, however, it's one less benchmark ahead of the Olympic Games in Paris next year.

"We never want to see your opponents crashing out of the race. It was really a pity. We would also love to beat them instead of them having a crash," Jørgensen said.

Italy's coach Marco Vila explained that their fourth Olympic gold medalist Simone Consonni has struggled to find form after the Giro d'Italia and wasn't feeling his best in Glasgow. He raced in qualifying but was replaced by Moro for round 1 and the finals.

"We lose but we are happy because making the final is always important," Vila said to Cyclingnews.

"Denmark was strong, they have been on the top for many years. We won the Olympic Games in Tokyo and we want to win again next year in Paris. We know we have to race with Denmark, New Zealand, Australia, France and Great Britain - they were the world champions, they were second behind us in the European championships. I hate they weren't here. Next year I think this team will be strong again and also in the Olympic Games."

Making the gold medal final was also a good indication of the up-and-coming talent on the Italian team, with the 21-year-old Moro proving his talent.

"It was not easy to race with three big Olympic champions but he showed good character, good talent. We are also happy for him."

In the bronze medal final, there was a debacle for Australia after Joshua Duffy had trouble getting out of the gate. The officials did not fire the gun to allow a restart, and the team were forced to start from a near standstill, costing them more than two seconds.

The Australians rallied but the effort to get up to speed cost them dearly and New Zealand overlapped them to claim the bronze medal after 3625 metres raced.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Men's Team Pursuit results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Denmark (Niklas Larsen, Lasse Leth, Carl-Frederik Bévort, Rasmus Pedersen)3:45.161
2Italy (Filippo Ganna, Franceso Lamon, Jonathan Milan, Manlio Moro)3:47.396
3New Zealand (Aaron Gate, Campbell Stewart, Thomas Sexton, Nicholas Kergozou de la Boessiere)Row 2 - Cell 2
4Australia (Oliver Bleddyn, Kelland O'Brien, Joshua Duffy, Samuel Welsford)OVL
5France (Benjamin Thomas, Thomas Denis, Corentin Ermenault, Valentin Tabellion)
6Canada (Mathias Guillemette, Michael Foley, Derek Gee, Carson Mattern)
7Germany (Theo Reinhardt, Toias Buck-Gramicko, Joachim Eilers, Felix Gross)
8Japan (Eiya Hashimoto. Kazushige Kuboki, Naoki Kojima, Shoi Matsuda)Row 7 - Cell 2
9Belgium (Gianluca Pollefliet, Thibaut Bernard, Tuur Dens, Noah Vanderbranden)Row 8 - Cell 2
10China (Haijiao Sun, Wentao Sun, Yang Wang, Haiao Zhang)Row 9 - Cell 2
11Switzerland (Valere Thiebaud, Simon Vitzthum, Claudio Imhof, Alex Vogel)Row 10 - Cell 2
12United States (Gavin Hoover, Colby Lange, Anders Johnson, Grant Koontz)Row 11 - Cell 2
13Spain (Francesco Bennassar Rossello, Joan Marin Benassar Rossello, Benat Garaiar Pikbea, Alvara Navas Marchal)Row 12 - Cell 2
Row 13 - Cell 0 Great Britain (Oliver Wood, Ethan Vernon, Daniel Bigham, Charlie Tanfield)Row 13 - Cell 2

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