Women’s team pursuit quartet light up historic TISSOT UCI Track World Cup opening day in London

Laura Kenny, Katie Archibald, Ellie Dickinson and Neah Evans stormed to an incredible women’s team pursuit final victory on a frenetic, historic and medal-rich opening day of TISSOT UCI Track World Cup action in London.

The British quartet sent the crowd into raptures with an incredible chase at Lee Valley VeloPark, on a day when para events were being staged alongside able-bodied competition in a Track World Cup for the first time.

They hunted down the American team of Jennifer Valente, Kelly Catlin, Kimberly Geist and Emma White with ease as they laid down another marker for why they are the best in the world.

After comfortably registering the quickest qualifying time earlier in the day, the foursome never looked in danger of winning anything less than the gold medal their performance deserved.

In the men’s team sprint final, the Dutch trio of Harrie Lavreysen, Jeffrey Hoogland and Roy van den Berg streaked clear of home heroes Ryan Owens, Philip Hindes and Joe Truman, winning in 42.789 seconds against Britain’s 44.186.

The two outfits were easily the best on the day, but it was the Dutch who had too much in the tank despite a stern fight from the British trio.

Elsewhere, the HUUB Wattbike team caught the eye with a magnificent gold in the men’s team pursuit.

The Derby-based outfit, made up of John Archibald, Dan Bigham, Ashton Lambie and Jonny Wale, outpaced a fiercely-talented Belgian quartet of Lindsay de Vylder, Kenny de Ketele, Robbe Ghys and Fabio van den Bossche to top the podium.

Their success came off the back of an equalling thrilling race for bronze, which saw Britain’s Fred Wright, Ethan Vernon, Matt Walls and William Tidball come from behind to snatch a last-gasp triumph over Italy, who had looked solid bets for the medal throughout the contest.

China’s Tianshi Zhong and Lin Junhong sealed women’s sprint gold over Miriam Welte and Emma Hinze of Germany, with British interest ending after Katy Marchant and Lauren Bate were beaten at the qualifying stage.

Britain’s para stars also wrote their names into cycling folklore as being among the first Track World Cup para medallists.

Kadeena Cox, so often the star in track and field, was back in the saddle as she won gold ahead of Dame Sarah Storey in the C4-5 500m time trial.

Two British para-riders on the podium proved to be a familiar sight with home stars racking up silverware for fun on a hectic Friday of action.

Neil Fachie and Matt Rotherham kicked off the evening session with a confident performance en route to gold in the men’s tandem sprint finals.

Fachie and Rotherham timed their strikes to perfection as they picked their moments to surge past Irish duo Martin Gordon and pilot Eamonn Byrne.

Matthew Ellis and pilot Barney Storey edged an all-British clash for bronze, winning 2-0 against Alex Pope and Albin Geneix.

Jody Cundy continued his dominance in the C4-5 1km with an eye-catching individual victory in the opening session, claiming gold ahead of American Christopher Murphy with fellow Brit Jon Gildea sealing bronze.

And Cundy brought home the glory in the mixed para team sprint final as Britain romped to another gold, securing gold with Jon-Allan Butterworth and Louis Rolfe over the United States in the final.

The first medal of the day went to Dutch racer Alyda Norbruis, who clocked a superb 39.492s in her two-lap run in the C1-3 500m time trial final, with C3 individual pursuit Paralympic champion Megan Giglia a close second and another British rising star, Katie Toft, third.

Pics: SWpix.com

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