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Page last updated at 11:13 GMT, Friday, 23 October 2009 12:13 UK

Medal glee for Thomas and James

Geraint Thomas showed his good form throughout the heats in Manchester
Geraint Thomas showed his good form throughout the heats in Manchester

Geraint Thomas claimed the men's individual pursuit title at the national championships in Manchester.

The Olympic team pursuit gold medallist won with a time of 4mins 18.418secs, which would have been enough to win a world championship most years.

There were also two bronze medals for Thomas' Welsh compatriot Becky James in the 500m time trial and the sprint.

The double junior world champion each time finished behind winner Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish in second.

The sprint semi-final battle between James and Varnish was a thriller.

The Welsh girl from Abergavenny edged the first heat, but Halesowen rider Varnish came back at her in the second, holding off the junior world champion with a gritty last-lap effort.


The third heat began cagily and Varnish made her move with a lap to go, holding off James to win by a wheel to claim a final spot against Pendleton.

James pipped Helen Scott, Pendleton's semi-final victim, in two close heats to win the bronze.

"I felt I rode well in the quarters and I got a great start beating Jess in the semi's even though I did lose to her in the final two heats," James told British Cycling.

"It's my first senior nationals and to win a bronze medal I have to be pretty pleased with that."

James will be competing in the final sprint event, the Kierin, on Saturday where Pendleton will again stand in her way.

In the men's pursuit, Thomas had stamped his authority in morning qualifying with an impressive performance from the Team Sky man.

Thomas faced Andy Tennant in the final and although the early stage of the race was close, Thomas turned the screw in the last few laps to stop the clock at 4.18.138.

Ben Swift took the bronze by holding off Stephen Burke in a close race.

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see also
Storey on top as Pendleton shines
21 Oct 09 |  Cycling
Hoy secures maiden British title
22 Oct 09 |  Cycling
Romero conspicuous by her absence
21 Oct 09 |  Cycling
Pendleton surprised by early pace
21 Oct 09 |  Cycling
Thomas is tipped for road success
14 Sep 09 |  Cycling
James tracking down 2012 place
10 Sep 09 |  Cycling
James wins double gold in Moscow
16 Aug 09 |  Cycling

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