Britain lead the way in team pursuit as Vogel and Glaetzer shine in sprints

Great Britain’s team pursuit women picked up where their male counterparts left off on day one – setting the fastest qualifying time by some margin in session three of the TISSOT UCI Track World Cup.

A busy session also saw Kristina Vogel and Daria Shmeleva qualify for the keirin second round as Benjamin Thomas leads at the halfway stage of the men’s omnium.

But it was the home team pursuit quartet of Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker, Neah Evans and Emily Nelson that got the loudest cheer of the session as they combined to set a time of 4:18.471, more than 3.5 seconds ahead of closest rivals and European champions Italy.

That time means a win against Belgium in tomorrow’s first round will see them in the gold medal ride-off, while fellow Brits Team Breeze also qualified for the first round – their time of 4:28.895 good enough for sixth place.

Japan, Germany, Russia and China make up the rest of the qualifiers, who will all go again on Sunday morning.

The men’s sprint saw a trio of Brits bow out at the quarter-final stage as Phil Hindes, Jack Carlin and Lewis Oliva all lost in straight rides.

Carlin had earlier sprung a surprise by beating former European champion Jeffrey Hoogland, but he came unstuck against another Dutchman, Matthijs Buchli.

Joining Buchli in the semi-finals will be Australia’s Matthew Glaetzer, Poland’s Mateusz Rudyk and Dutchman Harrie Lavreysen – who beat Hindes in straight rides – the Brit still transitioning from the team sprint to the individual.

“I’m feeling good. I’m quite happy with my qualifying times and how I’ve progressed with the racing and how my tactics are going,” said the double Olympic champion.

“There’s still room for improvement but I’ve got three years to work on it and hopefully come the Olympic Games it will be there.

“It’s just a learning curve every race and I’m trying to improve every race.

“It’s always nice to race in front of a home crowd, especially when you come with a lap to go for your final sprint and you hear the crowd cheering.”

The first race of the men’s omnium saw a keenly-fought scratch race with 17 riders all finishing on the same lap as Greece’s Christos Volikakis beat world champion Thomas and Max Beyer to the line.

The French and German riders each received a warning for dangerous riding in the final lap for a collision that eventually saw Britain’s Mark Stewart hit the deck before remounting and crossing the line, to the cheers of the home fans.

The Scot then put in a gutsy effort to get the tempo race victory but just fell short of gaining the lap he needed to take the win.

Instead it was Thomas’ early solo break that gave him the glory, ahead of Denmark’s Niklas Larsen and Belgium’s Lyndsay de Vylder – meaning Thomas goes into the evening session in the overall lead.

While in the women’s keirin there was first-round success for world champion Kristina Vogel, who progressed with ease.

Joining her in automatic qualification for the second round will be Lithuania’s Simona Krupeckaite, the Netherlands’ Laurine van Riessen, Australia’s Stephanie Morton, Russia’s Anastasiia Voinova and home rider Katy Marchant.

And Marchant added to her successful morning as she qualified for the 500m time trial final with a mark of 34.303s – good enough for eighth place.

But it was Germany’s Miriam Welte – fresh from team sprint gold on Friday night – who set the pace, though, stopping the clock in 33.565s with Russia’s Shmeleva in second and Ukraine’s Olena Starikova in third.

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