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Barker, Rowsell And Trott Retain GB’s Team Pursuit World Title

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Elinor Barker, Joanna Rowsell and Laura Trott, along with Edinburgh’s Katie Archibald, have successfully retained Great Britain’s Team Pursuit Title at the UCI Track World Championships in Cali, Colombia, in a close Gold Medal race with Canada. Trailing by more than a second at the halfway point, the British quartet managed to pull back the Canadians before the finish, as the unusual conditions in the velodrome made the race difficult for the normally impeccably drilled squad.


“It’s a tough track to ride,” Rowsell told the BBC. “It’s so different from Manchester, where we train every day and manage to get it perfect. Then you come here, and you’ve got added elements like the wind and stuff, so it keeps it interesting.”

The Cali velodrome is under the cover of a full roof, but its open sides mean that conditions on the track can be influenced by the weather. The resulting headwind on the back straight meant that Great Britain’s World Record of four minutes 16.552 seconds – set at December’s World Cup in Aguascalientes, Mexico – was a long way out of reach. Nevertheless, Barker, Rowsell, Trott and Archibald qualified with the fastest time; their mark of four minutes 28.597 seconds more than two seconds quicker than Canada’s.

“I think we did well to be honest,” Trott told the BBC. “I think we went a lot slower than we thought we were going to do this morning, but there was a headwind down the back straight so I don’t know what we expected.

“I think we’ve come together really well now,” she added. “Obviously Elinor and Katie are quite new to the team, and it’s not been 4-K for very long, so it took a bit of getting used to; learning it, and learning how each other rides, but obviously we’re World Champions now, so we must be quite good at it!”


Despite the usual powerful opening lap and a half from Rowsell, however, it was Canada that began to edge clear in the second half of the first kilometre, and was almost four tenths of a second clear. This lead had extended to more than a second by the two kilometre point, but this early effort meant that the four-woman team was reduced to three with half the race still to ride.

Still with all four riders, the British team began to claw the Canadians back, and cut the deficit to just half a second by the end of kilometre three. With just over half a kilometre to go, Great Britain edged ahead and was more than a second clear itself as the four riders took the bell.

This final kilometre effort had also taken its toll on the British quartet, and confusion over the final changeover caused a split between the riders. Great Britain had enough of a cushion by this point, however, and Barker, Rowsell, Trott and Archibald took the first ever Women’s Team Pursuit title over four kilometres in a time of four minutes 23.407 seconds.


“It was really hard work,” Barker told the BBC. “Personally, I didn’t have a great ride, but these girls really showed the World what they’re made of and managed to make up for what I didn’t do. They were just amazing, I’m so proud of them all.”

Result Women’s Team Pursuit World Championship
1. Great Britain (Elinor Barker, Joanna Rowsell, Laura Trott, Katie Archibald)
2. Canada
3. Australia

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