Monthly Archives: February 2019

Track Cycling World Championships 2019: Elinor Barker claims first gold for Great Britain

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2019 Track Cycling World Championships: Elinor Barker wins 10km scratch gold after crash

Britain’s Elinor Barker claimed the first gold medal of the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Pruszkow, Poland.

In a dramatic finale in the women’s scratch race – including a crash in the penultimate lap – Barker, 24, held off Kirsten Wild of the Netherlands.

“It feels amazing,” Barker said.

In the men’s team sprint, Britain’s trio, which included six-time Olympic champion Jason Kenny, were knocked out by the Netherlands in the first round.

Ryan Owens, Phil Hindes and Kenny had finished eighth to claim the final qualification spot.

However, after replacing Hindes with Jack Carlin, they lost out to reigning world champions and eventual winners the Netherlands, in a repeat of last year’s final.

‘This was a big surprise’

Welsh cyclist Barker finished second in the 10km scratch race in 2017, but executed an excellent strategy to win this time around.

Barker sat near the back of the pack for 38 of the 40 laps, before launching a blistering attack that took her clear of Wild, a winner in 2015 and 2018, and kept her clear of trouble.

“I heard a bit of a bang so I didn’t know the crash had happened until a lap later,” said Barker.

“This was a big surprise because everything has been focused on the team pursuit. That has given me the speed and I’m glad it has come together at the right time.

“I came really close to quitting completely about six months ago. I’d kind of fallen out of love with it so just to get here felt like such an achievement itself.

“I owe a huge amount to our new psychologist who we got around October time. He managed to keep me going and feeling at my best again.”

Clancy and Co. through to final

In the men’s team pursuit Britain’s Ed Clancy, Charlie Tanfield, Ethan Hayter and Kian Emadi qualified for the gold-medal race against Australia on Thursday.

The defending champions eased through the qualifying round and then posted a time of three minutes 51.635 seconds to finish well clear of Denmark in their first-round race.

Australia’s Kelland O’Brien, Sam Welsford, Leigh Howard and Alex Porter cruised past New Zealand with a time of 3:51.529 to reach the final.

Canada will face Germany in the bronze-medal race.

Earlier, Britain’s Katy Marchant and Victoria Williamson failed to progress from the qualifiers in the women’s team sprint.

Williamson, 25, only recently returned to elite action after being seriously injured in a crash in 2016 and the pair finished 14th from a field of 17.

“I’m just disappointed,” Williamson said.

“I didn’t come back to be average. Most people are saying it’s an achievement to get here and I understand that but it’s not what I want.”

Australian duo Kaarle McCulloch and Stephanie Morton took the gold with Russia’s Anastasiia Voinova and Daria Shmeleva claiming silver and Germany’s Miriam Welte and Emma Hinze winning bronze.

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Team Sky’s Swift discharged from hospital

Ben Swift cycling for Team Sky in France

Swift took part in the fourth Tour de La Provence in France earlier this month

Ben Swift has been discharged from hospital after being placed in intensive care following a crash on a training ride with Team Sky team-mate Geraint Thomas last week.

The Briton, 31, ruptured his spleen in the crash in Tenerife on 20 February.

Swift, who finished fifth in the UCI Road World Championships in 2017, said the final scans had “all come back good.”

“Got to take my time but already excited to get back at it,” he tweeted.

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‘If you look at my hospital discharge sheet I shouldn’t even be here’

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Cyclist Williamson learned to walk again after crash

Three years ago, there were fears British cyclist Victoria Williamson may never walk again after she broke her neck, back and pelvis in a horror crash.

Williamson was racing at the 2016 Rotterdam Six Day event, but she remembers nothing of the omnium final, where she collided – in dramatic fashion – with home-favourite Elis Ligtlee.

Despite numerous fractures and dislocations, her skin being “torn” open and suffering a cut so deep it exposed her spine, the cyclist has defied the expectations of medical experts.

On Wednesday, the 25-year-old will complete a remarkable comeback by racing for Great Britain at the Track Cycling World Championships in Pruszkow, Poland.

“If you look at my hospital discharge sheet I shouldn’t even be here,” she tells BBC Sport.

“I am proud of myself, but more thankful for all of the support from everyone who’s helped me get back here.”

After the crash – I wanted a photo!

Crashes aren’t uncommon in track cycling, where bikes can move at speeds of up to 50mph, but such was the extent of a collision in which Ligtee was also left unconscious that racing was abandoned and spectators asked to leave.

Paralysis was a real concern for medics treating Williamson at the scene.

However, Williamson, who was in and out of consciousness and “dosed up on Fentanyl”, a drug around 100 times stronger than morphine, had two very different concerns.

She says: “The first thing I asked was: ‘Did I win?’ And then it was: ‘Can you take a picture for banter?’

“I was out of it. I didn’t really know the diagnosis and just thought it was hilarious at that point.”

