Great Britain claimed their first gold medal of the 2018 UCI Track Cycling World Championships with victory in the men’s team pursuit last night.
Three-time Olympic champion Ed Clancy anchored a youthful team alongside Kian Emadi, Ethan Hayter and Great Ayton’s Charlie Tanfield in Apeldoorn.
They won in a time of 3mins 53.389secs, beating Denmark by a little over one and a half seconds.
While Barnsley-born Clancy celebrated a sixth world title, his team-mates will be collecting their first rainbow jerseys.
Clancy said: “It feels pretty epic to be honest. I’m 33 next week. You take every win you can get.”
Back in December, Huddersfield-raised Clancy had highlighted these championships as a real chance to claim another world title, given Australia could be forgiven for focusing on the upcoming Commonwealth Games on home turf.
He was correct as the defending champions did not compete, but Clancy insisted that did not make the racing much easier.
“I always knew it was going to be a big s*** fight, it always is,” he said.
“The Danes are strong, the Kiwis were maybe not what we expected because they usually push us right to the wire.
“I wouldn’t say it was a lean year though, we had a to do a 3:53 in Apeldoorn – usually a slow track – to win.
“It was another tough worlds. But yes, the Australians are still the team to beat and obviously it helps they’re not here.”
Laura Kenny helped Great Britain to a silver medal in the women’s team pursuit.
Twenty-four hours after husband Jason won silver in the men’s team sprint, four-time Olympic champion Laura – joined by Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker and Emily Nelson – got the same result as the United States retained their title.
In a topsy-turvy race, the Americans surrendered an early advantage only to come on much too strong for Britain in the finale.
These world championships are Kenny’s first competitive event since she gave birth to baby Albie six months ago.
Kenny said she was happy to come away with a medal given her comeback was so far ahead of schedule.
“It felt good,” she said. “I haven’t got the fitness I would like to have, but it’s great being back here and great to be in there mix with the girls.
“If you asked a month ago whether I would be at the World Championships I would have said no because I didn’t think I would be.
“My comeback was supposed to be in August so to be here and take home a silver with the girls is way more than I expected.”