Laura Kenny, Katie Archibald, Emily Nelson and Emily Kay staged an astonishing late fightback in the women’s team pursuit final to overcome the Australians on the opening night of the third round of the Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Berlin.
The team pursuit squad kickstarted a memorable World Cup campaign for Great British cycling as they finished second in the medal standings with three gold and two silver, falling one-gold short of Australia.
Berlin was treated to a night of excitement as the GB quartet showcased a skilful display of endurance and tactics. Significantly down with less than three laps left, it looked like Kenny, Archibald, Kay and Nelson had left themselves with an unsurmountable amount of work to do. But the GB women cranked through the gears in the last two laps to close the margin, pass their Australian competitors and cross the finish line in 4:16:153.
“We were behind with half a lap to go so to pull it out at the end we are super happy to win gold,” Nelson said.
The GB women maintained their good form throughout the competition as three of pursuit winners were among the four riders to pick up two gold medals at the Track World Cup.
Katie Archibald finished in pole position in the women’s Omnium, despite being caught up in a heavy crash in the final stages, whilst Kenny and Nelson triumphed in the Madison to complete Britain’s gold medal tally.
GB women’s cycling will finish 2018 in December with the fourth round of the Track World Cup in London. Here’s a short round-up of their year as a team.
The GB women kickstarted 2018 with a silver in the team pursuit at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Apeldoorn in April. This saw the return of four-times Olympic champion Laura Kenny to elite competition six months after the birth of her son with husband and fellow Olympian, Jason Kenny who holds six gold medals to his name. Gold was the colour for Archibald and Nelson, who showcased their dominance in the Madison at these Championships, winning eight sprints in succession.
April saw British cycling flourish at the Commonwealth Games in Australia. Elinor Barker beat Archibald and Nelson in the points race to finish on top of the podium and picked up Wales’ first track cycling gold in almost 30 years. A gold was added to Archibald’s Commonwealth collection however with a record-breaking win in the individual pursuit.
Glasgow’s European Championships in August saw Laura Kenny return to her position of golden girl with a win in the elimination race and alongside her team mates in the team pursuit. Archibald meanwhile had to settle for silver, finishing second in the Omnium and failing to retain her title in the individual pursuit.
2018 has been an overall success for Great Britain’s cycling. The return of Kenny and consistent form from Archibald, Nelson and Barker have helped the team to retain a dominance like no other nation within women’s track cycling.