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Page last updated at 19:56 GMT, Thursday, 26 March 2009

GB women win world pursuit gold

Venue: Pruszkow, Poland Dates: 25-29 March Coverage: Live on BBC Two and BBC Sport website 1900-2000 GMT, Live on Red Button and BBC Sport website 2000-2045, Highlights on BBC Two and BBC Sport website 2320-0000

Armitstead leads out Houvenaghel and Rowsell

Highlights - GB win team pursuit gold

Great Britain secured their first gold of the World Championships, defending their women's team pursuit title.

Wendy Houvenaghel, Joanna Rowsell and Lizzie Armitstead beat New Zealand by 1.273 seconds in a time of 3 minutes 22.720 sec in the final.

GB sprint duo Victoria Pendleton and Shanaze Reade had to settle for silver after Australia set a world record.

But Ross Edgar and Matt Crampton missed out on keirin medals, as did Mark Cavendish in the scratch race.

Olympic silver medallist Edgar finished fourth and Crampton fifth as German Maximilian Levy succeeded the injured Sir Chris Hoy as world champion.

A motor derny paces the keirin heats

Highlights - GB fail to medal in men's keirin

Both men had to go through the extra repechage round - where team-mate Jason Kenny was eliminated - but Edgar said that was no excuse.

"I felt really good for the final. I'm just really disappointed I didn't get involved in the race," he admitted.

"I should have gone a bit earlier. I just waited too long and you can't wait in the keirin when the speeds are high."

Crampton attempted to follow Hoy's usual tactic of taking the lead early but did not have the legs to hold off Levy.

"I was sixth in line so had to go hard early. I was a tough job and it didn't really work out," he said.

Simon Brotherton - BBC Sport

However, Great Britain's women had already made sure of taking top spot on the podium at least once on day two in Pruszkow.

Houvenaghel, who suffered defeat in the individual final on Wednesday, said she never doubted the team would win.

"I had absolute belief we were going to win this event because I know how strong we all are. We've been working together for six months," she told BBC Sport.

Armitstead took the first of what could be three medals in her first World Championships and said: "There's quite a lot of British support out here, which made it even more special."

I did the best possible ride I could do on the day so I'm really happy

Shanaze Reade

Pendleton and Reade, who have won the team sprint title for the last two years, knew they had a tough task on their hands after they were second in qualifying.

And Aussie duo Anna Meares and Kaarle McCulloch stepped up a level in the final as they blazed home in 33.149 seconds, with the Brits 0.231 sec behind.

"We knew we had to find a tenth [of a second] and we did but the Australians went faster," said Pendleton, who took time trial bronze on Wednesday and begins her individual sprint campaign on Friday.

Reade, in her first high-profile event since crashing out of the Olympic BMX final, had only four weeks' practice on the velodrome behind her.

"I did the best possible ride I could do on the day so I'm really happy," she told BBC Sport.

I was due an easy week and the easiest thing was to come here to the track

Mark Cavendish

Cavendish missed out on an Olympic medal in Beijing and was a surprise inclusion in the GB squad as he has been concentrating on road racing.

He started strongly, and later fought back to close to within half a lap of a breakaway group of six, from which Morgan Kneisky of France emerged victorious.

Having finished seventh, he gets another shot at gold in the madison on Saturday and described his return to the track as a "break" from the rigours of the road-racing circuit.

"I knew coming in here that it was going to be hard to do anything - I was being watched and I didn't expect anything in the scratch," he said.

"It made sense, I was due a break after the first part of the year. I was due an easy week and the easiest thing was to come here to the track."


Great Britain chose not to compete in the individual pursuit, where the absent Bradley Wiggins was the reigning champion.

American Taylor Phinney beat Aussie Jack Bobridge in the final, while Ireland's David O'Loughlin finished a disappointing 15th in qualifying.

Great Britain's men will continue their hunt for gold on day three in Pruszcow, when they are favourites to defend their team pursuit title.

Meanwhile, British Cycling has announced the World Cup Series will visit Manchester for the second successive year, with an event from 30 October to 1 November.

Australia win women's team sprint

Highlights - GB women beaten in team sprint

see also
World track cycling guide
24 Mar 09 |  Cycling
Chris Hoy's track bike guide
02 Oct 08 |  Get Involved
Cycling on the BBC
04 Nov 08 |  Cycling

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