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GB's Hoy and Pendleton win team medals in Melbourne

Sir Chris Hoy and Matt Crampton
Hoy and Crampton joined Jason Kenny to deliver gold

Chris Hoy and Great Britain's sprint team won gold at the World Cup event in Melbourne to gain vital qualification points for the London 2012 Olympics.

Hoy, Jason Kenny and Matt Crampton, who were disappointed with European bronze last month, beat New Zealand with a time of 43.829 seconds.

Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish took silver in the women's team sprint.

And world champion Ed Clancy stood second overnight, at the half-way point of a new-format, six-race omnium event.

GB traditionally use the three World Cup events outside the UK each year to blood younger riders.

Tonight was a good performance but not an exceptional one

Chris Hoy

But this year they are sending a strong squad to each event and Hoy told BBC Sport before the trip to Melbourne: "We are really keen to gain as many Olympic qualification points as we can as early as we can, they are really important."

"Ideally we want to get it done as early as possible so we can pick and choose the races we want to do in 2011 and 2012.

Qualification for London 2012 will be decided by results at the 2011 and 2012 World Championships, World Cup series in 2010-11 and 2011-12, and the last two Continental Championships.

Great Britain finished top of the medals table at the European Championships in Poland last month, winning three gold medals and seven medals in total.

Hoy, Kenny and Crampton finished behind Germany and France in that event but roared back to form in Melbourne, leaving a different German trio third in qualifying.

Olympic qualification points vital - Hoy speaks before Melbourne trip

Riding behind Kenny as "man two", Hoy set a personal best in riding a lap in 12.8 sec.

"Tonight was a good performance but not an exceptional one," he told the British Cycling website .

"I think a low 43 [seconds overall] would be looking to win the World Championships, so we probably have got another half a second to come off that hopefully," said Hoy.

The trio could all compete in the men's keirin on Friday and the individual sprint on Saturday, when GB's European champion pursuit team are also in action.

"I would like to try and dominate the keirin and stamp my authority on it, that's the aim," Hoy added.

"If you win then that's great but the important thing is to dictate the race."

On Thursday, Pendleton and Varnish, who finished fourth together at last year's World Championships in Denmark and took Euro silver last month, were 0.322 sec behind Chinese duo Jinjie Gong and Lin Junhong in their final.

Olympic and eight-time world champion Pendleton, from Bedfordshire, has been battling a back problem, which she described as a "little bit of a training injury".

She is set to take part in the individual sprint on Saturday, where she will face Australia's Anna Meares, who won the Commonwealth title in Pendleton's absence in Delhi in October.

Olympic team pursuit champion Clancy, from Barnsley, was unsure how he would fare in the new-look omnium, with an elimination race added to the usual five events, which featured when he won the world title in Poland last March.

However, his sixth place in the elimination, after finishing 12th in the points race and victory in the flying lap, was enough to put him second behind New Zealand's Shane Archbold.


Three events remain in the omnium - the individual pursuit, scratch race and 1km time trial - on Friday.

Australia won the women's team pursuit event on Friday in the absence of European champions Great Britain.

The GB trio of Katie Colclough, Wendy Houvenaghel, Laura Trott will join the fray for the second event of the World Cup series, in a fortnight's time, in Cali, Colombia.

Further World Cup events take place in Beijing in January and Manchester in February before March's World Championships in Apeldoorn, Holland.

GB squad to compete at the Track World Cup meetings:

Riders for Melbourne

Male: Steven Burke, Ed Clancy, Matt Crampton, Sir Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny, Jason Queally, Luke Rowe, Andy Tennant.

Female: Victoria Pendleton, Jess Varnish.

Riders for Cali

Male: Ed Clancy, Matt Crampton, Sir Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny.

Female: Katie Colclough, Wendy Houvenaghel, Laura Trott, Victoria Pendleton, Jess Varnish.

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see also
Olympic qualification vital - Hoy
26 Nov 10 |  Cycling
Kenny scoops Britain's third gold
07 Nov 10 |  Cycling
Hoy suffers shock Poland defeat
06 Nov 10 |  Cycling
Brits win Euro team pursuit golds
05 Nov 10 |  Cycling

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