Following on from our views on how things might look in Rio for GB’s men, here’s our look at the women.
Jess Varnish and Vicky Williamson set sea-level pbs in qualifying and Varnish beat Anna Meares on the way to the quarters, but the feeling remains that unless Becky James makes a full recovery, GB’s chances of a medal in this event are slim to none. The field is pretty open, however. Kristina Vogel won in Paris over the fast but raw Eris Ligtlee while Tianshi Zhong had led qualifying. Throw in Commonwealth champ Stephanie Morton, defending champion Meares and 500m TT world champ Anastasia Voynova, and the field looks stacked.
Brits: Rebecca James (+Varnish if 2 permitted)
Even worse for GB here, with Varnish out in round 1. James’ return, again, can’t come soon enough. As for the rest, Meares took the title in what is probably her stronger event from Dutch woman Shanne Braspennincx and veteran Lisandra Guera Rodriguez. Hard to say who will be most prominent in Rio.
Brits: Jame (+Varnish if 2)
GB were not in the running in Paris, finishing 8th while the top three were China, Russia and Australia, who may need to integrate Stephanie Morton if they are to optimize their chances. Germany were fourth this time but remain a threat, while the Dutch with Braspennincx an Lijtee shoud not be discounted.
Brits: Varnish & James (Katy Marchant if James does not recover)
GB finally lost their crown to an inspired Australian team while Canada pipped New Zealand for bronze. Australia could yet bring in individual pursuit World Champ Rebecca Wiasak while GB will hope for a return to form for Joanna Rowsell and might look at Danni King returning from the road.
Brits: Laura Trott, Elinor Barker, Joanna Rowsell, Katie Archibald
Bronze: New Zealand
Annette Edmonson looked great in holding off Laura Trott and the two deserve joint favorites billing for Rio. Trott will need to avoid bad races like the scratch in Paris and touch up her TT skills if she is to prevail. Kirsten Wilde, Jolien D’Ohoore and Sarah Hammer look like the other challenges.
Brit: Laura Trott
Overall, for men and women, that would give GB five gold, a silver and three bronze. That’s probably more than they could rightfully expect right now and much depends on them finding their usual “Olympic boost”. If they don’t, the improvement in the rest of the world could make for a tough week on the Brazilian track.