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Gold for Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling riders in World Track Championships
Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling trio Laura Trott, Dani King and Elinor Barker took Gold for Great Britain in the World Track Championships, in Minsk, Belarus, to successfully defend the title won the previous year. Reigning World and Olympic champions Trott and King were joined in the championships by 18-year-old Elinor Barker, replacing Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling teammate Joanna Rowsell, who is concentrating on the beginning her road season.
The British team went fastest in the morning qualification session, with 3 minutes, 18.704 seconds for the three kilometres; more than four seconds outside their own World record, set in the Olympic final of London 2012, but good enough to go almost two seconds quicker than Australia, to set up a gold medal contest between the two big rivals.
The final race saw Trott, King and Barker set off slightly the faster, only for Australia to move ahead in the second lap. Midway through the second kilometre, however, the British trio moved ahead, where it was to stay.
A finishing time for the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling riders of 3 minutes 18.140 seconds was faster than that set in qualification, and good enough to take the victory by a similar margin over the Australians, who were also slightly faster.
"It was really hard," Trott told the BBC. "It seemed to flow nicely and we changed a few things from qualifying and it came off.
"If someone thought they couldn't cope on the front they came off. It tops it off for us. To win the race the last time it will be as a 3km is amazing."
For Barker, the World junior time trial champion, it was a first ever senior rainbow jersey on her first ever senior World championships, but could well be the first of many.
"I feel really overwhelmed," the 18-year-old told the BBC. "I thought I was just riding round the Manchester Velodrome in a training ride and then we won. I just feel shocked. It is above and beyond what I've dreamed of!"
For Trott and King, however, it was a third consecutive World title in the team pursuit - with Trott also having taken last year's Omnium crown, but 22-year-old confirmed that it means as much to her as her first.
"It means everything," she told the BBC. "We've worked so hard since the Olympic Games and although Jo will come back, it's great to have Elinor on the team."
Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling's Beatrice Bartelloni was also in action in the team pursuit, finishing eighth as part of a young Italian team.