The first session of the European Track Championships took place in the South of France tonight. And when we say the ‘South’ of France, we mean it – the event is taking place on the beautiful Carribbean island of Basse Terre in Guadeloupe – a French departement and part of the European Union.
Photos by Wim Hoste – www.cyclephotos.be
As well as the prestige of a European title, the Championship provides the first opportunity to earn qualifying points for Rio 2016.
The first session saw qualifying for the Team Pursuits. Great Britain’s Women – Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker, Jo Rowsell and Laura Trott – picked up where they left off at the end of last season and topped the timesheets in the session – clocking 4:40.289 – over three seconds quicker tha second placed Russian quartet of Tamara Balabolina, Aleksandra Chekin, Aleksandra Goncharova and Evgenia Romanyuta with Lithuania third – almost three seconds further off the pace and half a second up on fourth placed Germany.
At the Euros, the Fastest qualifier faces the fourth fastest in the Semi Finals, with second and third riding off for the other Final place. GB were six seconds off their pace from the heats, but it was easily enough to see off the Germans, with Russia confirming their earlier form -albeit by a narrower margin – over Lithuania.
The Men’s competition saw a similar story with Ed Clancy, Jon Dibben, Owain Doull and Andy Tennant fastest qualifiers for Great Britain on 4:12.022 – nearly two seconds ahead of Henning Bommel, Leon Rohde, Nils Schomber, Kersten Thiele of Germany. Russia took third a second behind the Germans with Switzerland showing that their performance in Cali was no fluke with a fourth place.
Again, the Semi Finals went to form with comfortable wins for Great Britain and Germany, who progress into Thursday’s Finals.