GB win two golds at Olympic Velodrome

Great Britain won two gold medals with world record times on a thrilling first night of finals at the Track World Cup in London’s Olympic Velodrome.

Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish set a new world best of 32.754 seconds as they beat Kaarle McCulloch and Anna Meares of Australia in the team sprint.

Dani King, Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell then beat Canada in a record 3:18.148 in the team pursuit final.


Sir Chris Hoy celebrates winning team sprint bronze at the Track World Cup

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Hoy powers to 50th world medal

Sir Chris Hoy led GB’s men’s sprint team to bronze as they edged Australia.

The team of Ross Edgar, Jason Kenny and Hoy had missed out on a final place in the qualifying session, and Germany went on to beat France for gold in the evening, but Hoy was overwhelmed by the atmosphere in the new velodrome.

“Honestly, I’ve never been to any venue, any track in the world, and seen any home nation get the support we’ve had today,” he told BBC Sport. “The wall of noise when you’re on the track is unbelievable.

“We all had lumps in our throat when Vicky and Jess were on the podium and it’s hard not to get caught up in that emotion.

ANALYSIS



“The British team are in better shape than I think even they thought they were. The women’s team sprint were phenomenal on the track. They gave themselves a real confidence boost at precisely the time they needed it.”

“I believe the crowd have been a decisive factor in our performances today. Goodness knows what it will be like in a few months’ time.”

And asked about his team’s performance ahead of April’s World Championships in Melbourne, and the Olympic Games in August, Hoy said: “We’re probably about a length and a half behind [the top men’s sprint teams] but we’re a new formation, a new combination, and that was our fastest time since 2009.

“It’s a medal; it’s not gold, but it’s a medal. Bring on the Olympics.”

Kenny, who will battle Hoy for Britain’s individual sprint spot at the Olympics, added: “We’ve been messing around a bit with the formation but we’re definitely getting better and we can bridge that gap before the Worlds.”

Pendleton and Varnish produced a stunning performance to beat world champions McCulloch and Meares in the first final of the evening, breaking the

world best set by the Australian pair earlier in the day.

It gave a raucous home crowd the perfect start to the first big night of action at the Olympic venue.

“It is unbelievable, the crowd just roared,” Pendleton told BBC Sport. “I was shaking on my bike.”

The reigning Olympic sprint champion, who has struggled at times since Beijing while Meares has swept all before her, added: “I think it says we’re a force to be reckoned with.

“We’re quite a new team and we tried something a bit new with the gears in the final, and I think we learned something. It’s a risk you’ve got to take – now is the time.”

Varnish said: “I can’t believe it, I need to pinch myself. It feels like a dream.”


Great Britain's Joanna Rowsell, Dani King and Laura Trott win team pursuit

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GB trio break team pursuit world record

The British pursuit team had a change of line-up between the afternoon qualifying session and the final, with King coming in for Wendy Houvenaghel in a tactical switch, and it paid off.

“It was absolutely amazing,” said King. “This time last week I wasn’t 100% and I just want to thank all the people who believed in me. The girls were absolutely amazing.”

Britain’s Ben Swift finished third in the omnium elimination race to leave him eighth overall, with the pursuit, scratch race and kilo to come on Saturday.

(all times GMT):

TV:

Sat, 18 Feb 1900-2100 BBC Two; Sun, 19 Feb 1445-1800 BBC Two.

5 live sports extra:

Sat, 18 Feb 1945-2140; Sun, 19 Feb 1455-1800.

Red Button website:

Sat, 18 Feb 1900-2140; Sun, 19 Feb 1445-1800.

Article source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/-/sport1/hi/cycling/17078405.stm

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