Britain’s track cyclists demonstrated their strength in depth by winning five of seven races on the opening day of the first World Cup of the season in Manchester on Friday.
In the absence of two of the country’s biggest heroes from Beijing — Chris Hoy and Rebecca Romero — two of the victories went to teenagers bidding to break into the world’s dominant team in time for the London Olympics in 2012.
Beijing silver medalist Wendy Houvenaghel took advantage of the absence of compatriot Romero to take the women’s individual pursuit, finishing nine seconds ahead of Tara Whitten of Canada in the final. Britain’s Joanna Rowsell came third.
Olympic and world champion Victoria Pendleton took the women’s sprint, beating Zheng Lulu of China. Lyubov Shulika of Ukraine was third.
With all the big names missing from the women’s points race, a trio of British juniors swept the podium, led by 19-year-old Lizzie Armitstead, ahead of Lucy Martin and Katie Colclough.
The absence of Beijing triple gold medalist Hoy gave a rare opportunity for non-British success in the men’s sprints.
Francois Pervis of France took that chance in the keirin, winning from Britain’s Jason Kenny and the Netherlands’ Teun Mulder.
The 1km time trial had a British winner, however, in 18-year-old David Daniell, who beat Yevhen Bolibrukh of Ukraine and Kamil Kuczynski of Poland.
Bradley Wiggins was in Manchester, but chose not to race in the men’s individual pursuit in which he is double Olympic champion and three-times world champion. Taking part in the scratch race, he couldn’t catch Wim Stroetinga of the Netherlands, who finished a lap ahead of the rest of the field. Tim Mertens of Belgium was second and Czech rider Martin Blaha third. Wiggins was seventh.
Britain’s Ed Clancy took the gold medal in the men’s individual pursuit, beating Vitaliy Shchedov of Ukraine in the final. Valery Kaykov of Russia came third.
The competition concludes today.
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