GB teams eye pursuit final gold

Great Britain’s team pursuit squads have reached the gold medal races at the London Track World Cup.

Laura Trott, Wendy Houvenaghel and Joanna Rowsell qualified for Friday’s women’s final in three minutes 21.370 seconds, second fastest behind Canada.

Ed Clancy, Steven Burke, Peter Kennaugh and Geraint Thomas advanced with Australia into Sunday’s men’s final clocking three minutes 58.466 seconds.

The crowd got behind them and they were excited by that. We have to remain focused on our goals for the ride

Paul Manning
GB women’s endurance coach

“We were really mindful to be in our own bubble,” Clancy said.

“They’ve got a super-star team at the moment and I think they’re [Australia] the favourites going into London.”

Britain were the 13th of 18 teams to ride in qualifying and had to wait for their final place to be secured, with New Zealand and Belgium reaching the bronze medal ride-off.

Energised by a partisan crowd, Clancy – part of the team which won Olympic gold in 2008 – admitted: “I can’t believe 6,000 people have come to watch us qualify – it was mental.

“There was a wall of noise the whole 16 laps. It didn’t die down one bit.”

Meanwhile, GB women’s endurance coach Paul Manning was satisfied with the women’s ride, but admitted he was considering inserting Dani King –

world champion along with Trott and Houvenaghel last March

– for the final.

Manning said: “It’s a good performance – we’re in the final – we just need to deliver a better performance.

“We’re second, which is where we need to be. You’ve got to be in the top two and then go for the win in a race scenario. The crowd got behind them and they were excited by that. We have to remain focused on our goals for the ride.

Jason Kenny

Kenny will race against a strong field in Sunday’s individual sprint

“We’ve got 24 hours now. It’s quite a productive time to look at the four riders and see who we want to use.”

Japan were the first of 15 women’s teams to take to the track, but their time of four minutes 13.408 seconds was soon overtaken and Canada’s Tara Whitten, Gillian Carleton and Jasmin Glaesser briefly threatened the United State’s world record, held since May 2010, before finishing 1.2 seconds outside.

Australia and Holland will meet in the race for bronze, while world record holders the United States placed fifth.

Meanwhile, Jason Kenny has belatedly received his Track Cycling World Championships gold medal and rainbow jersey.

The 23-year-old, Olympic silver medallist behind Sir Chris Hoy, received his first senior World Championship title

after being promoted from second place

after France’s Gregory Bauge, world champion in 2009 and 2010, was last month

stripped of the 2011 title for an anti-doping violation.

Kenny said: “It’s a bit bizarre. It’s a strange situation, but it’s nice to have it now and it will be good to race in it on Sunday. I just want to get on with the racing.”

The Bolton-born rider learned of his promotion last month after Bauge was stripped of the title and will race against a strong field in Sunday’s individual sprint, one which includes Bauge and Hoy.

“That will be special, especially in front of a home crowd and hopefully I’ll be at the thick end of the sprint,” Kenny added.

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