The rehabilitation – mental and physical


Doctors told Williamson she would initially spend at least eight weeks in hospital after the crash, but she was discharged after four

Williamson insists returning to cycling was “always” on her mind throughout the gruelling rehabilitation, but she was initially struggling with even basic tasks.

“I was told I may not be able to walk, then that it would be a fight to walk without a stick and next there was a doubt I’d ride again,” she recalls.

“It wasn’t just the physical pain that was tough, it was the mental as well with having things you’d taken for granted taken away like going to the toilet and being able to wash on your own.

“I had to lay flat for over three weeks and when it came to sitting up even the slightest degree I’d pass out. At that point I knew I wasn’t in a good way.”

After four weeks in hospital, Williamson returned to the UK and spent a record nine-month intensive rehabilitation period at the internationally renowned Bisham Abbey Sports Centre.

She required further surgery to remove screws in her pelvis in September 2017, but began light cycling again later that year.

“I don’t remember anything of the crash, which is a blessing in disguise as it means I haven’t had any psychological issues back on the track,” Williamson says.

‘Vogel’s injury reminds me I’m lucky’

In June last year, German Olympic champion cyclist Kristina Vogel, a friend of Williamson’s, was paralysed in a training crash.

The news, unsurprisingly, hit Williamson hard.

“It made me realise how lucky I was,” she adds. “One of my injuries was two millimetres from my spinal cord so it could have been a lot worse – all movement gone.

“Kristina messaged me a few times when I was in hospital and said ‘oh, you’ve done amazing’ when I came back – but I’m more in awe of her.

“She was one of the icons in women’s sprinting, but how she’s come to grips with a life-changing injury is incredible and she’ll always be a role model to everyone.”

World and Olympic targets


Williamson is now lifting heavier weights in the gym than she did before her crash

Williamson says she’s a “little bit off” being back to full capacity on the bike and believes she can still improve on her speed, but is now lifting heavier weights in the gym than before her crash.

In January, she made her international comeback at the Hong Kong World Cup and a second-place finish in the women’s team sprint at the National Track Cycling Championships just days later secured her a place at the Worlds.

In Poland, she will race in the women’s sprint – an event in which she secured her sole World Championships bronze medal in 2013 – as well as the individual 500m time trial.

“Expectations-wise, I’ve nothing set in my head as I just want to lay down a good performance. If I can get a personal best and deliver our absolute best it’s another step to Tokyo,” she says.

Tokyo 2020 – the next Olympics – is her long-term target.

Those Games have added significance to the Great Britain women’s sprint team as it was the only track cycling event they failed to qualify in for Rio 2016.

“I’d crashed just before qualifying for Rio, but we now have a really strong group of girls pushing one another and I’m confident we’ll qualify [for Tokyo],” she says.

“Obviously it’s a dream for me to compete for Great Britain at the Olympics and it would be perfect to finish off this stint of hard work.

“Whatever I achieve now is a win already.”

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Track World Championships live on the BBC

Track Cycling World Championships

Britain tied for third in the overall medal table at the 2018 World Championships in the Netherlands

Follow the 2019 Track Cycling World Championships live on the BBC from 27 February to 3 March.

Four-time Olympic gold medallist Laura Kenny and six-time Olympic champion Jason Kenny will both feature at the event in Pruszkow, Poland.

Ed Clancy, Kian Emadi, Ethan Hayter and Charlie Tanfield, who won gold in the men’s team pursuit last year, plus women’s madison champions Katie Archibald and Emily Nelson are also in the Great Britain squad.

Vicky Williamson, who fractured her neck and back, dislocated her pelvis and slipped a disc in her neck in a crash in 2016, also competes.

Great Britain squad

Men’s Endurance: John Archibald, Ed Clancy, Kian Emadi, Ethan Hayter, Mark Stewart, Charlie Tanfield, Matt Walls, Ollie Wood.

Women’s Endurance: Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker, Ellie Dickinson, Neah Evans, Laura Kenny, Emily Nelson.

Men’s Sprint: Jack Carlin, Phil Hindes, Jason Kenny, Ryan Owens, Joe Truman.

Women’s Sprint: Katy Marchant, Vicky Williamson.

GB at recent World Championships

Live coverage event schedule

All times GMT. Schedules and coverage times are subject to late changes. The BBC is not responsible for any changes that may be made.

