Trott, Archibald, Barker & Evans win GB’s first European Championships gold

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European Championships 2018: GB win first gold in women’s team pursuit

Great Britain won their first gold of the European Championships with victory in the women’s team pursuit on the track in Glasgow.

Laura Kenny, Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker and Neah Evans dominated Italy in the final to take the title.

It was the 11th European title for both four-time Olympic champion Kenny and Scot Archibald.

Emily Kay took silver in the women’s 10km scratch race and the men’s team pursuit quartet won bronze.

Kenny returned to racing earlier this year having taken time out after Rio 2016 to start a family with husband and fellow multiple-Olympic champion Jason Kenny.

She told the BBC there were doubts whether she would rediscover the form that had helped her win four Olympic titles and seven world crowns.

The 26-year-old said: “It’s great. For me, having a year out, I never knew when I was coming back and whether I’d actually make it back to the top table.

“But it’s great to be back in front of a home crowd. I’m still a bit away from the form where I left off. I want to go to Tokyo in the form of my life and I am still chasing it, but right now it’s the best that I’ve felt in a long time.

“I absolutely love being a mum. Sometimes it sounds like I’m moaning about a lack of sleep, but I wouldn’t change anything.”

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European Championships 2018: GB quartet win bronze in men’s team pursuit

Kenny is targeting another two gold medals with the madison and elimination race to come. Her team-mate Archibald is aiming to win another three – teaming up with Kenny in the madison, and also racing in the individual pursuit and omnium.

The 24-year-old added: “Both of the Great Britain pursuit teams will now be looking towards the rest of the season and the World Championships – looking at how we can beat the rest of the world, not just Europe.”

Kay, 22, remained among the pack for much of her race until the final two laps when she made a bid for gold only to be held off by Dutch rider Kirsten Wild.

“With a couple to go, I was right at the back and I thought I’d messed it up,” she told BBC Sport.

“I knew it was going to be a tough sprint but it was really close on the line. I’m really happy with how I rode it.”

Ethan Hayter, Charlie Tanfield, two-time Olympic champion Steven Burke and Kian Emadi then dominated Germany to finish third in the team pursuit and win Britain’s second medal at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.

However, the men’s team sprint trio lost to Poland in the heats. Rio 2016 gold medallist Philip Hindes’ mishap at the start meant he, six-time Olympic champion Kenny and Ryan Owens were up against it throughout the race.

“He had a little wheel slip and, typical luck, Phil then hits a foam pad, making a bad situation worse,” six-time Olympic champion Kenny told BBC Sport. “But there was nothing any of us could do.

“You’ve just got to go full gas and hope for the best. It’s just one of those things really, it’s unfortunate, but it goes pear-shaped very quickly.”

‘A special moment for Kenny’ – analysis

Sir Chris Hoy, six-time Olympic champion speaking on BBC TV

That was a great team effort, but Katie Archibald was outstanding there.

You can see how much it means to them and how great it is to have Laura back in the team.

It’s a special moment for Laura. Her perspective has changed, on how she approaches competition. She’s certainly more relaxed and she’s enjoying it more. She’s realising it’s not life and death.

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Emily Kay wins Britain’s first medal with silver in the women’s scratch race cycling

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