The behind-closed-doors ‘secret session’ at the opening round of the 2016-17 UCI Track Cycling World Cup series opened with Men’s and Women’s Team Pursuit Qualifying. The expanded programme wouldn’t quite fit into the three full days now officially allotted, so the Team Pursuit Qualifiers were moved ahead of the official start.
The programme proper opens on Friday with Men’s Sprint qualifying and sees the both the conclusion of both Team Pursuits, the Men’s Sprint and the Women’s Keirin.
Men’s Team Pursuit Qualifying
Three of the French quartet in the Men’s Team Pursuit were resplendent in their newly earned European jerseys – Adrien Garel joining European Champions Benjamin Thomas, Sylvain Chavanel and Corentin Ermenault as they were the first team to break the four-minute barrier with a 3:59.481 – Canada’s Adam Jameieson, Aidan Caves, Jay Lamoureux and Ed Veal missing out by less than half a second, winding up almost exactly off the French time on 4:00.469.
The only other team to break four minutes – and the fastest at the end of the session – were the GB squad of Andrew Tennant, Mark Stewart, Kian Emadi and Ollie Wood who laid down a marker for the later rounds with a 3:58.169.
Poland, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland and Russia were the other teams that progressed to tomorrow’s First Round.
1 Great Britain (STEWART Mark, EMADI-COFFIN Kian, TENNANT Andrew, WOOD Oliver) GBR 3:58.169
2 France (THOMAS Benjamin, CHAVANEL Sylvain, ERMENAULT Corentin, GAREL Adrien) FRA 3:59.481
3 Canada (JAMIESON Adam, CAVES Aidan, LAMOUREUX Jay, VEAL Ed) CAN 4:00.469
4 Poland (BANASZEK Alan, SAJNOK Szymon Wojciech, STANISZEWSKI Daniel, TEKLINSKI Adrian) POL 4:03.018
5 Belgium (DE KETELE Kenny, DE PAUW Moreno, DE VYLDER Lindsay, GHYS Robbe) BEL 4:03.103
6 Italy ITA 4:03.854 (BUTTAZZONI Alex, CONSONNI Simone, LAMON Francesco, PLEBANI Davide)
7 Switzerland SUI (IMHOF Claudio, BISSEGGER Stefan, MULLER Reto, PERIZZOLO Loic) 4:03.858
8 Russia (KOVALEV Evgeny, KULIKOV Vladislav, PISKUNOV Maksim, ROSTOVTSEV Sergey) RUS 4:04.350
Women’s Team Pursuit Qualifying
Italy’s good form continues in the Women’s Team Pursuit with Simona Frapporti, Eilsa Balsamo, Maria Giulia Confalonieri and Francesca Pattaro topping the timing charts with a very respectable 4:24.566.
Illness among the young GB squad – entered under the Team Breeze name – saw three of the riders withdraw, with Eleanor Dickinson transferred to the senior squad. She was thrown in at the deep end, taking to the track alongside Dani Khan, Manon Lloyd and Emily Nelson. It certainly didn’t faze her and the quartet set the second fastest time of the day – just over four seconds of the Italians’ pace.
Poland were third less than half a second further back with France just over a second behind the Poles. China, Belarus, Belgium and Ukraine also progressed to the First Round.
1 Italy (FRAPPORTI Simona, BALSAMO Elisa, CONFALONIERI Maria Giulia, PATTARO Francesca) ITA 4:24.566
2 Great Britain (DICKINSON Eleanor, KHAN Danielle, LLOYD Manon, NELSON Emily) GBR 4:28.744
3 Poland (PIKULIK Daria, KACZKOWSKA Justyna, PLOSAJ Nikol, ROZYNSKA Nikola) POL 4:29.114
4 France FRA (FOURNIER Roxane, BERTHON Laurie, DELZENNE Elise, DEMAY Coralie) 4:30.276
5 China (CHEN Lulu, LU Xiuyan, MA Menglu, WANG Hong) CHN 4:31.323
6 Belarus (LAPTSIONAK Hanna, PIVOVAROVA Polina, SAVENKA Ina, SHMAYANKOVA Marina) BLR 4:32.037
7 Belgium (KOPECKY Lotte, CROKET Gilke, DOM Annelies, DRUYTS Lenny) BEL 4:35.989
8 Ukraine (KLIMCHENKO Tetyana, KLYACHINA Oksana, METALNYKOVA Inna, NAHIRNA Anna) UKR 4:37.625