Laura Kenny leads GB to team pursuit gold in Glasgow

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Laura Kenny and her team-mates claimed Great Britain’s first gold medal at the European Championships in Glasgow with an emphatic victory in the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.

Kenny, Elinor Barker and Scottish pair Katie Archibald and Neah Evans triumphed by more than eight seconds over Italy in the team pursuit final.

The quartet – three of whom broke the world record in the Olympic final two years ago – finished in four minutes 16.896 seconds to add to two earlier medals for the hosts on the track. Emily Kay won silver in the 10km scratch race, while Britain’s men claimed bronze in the team pursuit.

The success was extra special for Evans, the newcomer since the Olympic triumph.

“It’s fantastic to win,” the 28-year-old said. “For me and Katie, Glasgow is home and we definitely get a warm welcome when we come back so it was really nice.

“It’s a little bit surreal because two years ago I wouldn’t have dreamt of being in this position and now it’s reality.

“It’s been such a rapid progression, you get caught up in it a wee bit. You can take it for granted a little bit so you definitely need to take a step back and think of where you have come from.

“I’ve been very lucky to get to where I am – 2014 was when I did my first ever bike race, so to be European champion four years later is brilliant.”

There was disappointment early on in the team sprints, with the British men and women both failing to reach the final.

Jason Kenny admitted a poor start cost him and his team-mates, Jack Carlin and Ryan Owens, during a first-round defeat by Holland.

“We got it wrong a little bit,” he said. “Generally I’m happy with where we’re at and obviously we’ve got a strong team. Generally very happy, just a little bit unlucky.

“I had a little bit of a slip on the wheel, and it collected a pad at 10 metres. It wasn’t the prettiest start, but that’s just team sprint.”

Kay was beaten on the line by Holland’s Kirsten Wild.

Kay, from Bromsgrove, said: “At one point I thought I might do this, but she’s just got that extra kick that I didn’t have in the final straight, but what can you do? She’s world champion.

“Sometimes when you’re against Olympic champions and you fall short you think, ‘Is what I’m doing good enough?’ But I think you just have to put it into perspective and even if I’m a little bit off that’s still pretty good. I knew I was in a good shape but to get a silver just solidifies that.”

Ethan Hayter, Steven Burke, Kian Emadi and Charlie Tanfield secured bronze for Britain in the team pursuit, beating Germany by more than two-and-a-half seconds with a time of 3:57.463.

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