Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Elinor Barker, Amy Roberts and Laura Trott took gold for Great Britain – along with Ciara Horne – in last night’s Team Pursuit competition at the first World Cup competition of the 2014/15 season, in Guadalajara, Mexico, this weekend. The British quartet competed the 4000 metre distance in a time of four minutes, 21.256 seconds, to beat the Canadian team of Allison Beveridge, Jasmin Glaesser, Kirsti Lay and Stephanie Roorda by almost five seconds.
“We’ve got a completely different team here to what we normally ride, but it went really well” Trott said afterwards, referring to the absence of Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling teammates and fellow Olympic Champions Dani King and Joanna Rowsell. “It’s good to see that, whatever line up we put in, we can perform well. We can come out onto a World stage and… and win, I guess!
“It’s been really great!”
Barker and Trott are Team Pursuit World Champions – with Barker also a World Record holder in the event – but this was a first-ever World Cup victory for 19-year-old Roberts.
“I’m over the moon to have won a World Cup Gold Medal,” Roberts said. “For me it was a privilege to ride with such a great team and I hugely enjoyed the experience.”
With Katie Archibald in – in place of Roberts – for qualification, the British team posted by far the fastest time of four minutes, 20.066 seconds. The changed World Cup format then meant that they would face fourth-best team China in a “First Round” match to decide who would go on to ride for the Gold Medal.
Roberts stepped up to replace Archibald, who was riding the Omnium competition, and the quartet finished in a time of four minutes 20.166 seconds; just a tenth of a second slower than the qualification performance but, more importantly, almost five seconds quicker than the improved Chinese team, which took almost three seconds out of its own time.
The Canadians too had improved on their qualification time, to beat faster qualifier New Zealand in their first round match, meaning that it would be a Great Britain vs Canada match for the Gold Medal. Where Barker, Roberts, Trott and Horne slowed by just a fraction over a second in the final race, however, the Canadians were apparently paying for their own First Round performance.
The young Australian team that included recent Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling recruit Rebecca Wiasak – as well as 2015 signing Nettie Edmondson – finished the competition in fifth place. The improving Italian team, with Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Beatrice Bartelloni helping to qualify fifth fastest, finished in seventh place. Unfortunately, the Germany team that included Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Charlotte Becker was unable to ride the final round, as the whole team was struck with food poisoning, and finished eighth.
1. Great Britain (Elinor Barker, Amy Roberts and Laura Trott and Ciara Horne)
2. Canada (Allison Beveridge, Jasmin Glaesser, Kirsti Lay and Stephanie Roorda)
3. China (Huang Dong Yan, Jing Yali, Wenwen Jiang and Zhao Baofang)
Photo Credit: Guy Swarbrick