Trott wins scratch race gold for GB

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Laura Trott wins gold in scratch race

Laura Trott claimed gold for Great Britain at the Track Cycling World Championships in London as Sir Bradley Wiggins and the British men’s pursuit team had to settle for silver.

Trott won the scratch race for GB’s first gold of the event, beating Netherlands rider Kirsten Wild.

Australia dramatically beat Britain’s men’s pursuit team in the final.

But Becky James put three years of injury problems behind her with a bronze for GB in the keirin race.

The 2013 double world champion finished behind Germany’s Kristina Vogel, while Australia’s Anna Meares took silver.

Despite missing out on gold, Wiggins said he would “put my house” on GB claiming the Olympic title in Rio this August.

Trott makes it six world titles

With five laps remaining, the double Olympic champion seemed out of contention in the scratch race but held her nerve to win a sixth career World Championship gold.

“When I was in the race I wasn’t feeling that good,” said Trott. “But it worked out perfectly for me. I’m so happy. I let everybody get on with it and raced my own race.”

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‘As fractious a performance in years’

The 23-year-old’s victory softened the blow she and her team-mates suffered in the women’s team pursuit earlier in the afternoon. A ragged ride in qualifying means the quartet can finish no better than third on Friday.

Trott, Elinor Barker, Ciara Horne and Joanna Rowsell Shand clocked four minutes 21.034 seconds, the fifth-fastest time in qualifying.

It is usually an event Britain can bank on for success, winning six of the previous eight world titles, but they can now only ride off for bronze. The USA qualified fastest, followed by Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

Wiggins denied by Australians

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Australia deny GB in pursuit final

In the men’s team pursuit, Wiggins, Ed Clancy, Owain Doull and Jon Dibben dragged themselves back into contention after a blistering start from Australia, but lost by 1.129 seconds to their perennial rivals.

In the final track competition before the Olympics, the victory is a psychological boost for the Australians.

But the return of Clancy – the team’s strongest rider and a man Wiggins sees as “irreplaceable” – is a positive for GB.

Twelve weeks ago, Clancy was unable to walk after back surgery and his astonishing recovery led team-mate Doull to describe him as a “freak of nature”.

Wiggins still believes GB can win in Rio, saying: “I’ll put my house on it, I’ll say we’ll win in Rio now. I’m confident and I just think we will.

“Look at our efforts individually from Christmas to where we are now. We’ve come on leaps and bounds and I think we’ll move on again for Rio.”

Olympic champion Chris Boardman, summarising for BBC Sport, said: “It was a fast time by both teams, but the Australians were just consistent all the way through and had that extra depth.

“I was pleased with the way Britain managed their problems, but it wasn’t enough.”

James’ impressive comeback

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Track Cycling World Championships: Becky James claims keirin bronze

Welsh rider James, 23, had wondered whether she would ride again after a series of injuries and a cancer scare.

So progressing to the final in London was deemed a success for the 2013 double world champion.

She rode astutely to finish behind favourite Vogel, who won her seventh world title, and reigning Olympic champion Meares.

“It just doesn’t feel real, I’m just over the moon to be back,” said James. “I’ve seen improvements week in week out and managed to pull it out today.”

Sir Chris Hoy said her performance “was the best she could have hoped for”.

The winner of six Olympic golds and BBC Sport cycling expert added: “She didn’t have the form, she hung in there, defended well and didn’t panic.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/35719795

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