Laura Trott takes world championship gold

Britain's Laura Trott celebrates taking gold in the women's scratch race at the 2016 Track Cycling World Championships. Picture: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty

Britain's Laura Trott celebrates taking gold in the women's scratch race at the 2016 Track Cycling World Championships. Picture: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty

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Laura Trott won Great Britain’s first gold of the Track Cycling World Championships in London with victory in the women’s scratch race.

The two-time Olympic champion put the disappointment of fifth place in team pursuit qualifying earlier in the day behind her to win the non-Olympic discipline.

Trott finished ahead of 
Kirsten Wild of Holland and Canada’s Stephanie Roorda and said afterwards: “When I was in the race I wasn’t feeling that good. But it worked out perfectly for me. I’m so happy. I let everybody get on with it and raced my own race.”

Later on, Sir Bradley 
Wiggins and Great Britain had to settle for silver in the men’s team pursuit as familiar foes Australia claimed gold.

Wiggins, Andy Tennant, Owain Doull and Ed Clancy finished in three minutes 53.856 seconds as Australia’s Sam Welsford, Michael Hepburn, Callum Scotson and Miles Scotson won in 3mins 52.727secs. Denmark took bronze.

Britain had trailed for much of the four kilometres but, with two laps of the 16 remaining, took the lead only to unravel in the closing stages.

Clancy had back surgery last year and is still recovering, meaning Britain have more to give as they look for a third straight Olympic title in Rio this summer.

Wiggins, who is targeting a fifth Olympic gold and British-record eighth medal in Rio, said: “Initially you’re gutted – I am especially.

“I said it was going to take a (three minutes) 52 (seconds) or world record to win here. They did that and we didn’t.

“We were here to win. We knew it would take a time like that to win and we didn’t produce it and they did.

“It’s really disappointing. But at the same time, where we look where we come from, we’re close. We knew we’d have a race on here and we’re going to have a race in Rio, but I 
think we’ll get over the line first in Rio.”

Trott’s victory was her sixth world title and second individual honour.

Her only prior individual win was in the omnium at the 2012 World Championships in Melbourne. Trott had been a team pursuit winner at four successive World Championships from 2011 to 2014 until having to settle for silver 12 months ago. And she can win bronze at best today in the team 
pursuit after a disappointing qualifying ride. Trott, Joanna Rowsell Shand, Ciara Horne and Elinor Barker clocked four minutes and 21.034 seconds to qualify for the first round in fifth.

Only the winners of the fastest two first-round heats can make the final, but the remainder of the top eight are ranked according to time, meaning Britain can, at best, place third.

The team were without one of their strongest riders after Scotland’s Katie Archibald suffered a knee injury in a motorbike crash.

British Cycling head coach Iain Dyer said: “It’s a disappointing performance. There’s no way of dressing that any 
differently. We have known for a long time we wouldn’t have Katie in London for the World Championships.”

“We tried to give it our best shot here and it didn’t pan out,” added Dyer.

Becky James claimed bronze in the women’s Keirin behind Germany’s Kristina Vogel, who took gold, and Anna Meares of Australia.

James has had two years disrupted by a knee injury and illness since winning the Keirin and individual sprint at the 2013 World Championships in Minsk and last night’s result was a major boost for her Rio Olympic hopes.

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