Glasgowâ€™s Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome lived up to its prestigious name, providing plenty of action at the opening of the second round of the 2012-2013 UCI Track Cycling World Cup presented by Samsung.
The sell-out crowd was not disappointed as the track specialists took to the Scottish cityâ€™s new velodrome on the first evening of competition. The first gold medal went to Denmark in the menâ€™s team pursuit. The Danish team convincingly beat Germany in the final, while Belgium overcame Spain in the bronze medal ride-off to take third place. The Belgian team holds on to its overall lead in the World Cup standings after two of the three rounds. The surprise of the day came in the qualifying earlier in the day when the relatively inexperienced Great Britain team crashed out.
However, Great Britain came back in force in the womenâ€™s team sprint, won by Jess Varnish and Becky James, who held off Spain to win their second World Cup gold after Cali, Colombia. Becky James takes the place of retired Victoria Pendleton, and the new team is already proving it is well on the road to Rio 2016. France edged out Russia to take the bronze medal.
The two big rivals, Great Britain and Australia, went head to head in the womenâ€™s team pursuit. The race was closely fought early onÂ but Great Britain started to pull awayÂ in the later stages, gaining a narrow lead over their Australian rivals. The Great Britain trio featured two of the Olympic gold medal winning squad in Laura Trott and Dani King alongside British Cycling Olympic Academy Programme rider 18 year old Elinor Barker.
Germany won gold in the menâ€™s team sprint, beating Great Britain in the final. Germanyâ€™s performance was just too good for the Olympic Champions who took silver in Ed Clancyâ€™s first race since making the transition from endurance to sprint to fill the place of Sir Chris Hoy in the new-look team. Bronze medal went to France who beat Poland.
The remain victories of the evening went to Olga Panarina (Belarus) in the womenâ€™s 500m time trial and Switzerlandâ€™s Tristan Marguet in the menâ€™s scratch race, which came down to a sprint despite several attempted breakaways. At the half-way stage of the menâ€™s omnium, Spainâ€™s Elorriaga Zubiaur leads the standings in front of Germanyâ€™s Lucas Liss.
Competition continues today at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome with the menâ€™s individual pursuit, the remaining omnium events and the keirin and the womenâ€™s sprint.
Photo: the British womenâ€™s pursuit team on its way to its second World Cup gold of the season