It was Ryan Owens, Jack Carlin and Jason Kenny who got the Great Britain Cycling Team off the mark on the medal table at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Berlin, securing the silver medal in the men’s team sprint on the first day of competition.
The trio set a personal best time of 42.471 to qualify in second place – a time which they beat again in the first round, clocking 42.294 and securing them a place in the final. They met the Dutch team who have dominated the event all season, and it was no different in Berlin. Having broken the world record in the first round, the team from the Netherlands did so again in the final, finishing in a time of 41.225 to secure the gold medal, with Great Britain taking silver.
Jason Kenny was pleased with the team’s result, saying: “We maximised what we had, we were technically pretty good, fairly consistent so I’m really happy. It’s a nice step forward.
“To break the British record outside of the Games is obviously a big step, we tend to save our best for the Games, so to break it outside the Games is a really good achievement. We’ve had a good year, and we’ve saved our best for the world championships which is good as it doesn’t always work out like that. It’s been a well-structured year, it’s gone well, and it’s peaked here today.”
In the men’s team pursuit, it was Denmark who laid down the marker by smashing the world record on their way to qualify the fastest time of 3:46.579 and broke it again in the second round in a time of 3:46.203. The British quartet of Ed Clancy, Charlie Tanfield, Ollie Wood and Ethan Hayter qualified in seventh place in 3:50.341, the fastest time a British team has ever posted during a qualification ride, which put them against Germany in the first round although it would be their time that would progress them, rather than their result. Their second-round time of 3:51.561 meant they finished fifth overall and without a medal ride, but with some positive take-outs from their performance which can be carried forward. The medal rounds will resume tomorrow.
Laura Kenny proved she was back in the hunt for medals following her crash in Milton at the end of January which left her with a fractured shoulder. Kenny narrowly missed out on the podium in the scratch race, finishing in fourth place. It was the Netherlands’ Kirsten Wild who won the rainbow jersey, with Jennifer Valente from the USA and Maria Martins from Portugal winning the silver and bronze respectively.
The women’s team pursuit squad of Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker, Neah Evans and Ellie Dickinson set the second fastest time in qualifying (4:11.871) and will take on Canada in the first round of the event tomorrow. Also taking place tomorrow is the men’s scratch race which will be contested by Matt Walls, the men’s keirin which will see Jason Kenny and Jack Carlin back in action and the beginning of the women’s sprint event which Katy Marchant and Sophie Capewell will compete in.