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Page last updated at 20:52 GMT, Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Two silvers for GB on opening day

Venue: Pruszkow, Poland Dates: 25-29 March Coverage: Live on BBC Two and BBC Sport website 1900-2000, Live on Red Button and BBC Sport website 2000-2100, Highlights on BBC Two and BBC Sport website 2320-0000

Wendy Houvenaghel

Watch highlights of Houvenaghel's individual pursuit final

Great Britain won two silver and two bronze medals but could not secure a victory on day one at track cycling's World Championships in Poland.

Wendy Houvenaghel was overhauled by New Zealander Alison Shanks in the individual pursuit final.

With Chris Hoy out injured, GB's Olympic champion team sprint trio were 0.3 seconds behind France.

And there were bronze medals for Chris Newton in the points race and Victoria Pendleton in the 500m time trial.

Matthew Crampton stood in for Hoy to join Jamie Staff and Jason Kenny in the team sprint, seeking to win Britain's first world title in the event since 2005.

By the end of the week we'll have at least four or five golds but we're a bit disappointed we didn't bring one of them home

Jamie Staff

But they were slower than defending champions France in qualifying and struggled to stay together as a trio in the final.

Crampton, 22, dropped off the pace in the opening lap and said: "It was a tough ride. I just lost a load of momentum.

"The first round was really good but the final didn't happen. But a silver medal is awesome - I've got to be happy."

Veteran Staff added: "We're a bit disappointed but we gave it our best.

"It's been such a hard time since the Games. We've been really busy and the intensity in training has been nothing compared to before the Olympics.

"We're just here to enjoy it. I'm sure by the end of the week we'll have at least four or five golds but we're a bit disappointed we didn't bring one of them home."

Victoria Pendleton

Pendleton 'delighted' by bronze

Houvenaghel, from County Londonderry in Northern Ireland, won an Olympic silver medal in the individual pursuit in Beijing behind Rebecca Romero, who is taking a year off.

The 34-year-old was fastest in qualifying and led the early part of the 4km final but she began to flag at the half-way mark and finished 2.7 sec behind her qualifying mark, 2.3 sec behind Shanks.

"Having the two races quite close to each other took a bit more out of me than it did for Alison," said Houvenaghel.

Her GB team-mate Joanna Rowsell, 20, was pleased to finish fourth in her first individual event at a world championships.

Lithuania's Simona Krupeckaite set a new 500m time trial world record of 33.296 seconds but Pendleton, 28, was delighted to finish third in 34.102 sec.

She will compete in four events in all at these championships, adding the time trial and keirin to the events she won last year - the individual sprint and the team sprint, with Shanaze Reade.


"I was thinking at best I might podium so I'm absolutely delighted," said Pendleton.

Newton, who won the World Cup Series title in the points race this season, was left with too much to do as Australian Cameron Meyer was among a group of attacking riders in the final laps.

"It was a tough one but they always are. There were a lot of people watching me but some other riders who were strong favourites," he said.

The GB men's sprint team

Silver disappoints men's sprint team

see also
World track cycling guide
24 Mar 09 |  Cycling
Chris Hoy's track bike guide
02 Oct 08 |  Get Involved
Cavendish named in GB track team
23 Mar 09 |  Cycling
Hoy to miss World Championships
03 Mar 09 |  Cycling
Cycling on the BBC
04 Nov 08 |  Cycling

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