Great Britain got off to the flying start they had aimed for in the European Track Championships in Poland on Friday morning, qualifying the fastest in the men’s and women’s team pursuit as well as the women’s team sprint.
That means that at least three medals will be going GB’s way in the evening sessions, the only finals that will be decided on the European’s first day of racing.
First out of the blocks on a chilly Friday morning in Pruszkow velodrome were the men’s team pursuiters, with 2000 Olympic kilo gold medallist Jason Queally taking part – at 40 – in his first international competition in the discipline.
Queally eased off at the end of the third lap, but the Britons were still far enough ahead to ensure a two second advantage over Russia – the latter now trained by former GB senior track coach Heiko Salzwedel.
The women’s team pursuit turned in an equally efficent performance and will now take on Lithuania, whilst the women’s team sprinters duo of Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish will fight it out for gold against France.
In the men’s team sprint, the trio of Sir Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny and Matt Crampton will fight against Poland for bronze after a miscalculated changeover by Hoy saw the Britons slide out of the top spots.
“That one mistake bumped us out of the final,” Sir Chris told Cycling Weekly, “a gap opened and that was that.”
“But we’ve got a chance of bronze, and the times weren’t bad, so we’re definitely in the ballpark.”