Wednesday, 27 February

Coverage: 17:00-20:45, BBC Red Button and online

Three gold medals: Women’s Scratch 10km, men’s and women’s team sprint


Women’s Team Pursuit – Qualifying

Men’s Team Pursuit – Qualifying


Women’s Team Sprint – Qualifying

Men’s Team Sprint – Qualifying

Women’s Scratch 10 km – Final

Women’s Team Sprint – First round

Men’s Team Sprint – First round

Men’s Team Pursuit – First round

Women’s Team Sprint – Final

Men’s Team Sprint – Final

Thursday, 28 February

Coverage: 17:30-20:30, BBC Red Button and online

Four gold medals: Men’s Team Pursuit, Men’s Scratch 15 km, Men’s Keirin, Women’s Team Pursuit


Women’s Sprint – Qualifying 200m time trial

Men’s Keirin – First round

Women’s – Sprint 1/16 Final

Men’s Keirin – Repechages

Women’s Sprint – 1/8 Final

18:30 – 22:20

Women’s Team Pursuit – First round

Women’s Sprint – First quarter-final

Men’s Keirin – Second round

Men’s Team Pursuit – Finals

Women’s Sprint – Second quarter-final

Men’s Scratch 15km – Final

Women’s Sprint – Quarter-final

Men’s Keirin – Final (places 7 to 12)

Men’s Keirin – Final (places one to six)

Women’s Team Pursuit – Finals

Friday, 1 March

Coverage: 17:30-21:15, BBC Red Button and online

Five gold medals: Men’s Points race 40 km, Men’s Individual Pursuit, Men’s Kilometre time trial, Women’s Sprint, Women’s Omnium


Women’s Omnium I – Scratch 7.5 km

Men’s Kilomtre time trial – Qualifying

Men’s Individual Pursuit – Qualifying

Women’s Omnium II – Tempo Race 7.5 km


Men’s Points race 40 km – Final

Women’s Sprint – Semi-final (first)

Women’s Omnium III – Elimination

Women’s Sprint – Semi-final (second)

Men’s Kilometre time trial – Final

Women’s Sprint – Semi-final (third.)

Men’s Individual Pursuit – Finals 3-4 1-2

Women’s Sprint – Final places 3-4 1-2

Women’s Omnium – Final Points race: 20 km finale

Women’s Sprint – Final places 3-4 1-2 (second)

Women’s Sprint – Final places 3-4 1-2 (third)

Saturday, 2 March

Coverage: 13:15-15:00 17:30-19:15, BBC Red Button and online

Four gold medals: Women’s 500m time trial, Women’s Madison 30km, Women’s Individual pursuit, Men’s Omnium


Women’s 500m time trial – Qualifying

Men’s Sprint – Qualifying 200m time trial

Men’s Omnium I – Scratch 10 km

Men’s Sprint – Quarter-final (first)

Women’s Individual Pursuit – Qualifying

Men’s Sprint – Quarter-final (second)

Men’s Omnium II – Tempo Race 10 km


Women’s 500m time trial – Final

Men’s Sprint – Semi-final (first)

Women’s Madison 30km – Final

Men’s Omnium III – Elimination

Men’s Sprint – Semi-final (second)

Women’s Individual pursuit – Finals 3-4 1-2

Men’s Sprint – Semi-final (third)

Men’s Omnium IV – Final Points race 25 km

Sunday, 3 March

Coverage: 13:00-16:00, BBC Two

Four gold medals: Women’s Points race 25km, Men’s Madison 50km, Women’s Keirin, Men’s Sprint


Men’s Sprint – Semi-final (first)

Women’s Keirin – First round

Men’s Sprint – Semi-final (second)

Women’s- Keirin – Repechages

Men’s Sprint – Semi-final (third)


Women’s Points race 25km – Final

Men’s Sprint – Final places 3-4 1-2 (first)

Men’s Madison 50km – Final

Women’s Keirin – Second round

Men’s Sprint – Final places 3-4 1-2 (second)

Women’s Keirin – Final places 7 to 12

Women’s Keirin – Final 1-6

Men’s Sprint – Final places 3-4 1-2 (third)

Late changes

Schedules and coverage times are subject to late changes. The BBC is not responsible for any changes that may be made.


You can view BBC Sport output as well as listen to our radio sports programming on the BBC iPlayer.

The BBC Sport website is available via desktop, mobile, tablet and app, giving easy access to the live stream, text commentaries, news, reports and schedules. The BBC Sport app is available free on Apple and Android devices.

National and regional variations

National and regional variations have been included in this list where possible, but please check your local listings for more detailed information.

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Team Sky’s Swift in intensive care after crash on ride with Thomas

Ben Swift cycling for Team Sky in France

Swift took part in the fourth Tour de La Provence in France last week

Team Sky’s Ben Swift is in intensive care with a ruptured spleen after crashing on a training ride with Geraint Thomas.

The 31-year-old clipped a rock while descending, causing him to crash heavily, Team Sky said.

Swift, who finished fifth in the UCI Road World Championships in 2017, was training in Tenerife when the incident happened on Wednesday.

“I am still in intensive care at the moment,” Swift tweeted.

“But I hopefully move on to a normal ward tomorrow. They have stopped the bleed in the spleen. But just need to keep monitoring it. Along with that I have facial wounds and road rash.”

Team Sky doctor Inigo Sarriegui added: “Swifty suffered quite a heavy crash while out training. Thankfully though, he didn’t lose consciousness and was aware of the incident afterwards.

“We will continue to monitor him over the coming days, but 24 hours on from the crash he is already feeling better.”

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