• World Track Championships

Trott & King defend world pursuit title

ESPN staff
February 21, 2013
Laura Trott, Dani King and Elinor Barker were dominant in Belarus © Getty Images

Great Britain's Laura Trott and Dani King defended their team pursuit title at the World Track Championships in Belarus with a little help from new-girl Elinor Barker.

The GB three comfortably beat Australia in the gold-medal race to re-affirm their dominance of the pursuit discipline over three kilometres.

Their place at the top of the sport was resoundingly established by taking gold at London 2012 but that winning formation had to be tweaked slightly as Joanna Rowsell is currently pursuing her road ambitions before returning to the track.

The British team were almost two seconds faster than Australia in qualifying but Trott revealed that it was not a case of simply repeating their morning's run and they made slight changes to their performance throughout the day.

"It was really hard. It seemed to flow nicely and we changed a few things from qualifying and it came off," Trott said. "If someone thought they couldn't cope on the front they came off."

King added: "It was all about keeping pace and holding it up at the back end of the race. It was about staying composed and we stuck to our guns and it paid off. It means everything. We've worked so hard since the Olympic Games and although Jo [Rowsell] will come back, it's great to have Elinor on the team."

Rowsell's temporary replacement Barker could not contain her excitement at the team's success.

"I feel really overwhelmed," she said. "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. I've only been a senior for a couple of months and I can't believe my luck."

Becky James added a second bronze in the women's 500m time trial to go with her one from the team sprint on day one.

Welsh rider James went out first at the Minsk Arena but her time of 34.133secs held the lead until the last four contestants took to the track.

James was nudged down to the silver medal spot by Hong Kong's Lee Wai Sze and then into third by Miriam Velte. The 21-year-old could have seen a medal slip through her fingers entirely when Kaarle McCulloch set out for her ride but the Australian was more than two-tenths of a second off the Brit's pace.

"I don't think it was a disadvantage to go first really," James said after her bronze medal was confirmed. "I wanted to get up and get the effort done and chill out. It got a little bit agonising as everyone was going slower, but I never expected a medal and to knock six tenths of my personal best is amazing."

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