Sir Chris Hoy gave Britain its only gold medal of the opening round of the UCI Track World Cup in Astana, Kazakhstan, over the weekend. Hoy – riding for the Sky trade team rather than in Great Britain colours – won the sprint event on Sunday after finishing as runner-up in the keirin the previous day.

Dani King gave Britain its only other medal of the event, clinching a highly creditable silver medal in the women’s multi-discipline omnium event at her first attempt in the World Cup.

Great Britain had fielded a limited squad at the opening round of the 2011-12 World Cup at the newly-finished velodrome in Astana. Aside from King and Ed Clancy in the men’s omnium, GB only flew over its sprint specialists to take part in the Olympic events: sprint, team sprint and keirin.

The weekend didn’t start particularly well for Britain’s sprinters. In the perennially problematic men’s team sprint, the GB line-up of Jason Queally, Jason Kenny and Ross Edgar failed to make it into the finals, posting only the seventh fastest time in the qualifiers. Granted, Hoy was not part of the line-up due to riding in Sky colours but Britain’s 44.326 was off the mark on what proved to be a fast track. The German Erdgas team came out on top in the finals, beating the Jayco team of Australia.

With just nine months to go until the 2012 Olympic Games kick off in London, this weekend proved once again that there is still a lot of work to be done for the British team sprint line-up and with little sign of a front-runner emerging for the tricky man one position.

The women’s team sprint fared better. The young duo of Becky James and Jess Varnish placed fourth in a blisteringly fast set of finals that saw the winning Australian duo of Anna Meares and Kaarle McCulloch narrowly miss out on beating their own world record. Varnish also finished fourth in the 500 metre time trial, won by Belarusian Olga Panarina.

Newly-crowned European champion Ed Clancy finished fourth in the men’s ominium. Clancy started his campaign strongly by being the only rider to duck under the 13-second mark in the flying lap, but lost ground in his weakest events – the points race and elimination race. He finished with a flourish by coming out on top in the time trial. German Roger Kluge won overall.

Like Clancy, King also only lost ground in the women’s omnium in the mass-start points and elimination races. She won the individual pursuit and flying lap rounds on her way to winning silver behind Russian Evgeniya Romanyuta.

Australia finished the weekend at the top of the medal table with three golds, but by their standards it was a far from dominant performance. It was a weekend where the eastern European and Asian nations established themselves further with some solid riding. Germany came away with eight medals, and lead the team competition going into round two.

The second round of four in the 2011-12 Track World Cup takes place in Cali, Colombia, over December 1-3. The series then visits Beijing, China, in January and London in February for the first international event in the Olympic velodrome.

Results

UCI Track World Cup 2011-12, round one: Astana, Kazakhstan

Men’s sprint


1. Chris Hoy (Sky – GBr)

2. Denis Dmitriev (Moscow Track Team – Rus)

3. Shane Perkins (Jayco – Aus)

Other British

7. Matt Crampton (GBr)

10. Jason Keny (GBr)

Men’s individual pursuit

1. Glenn Oshea (Aus) 4-22.048

2. Dominique Cornu (Fra) 4-25.738

3. Nikias Arndt (Ger) 4-24.184

No British riders

Men’s team pursuit

1. Rusvelo (Rus) 3-56.127

2. Australia (Aus) 4-01.417

3. Netherlands (Ned) 4-04.035

No British riders

Men’s team sprint

1. Erdgas (Ger) 43.474

2. Jayco (Aus) 43.661

3. France (Fra) 43.757

British

7. Great Britain (GBr)

Men’s keirin

1. Christos Volikakis (Gre)

2. Chris Hoy (Sky – GBr)

3. Sergey Borisov (Moscow Track Team – Rus)

Other British

19. Jason Kenny (GBr)

Men’s scratch race

1. Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel)

2. Angel Colla (Arg)

3. Nikias Arndt (Ger)

No British riders

Men’s Madison

1. Alexander Edmondson & Glenn Oshea (Aus)

2. Silvan Dillier & Loic Perizzolo (Swi)

3. Artur Arshov & Kirill Sveshnikov (Lokosphinx – Rus)

No British riders

Men’s omnium

1. Roger Kluge (Ger)

2. Ho Sung Cho (Kor)

3. Elia Viviani (Ita)

British

4. Ed Clancy (GBr)

Women’s sprint

1. Lyubov Shulika (Ukr)

2. Anna Meares (Aus)

3. Olga Panarina (Blr)

British

9. Becky James (GBr)

12. Jess Varnish (GBr)

Women’s 500m time trial

1. Olga Panarina (Blr) 33.472

2. Sandie Clair (Fra) 33.950

3. Miriam Welte (Ger) 34.172

British

4. Jess Varnish (GBr) 34.293

Women’s team pursuit

1. Netherlands 3-21.550

2. China 3-22.079

3. Germany 3-21.701

No British riders

Women’s team sprint

1. Australia 32.938

2. Ukraine 33.313

3. Germany 33.388

British

4. Great Britain 33.588

Women’s keirin

1. Clara Sanchez (Fra)

2. Kristina Vogel (Ger)

3. Ekaterina Gnidenko (Rus)

British

9. Becky James (GBr)

13. Jess Varnish (GBr)

Women’s points race

1. Ahreum Na (Kor)

2. Stephanie Pohl (Ger)

3. Elena Cecchini (Ita)

No British riders

Women’s omnium

1. Evgeniya Romanyuta (Rusvelo – Rus)

2. Dani King (GBr)

3. Li Huang (Chn)

Related links



UCI’s 2011-12 Track World Cup kicks off in Astana



Pendleton aiming for triple gold at 2012 Olympics



Cycling Weekly’s London 2012 Olympic Games news section