Track Cycling, Tokyo Olympics 2020 live: Team GB women's team pursuit go second fastest in qualifying after Germany set world record – latest updates

·14-min read
Team GB - GETTY IMAGES
Team GB - GETTY IMAGES

09:04 AM

Poland finish seventh in women's team sprint

Poland beat Ukraine in the race for the hotly anticipated seventh and eighth places in the women's team sprint.

09:00 AM

Team GB face tense wait

Team GB set national record record, but that will not concern them. More crucially they are fourth fastest on the day with a time of 3min 47.507sec. Australia will be allowed a re-run of their qualifying race so it is going to be a stressful wait for Team GB who may not be racing for a medal if the Aussies set a faster time than them. Apparently, the Aussies will be back out on the track after the women's team sprint final have been contested.

08:58 AM

Team GB fourth fastest at 3km . . . .

. . . and they are down to three riders.

08:56 AM

Britain gaining

Ed Clancy, Ethan Hayter, Ethan Vernon and Ollie Wood have managed to gain a little on the send kilometre of four, going third fastest at the second time split.

08:55 AM

Team GB slightly off the pace

Team GB are fourth fastest at the 1km mark.

08:53 AM

Team GB ready to roll

Ed Clancy, Ethan Hayter, Ethan Vernon and Ollie Wood are on the track and ready to go.

08:50 AM

Man down! Porter crashes heavily

Speeding around the bend riding as man four, Alexander Porter's handlebars appeared to fall apart and the Aussie hit he deck, nose first. There will be a slight delay while the tack is checked for any damage, while Porter is also checked over. The Australian squad appear to want a re-run, but the crash did not happen in the first lap and so any re-run of their qualifying race will be at the discretion of the race commissaires.

08:44 AM

Denmark qualify with Olympic record time!

Good grief, the Danes have done it again and qualified for Tuesday's first round heat races after smashing Italy's Olympic record, the new benchmark being 3min 45.895sec. Next up is the Australian quartet of Kelland O'Brien, Sam Welsford, Leigh Howard and Alexander Porter and then Team GB are the final bunch out of the gates.

08:39 AM

Kiwis second fastest; great Danes out on the track

New Zealand go close with time of 3min 46.079sec, but are unable to match Italy who remain the fastest time in qualifying. Next up will be the Danish quartet of Lasse Norman Hansen, Niklas Larsen, Frederik Madsen and Rasmus Pedersen who are not only the reigning world champions, but also the world record holders (3min 44.672sec). Big few minutes coming up in this competition.

08:30 AM

Italy set Olympic record!

3min 45.895sec is a new Olympic record, set by Italy who rode a consistent qualifying race and were fastest at each and every time split. Filippo Ganna, of course, is the individual pursuit world champion, the world time trial champion and played a blinder here.

Filippo Ganna - GETTY IMAGES
Filippo Ganna - GETTY IMAGES

08:27 AM

Italy have race under way

The Swiss complete their qualifying race in 3min 51.514sec, the third fastest time of the three nation s to have completed their efforts. Italy are next out on the boards. There are some familiar names here to road cycling fans with three of them – Simone Consonni, Filippo Ganna and Jonathan Milan – employed by WorldTour teams. Francesco Lamon is the fourth rider.

08:18 AM

Swiss ready to roll

Germany complete their 4km qualifying race in 3min 50.830sec, before the Swiss clock on for their effort. Stefan Bissegger, the WorldTour rider who races for EF Education-Nippo, is riding as man three.

08:09 AM

Men's team pursuit qualifying is under way . . .

. . . and Canada were the first out on the track. Their quartet set a time of 3min 50.455sec and they were not the first today to fall apart near the end of their race. Next up will be Germany who are followed by Switzerland, Italy, New Zealand, Denmark, Australia and then Britain who will be represented by Ed Clancy, the three-time Olympic champion, Ethan Hayter, Ethan Vernon and Ollie Wood.

08:03 AM

China set a world record in women's team sprint

The women's team sprint heats are done and dusted. Blink and you will miss the action at the track cycling! Russian Olympic Committee beat Mexico, before Netherlands defeated Poland and then China trounced Lithuania with a world record time of 31.804sec. In the final match of the session, Germany beat Ukraine.

07:50 AM

Team GB qualify with second fastest time

Fascinating first session at the velodrome, writes Tom Cary in Japan. Britain's women (Laura Kenny, Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker and Josie Knight) qualified second fastest in the team pursuit, meaning they are through to a 'semi-final' tomorrow against the United States.

On the plus side, the defence of their crown is still on. And they set the second fastest time in history with a scorching 4:09.022.

