Personal best but no medal for Becky James
9:30am Friday 28th February 2014 in Sport
ABERGAVENNY ace Becky James’ run of world championship cycling medals came to an end as she finished seventh in the women’s 500m time-trial in Colombia overnight.
The 22-year-old had won medals in five successive world championship events – four in 2013 in Minsk and a team sprint bronze on day one alongside Jess Varnish – before competing in the two-lap non-Olympic event.
And, despite a personal best time of 34.021 she had to settle for seventh as Miriam Welte of Germany won gold in 33.451.
But there was more success for Britain and Wales in Cali as Cardiff’s Elinor Barker helped win Britain’s sixth women’s team pursuit world title out of seven and a first gold of the 2014 championships ahead of Canada.
Barker, Joanna Rowsell, Laura Trott and Katie Archibald sealed victory in 4mins 23.407secs to the Canadian quartet’s 4m 24.696s.
And it so nearly did not happen as Barker’s legs gave up on the final lap, with Trott fearing a collision which would have ended with half the British team sprawled on the track.
“At the end Elinor changed down the straight and I hadn’t actually made it back on yet,” said Trott, who, like Rowsell, celebrated a fourth world title in the team event.
“I was shouting because I thought if she turned any quicker she’d take me out and then it’d be game over if I take her down. You get lucky sometimes I guess, and that’s what happened.”
Barker said: “I just could not hold those wheels. I completely parked it up.
“It was a split-second decision. I just had to get out of the way and let the girls carry on with it. It was that close that we just would’ve lost it if I’d stayed on the front.”
Olympic champions Britain had won five of six world titles when the event was over three kilometres and with three riders – silver in 2010 the only blot on the record – and their dominance had shown little sign of abating with the addition of an extra kilometre and an extra rider this season.
But despite being world record holders and clear favourites, Britain felt under pressure from Canada in a close-run final.
Barker said: “We could feel them breathing down our necks a little bit, but we managed to pull it back in the end.”