Huddersfield cyclist Maddie Leech claims bronze as Charlie Tanfield and Oliver Wood take team pursuit silver

Maddie Leech of Huddersfield only took up cycling six years ago when she was inspired by the exploits of Laura Kenny at the Rio Olympics.

Now the 19-year-old is a Commonwealth Games bronze medallist alongside Kenny after the Team England quartet beat Wales in the bronze-medal race in the team pursuit on day one of the Games’ track disciplines at the Lee Valley VeloPark.

The team of Leech, Kenny, Josie Knight and Sophie Lewis clocked a time of 4:19.841 to beat Wales by half a second as Australia thrashed New Zealand by four seconds in the final.

After the race, a relieved Kenny admitted: “I’ve never felt under so much pressure to win a bronze medal in my whole career.

Medal chase: England's Laura Kenny, Josie Knight, Maddie Leech and Sophie Lewis on their way to winning bronze in the Women's 4000m Team Pursuit. Picture: John Walton/PA Wire.

“Just the fact that it’s such a young team, and obviously I’ve been really lucky in my career that I’ve had some brilliant experiences and I’ve been able to step up on that podium.

“And this is their first taste of it. So honestly, going into that final, it could have been a gold medal ride at the Olympics, I was that nervous.

“To be honest, I didn’t even think I was going to be here. If circumstances had been different, I wouldn’t have been here. To be able to come here and play a part for these girls is brilliant.”

Later in the opening evening track session, Yorkshire duo Charlie Tanfield of Great Ayton and Oliver Wood of Wakefield helped England to a silver medal in the men’s team pursuit.

Podium finish: England's Laura Kenny, Josie Knight, Maddie Leech and Sophie Lewis with their bronze medals following the Women's 4000m Team Pursuit. Picture: John Walton/PA Wire.

Tanfield said: “We could be disappointed with our time but did a PB performance outside of the Games, so we can’t be.

“You want to win I feel as though it was great to share the podium with the group of mates.

“We’re looking forward to the World Championships at the end of the year, to take some time off here and there. I reckon we could be in the mix there.”

Wood added: “We’ve missed a few training sessions this week but sometimes sport throws you these curveballs. It was about how we overcame that.”