On the flipside, they were 1.7sec slower than Germany who absolutely annihilated the world record of 4:10.236, which Team GB set in Rio.

Barker told us afterwards that the Germans can be inconsistent. We will see about that. First Team GB have to get past their old rivals the USA, who set a 4:10.138.

There was a lot of talk coming in about Chloe Dygert, the individual pursuit world record holder, and whether she was still the force of old following a horrific crash at last year's road world championships. She did not look brilliant in the road events last week.

But she looked pretty strong here, her team-mates seemingly struggling to hold her wheel in the latter stages of the 4km test. Although to be fair, Katie Archibald also looked to be riding away from the rest of her team in Team GB's ride. It's all set up nicely for tomorrow.

Next up, men's team pursuit qualifying. GB had a 'shocker' at the Berlin worlds last year, finishing fifth. They must qualify in the top four here to have a chance of racing for gold/silver.

07:48 AM

Team GB flying at 2km

Team GB are on course for a new world record at the midway point of the team pursuit qualifying. This is hugely impressive.

07:47 AM

Team GB on track

Katie Archibald rides on the front at a fair old lick, with Team GB going fastest at the 1km time split, but can they hold this pace? Laura Kenny takes over from Archibald followed by Elinor Barker and Josie Knight.

07:45 AM

America second best

Despite looking a little ragged – Chloé Dygert looks strong and at times ode her team-mates off her wheel – the American quartet go second fastest to put themselves in with a chance of challenging for gold tomorrow. Their time of 4min 10.118sec would have been a word record time before Germany set a new benchmark.

07:39 AM

Canada off the back

Canada complete their qualifying race in a time of 4min 15.832sec which is the slowest time. Next up will be their neighbours USA who have Jennifer Valente, Chloé Dygert, Emma White and Lily Williams flying the stars and stripes in the velodrome. Will be interesting to see how Dygert goes, the talented youngster was in action in the road and time trial races where she failed to pull up any trees.

07:32 AM

Aussies do not rule in qualifying

Disappointing result from Australia who were down to three riders with over two laps to go – times are taken on the front wheel of the third rider – to set the fifth fastest time of 4min 13.571sec. They started well going second fastest after 1km, but tailed off in the final four laps.

Aussies - GETTY IMAGES
Aussies - GETTY IMAGES

07:28 AM

New Zealand slowest of the day so far

New Zealand set the fourth fastest time of the day – 4min 12.536sec – which, apparently, would have been the fastest qualifying effort at the Rio Olympics which just goes to show how quickly event moves on – sure you will recall that the women's team pursuit used to be raced over 3km, before it was extended to 4km in 2013.

07:19 AM

Germany set new world record!

Germany's Franziska Brausse, Lisa Brennauer, Lisa Klein and Mieke Kröger shave almost three seconds off the world record set by Team GB in Rio after flying around their 4,000km qualifying race in 4min 7.307sec. They have just laid down a huge marker there. Next up is New Zealand, followed by Australia, Canada, USA and then Britain.

Germany set a new world record - SWPIX.COM
Germany set a new world record - SWPIX.COM

07:13 AM

Forza Italia!

Another national record is set by the Italians who were slower than the French in the first three 1km splits, but dropped the hammer in the final four laps of the 250m track to set a time of 4min 11.666sec.

Italy - GETTY IMAGES
Italy - GETTY IMAGES

Germany are next out on the track, while the British quartet of Katie Archibald, Laura Kenny, Elinor Barker and Josie Knight are spotted warming up on the rollers. Great Britain will be the final team to get their qualifying race started today.

07:05 AM

Team pursuit qualifiers under way

The qualifying races for the women's team pursuit are under way, the France quartet going out first with a time of 4min 12.502sec which is a French record. Italy are next out on the boards, while here's the updated schedule of races following the team sprint qualifiers . . .

06:54 AM

China second fastest

Zhong Tianshi, the reigning Olympic champion and 2015 world champion in the team sprint, and Bao Shanju blow away the field with the fastest qualifying first lap, but tail off to set the second fastest time of 32.135sec.

06:51 AM

Russians slightly off the pace

Daria Shmeleva and Anastasiia Voinova, the Russian riders who finished second in Rio just months after winning their first world title in London in 2016, a title they successfully defended the following year in Hong Kong, are third fastest on the day so far with a time of 32.476sec.

06:49 AM

Germany set new high bar

Emma Hinze and Lea Friedrich, the reigning world champions who won the team sprint in the last international track meeting in February 2020 – Friedrich raced the qualifying round only during that meeting and was replaced by Pauline Grabosch in the heats and the gold medal race – flew out of the starting gate to set a fastest first-lap time and more crucially a fastest overall time of 32.102sec.

