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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