Elinor Barker insists there is more to come from Great Britain’s women’s team pursuit squad after they took silver at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Berlin.
Wales’ Olympic champion was part of a foursome who finished second in the final against the USA, after being the second fastest team in qualifying.
As the countdown to the Olympic Games in Tokyo continues, Barker said: “Qualifying was really positive. It was definitely the highlight for us and the happiest I’ve felt about the team pursuit in a long time.
“It would have been nicer to go slightly faster. It hurts a little bit at the moment but it’s helpful that it gives us something to push for.”
Already an Olympic, two-time world and four-time European champion in the team pursuit, Barker will be hoping to become only the second Welsh woman to win two gold medals at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this year. Jade Jones will be chasing her third in taekwondo.
Barker has also been crowned world champion in the points and scratch races and struck gold in the Commonwealth Games points race in 2018.
Laura Kenny replaced Neah Evans to join Ellie Dickinson, Katie Archibald and Barker in the first round against Canada.
Qualifying day done ✅ always find this the most nerve wracking day but it felt good to see all the hard work pay off 😅 we ran second, 0.6s behind the U.S. which puts us against Canada in round 1 tomorrow (~5pm UK time, BBC red button). #trackworldchamps pic.twitter.com/JlspNZRbVv
— Elinor Barker (@elinorbarker) February 26, 2020
There was the welcome if unexpected sight of Kenny riding just a month after breaking a shoulder, but no form of the British line-up had an answer to the Americans, who were fastest in every round of the competition.
Kenny had sat out Wednesday’s qualifying round of the team pursuit, having said she was not comfortable doing standing starts, but clearly boosted by her fourth place in the evening’s scratch race she replaced Evans in the first round on Thursday afternoon.
The four-time Olympic champion helped Archibald, Barker and Dickinson dispatch Canada before Evans returned for the final, but they could not match another dominant ride from the Americans, who won in a time of four minutes 11.235 seconds, almost two seconds faster than the Brits.
The two teams were head and shoulders above the rest throughout the competition, with their respective rides in qualifying the second and third fastest ever.