Great Britain grab two gold medals at Track World Championships in France

Great Britain clinched men’s team pursuit gold on a two-medal night at the UCI Track World Championships in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines.

The quartet of Ollie Wood, Ethan Hayter, Ethan Vernon and Dan Bigham edged out defending champions and Olympic gold medallists Italy to claim GB's first world title of the competition.

Their compatriots in the women's final, also facing tough Italian challengers, ultimately settled for silver on day two of the five-day event.

Wood, Hayter, Vernon and Bigham were fastest out of Wednesday's qualifying, despite only having one session with all four members together ahead of the competition.

They came together when it mattered, finishing 0.204 seconds ahead of their opponents.

Bigham told the BBC: "I can't put it into words. Honestly, it's unbelievable.

"We obviously wanted a good performance here and we really focused on just executing good, clean rides and just having that drilled into us.

"It's not about being here to win, it's about doing everything we can to perform to the best of our ability and just getting maximum performance out. And I think bit by bit, every single round we stepped forward and really improved.

"And that one, I think it was the best we had, full stop. It really was a clean, solid ride and I think all of us are absolutely on cloud nine."

Great Britain were ahead by 0.403secs after the first 1,000 metres but the Italian team comprised of Filippo Ganna, Simone Consonni, Jonathan Milan and Manlio Moro cut that lead almost in half by the final lap.

Ganna, who on Saturday set a new world hour record, staged a late surge but ultimately could not overcome the deficit as Great Britain's took gold in 3:46 minutes.

Derby-based Bigham, who held the hour record for just under two months until it was broken by his INEOS Grenadiers team-mate Ganna, said his British team had in recent weeks relocated from Manchester to "the people's republic of Derb-ados" to train.

He later explained how the world title also gave the foursome a boost of confidence in the build-up to Paris 2024 after finishing a disappointing seventh in Tokyo.

He added: "I think we've all got unfinished business with the Olympics and to be sat here, less than two years out from (Paris) in the very same velodrome, I think the pressure's off performance-wise and we can now really just focus on the process and basically nail it as a team for the next 20-something months."

Great Britain's Anna Morris, Neah Evans, Katie Archibald and Josie Knight came up just short in their own team pursuit final with Italy, who had more than a one-second advantage after the first kilometre.

Italy pulled even further ahead as they crossed the finish line in 4:10mins, 1.609secs ahead of the Brits.

Their silver, in the final event of the evening, was the fifth medal for Great Britain so far in the competition after the team picked up three bronze medals on Wednesday.

Scottish cyclist Jack Carlin did not have a chance to compete for a medal after finishing sixth of six in the second of two semi-final men's keirin heats.

Sophie Lewis placed sixth in the women's elimination race while Rhys Britton settled for 14th in the men's scratch and Sophie Capewell was eliminated by France's Mathilde Gros in her women's sprint quarter-final.

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