Germany - SWPIX.COM
Germany - SWPIX.COM

06:45 AM

Oranje, boom!

Shanne Braspennincx and Laurine van Riessen, the flying Dutchwomen who took silver at their home world championships in Apeldoorn in 2018, go faster still with a time of 32.465sec.

06:42 AM

Slow, slow, fast, fast . . .

Daniela Gaxiola and Yuli Verdugo, who won the team sprint at the Pan American Championships back in Mexico in 2018, are the only rider from the Americas in this competition got their qualifying race off the a shaky start before somehow recovering to set the fastest time of the day – 33.097sec – so far.

Daniela Gaxiola and Yuli Verdugo, - REUTERS
Daniela Gaxiola and Yuli Verdugo, - REUTERS

06:38 AM

Poles on a roll

Marlena Karwacka and Urszula Los, the Polish pairing that won the Brisbane round of the World Cup in the team sprint a couple of years back, go faster still with a time of 33.244sec.

06:37 AM

Lithuania get their Games under way

Lithuania's Migle Marozaite and Simona Krupeckaite, the 38-year-old who won the European sprint title in Paris in 2016, and was three times a runner-up in the individual sprint at the world championships (2008, 2011 and 2012) go faster with a time of 33.276sec.

06:33 AM

And we are off !

Ukraine duo Liubov Basova, 33, and Olena Starikova, 25, have got the track racing at the Tokyo Games under way setting a time of 33.542sec in their qualifying race. For those new to track racing, each of the eight competing nations will race against the clock to determine who they face in the first round heats later this morning.

06:23 AM

Let's get back on track . . .

Joanna Rowsell, who won team pursuit gold at the London and Rio Olympics alongside Laura Kenny et al before hanging up her wheels, is in the commentary box today and is expecting some fast times this week. Must admit, I am finding it very difficult to predict much really given we have not seen any international track racing since the Berlin world championships in February 2020 which was, as you will know, before the C-word shut everything down.

For some context, that meeting came almost seven months before the now two-time Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar won his first grand tour. There are 900 lucky spectators currently in situ waiting for the action to get under way.

06:15 AM

Kenny: 'I just ride a bike, I don't feel like a role model'

Before events get under way over in Shizuoka this morning, may I suggest you read Oliver Brown's excellent interview with Laura Kenny, one of Britain's greatest Olympians who is still just 29 and is aiming to win gold medals in a third Games in a row in Japan . . .

Laura Kenny - GETTY IMAGES
Laura Kenny - GETTY IMAGES

Ever since she electrified London 2012 under her maiden name, Trott, Kenny has been British track cycling’s insuperable force, building such a habit of peaking for the Olympics that she has never finished with a medal other than gold. But as she sets out on Monday on her most audacious Olympic campaign yet, establishing herself as the first female endurance rider to tackle three events at the same Games, she knows better than to believe she is unbreakable.

05:20 AM

Hello

Good morning and welcome to our live rolling blog from the first day of the Olympics track cycling competition at the Izu Velodrome.

Built in 2011, the Izu Velodrome in Shizuoka is around 150 kilometres away from Tokyo and is the first 250-metre indoor cycle track in Japan. Much like the track in Manchester, the Izu Velodrome also houses the host nation's national training centre for cycling. With a capacity of 3,600 and a track constructed of cedar wood the Izu Velodrome will provide the setting in which dreams will be made – and shattered – over the next five days of competition.

Today's action gets under way at 7.30am (BST) with the women's team sprint qualifying, before qualifying for the women's team pursuit starts at 7.54am. Shortly after the women's team sprint first-round heats have been completed, it will be the turn of the men's team pursuit competition to start at 9.02am which will blend seamlessly into the women's team sprint competition which resumes with the finals at 10am, the gold medal race scheduled for 10.09am.

For those expressly interested in the fortunes of riders from Great Britain, today will see the women's and men's team pursuit squads in action and so Katie Archibald, Laura Kenny, Elinor Barker and Josie Knight will get things rolling first, before Ed Clancy, Ethan Hayter, Ethan Vernon and Ollie Wood follow, both squads – with some different personnel – won their respective titles in Rio.

You can see in the above table how the next round of the competition's match-up races are determined, the women's team pursuit will be decided tomorrow while the men's first round heats that precede the finals also take place on Tuesday, though their finals are the next day on Wednesday. Before the team pursuit competition though, there the women's team sprint will start which has no representatives from Great Britain and will be contested between riders from China, Germany, Lithuania, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Russian Olympic Committee and Ukraine.

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