One step forward, two back for the sprinters

A day after Callum Skinner and Jess Varnish gave reason for hope in the sprint events, we were back to disappointment at the World Champs just outside of Paris.

Jason Kenny and Skinner put in decent times in the sprint qualification with 9.804 and 9.983 respectively, but them both exited in round 1. That the two qualified just 10th and 22nd tells you something about how fast the track in Paris is. Kenny slipped up against Hersony Canelon, while Skinner’s loss was a little more forgivable against Gregory Bauge.

Again Kenny didn’t seem too concerned, noting that they still have 18th months to get things right. He’s correct of corurse, and he’s done enough that we shouldn’t doubt him. But the sheer number of sprinter posting quality times should be of at least concern. Right now it seems that about a dozen riders are at Kenny’s level or above. What are the odds that not one of them will improve as much before Rio as the reigning champ?

Better from the sprinters on day 3

After the disappointment of the team sprints, both the men and women sprinters showed up a little better on day 3.

For the ladies, Jess Varnish and Victoria Williamson posted excellent qualifying times in the sprint. Varnish, in particular was on form with a 10.804 that has only been bettered by Victoria Pendleton among Brits at sea-level. She qualified sixth and then took the scalp of the great Anna Meares in the second round before falling in two close races to another Australian, Stephanie Morton in the quarters. Williamson exited in the second round after qualifying 11th with another sea-level pb of 10.935. Clearly the track at Saint-Quentin-En-Yvelines is a swift one, but even so, both girls put in better performances than on day 1 and provided a glimmer of hope for Rio.

For the men, Callum Skinner and Kian Emadi finished 7th and 12th in the Kilo. Skinner, in particular, went well with a 61.071 – a big sea-level pb while Emadi posted a 61.736, which is very respectable for a man on the comeback trail.

Skinner’s splits show just how disappointing his man 3 showing was on day 1. In the team sprint he struggled to get on to Jason Kenny’s wheel and his 13.798 was just the 14th fastest anchor lap of the day. By contrast, his third lap in the kilo was 13.815, which as the second fastest of the day. Obviously the potential remains for Skinner to post something special in the man 3 role if he can get his start up to scratch. His problems in that area were again revealed in the kilo splits where his first lap of 18.868 was just the 12th best of the day.

Another indication of Skinner’s potential might be seen in the splits of Frenchman Michael D’Almedia who finished sixth just a few hundredths ahead of the Scot in sixth. Skinner lost 0.42 on the first lap but then had the better of the Frenchman on every lap. Indeed he was 0.18 better on the “man 3 lap” against a man who two days earlier was the fastest third-lapper in the team sprint.

Expect to see a strong showing in the 200m TT from Skinner tomorrow, and hopefully a stunning improvement on the final lap of the team sprint in Rio.

Good times at Revolution

There were some impressive sprint times at the latest Revolution in Glasgow. Top of the pops was Jason Kenny who sped to a 9.972 qualifying time before winning the sprint competition in handy style. There are serious signs that Kenny is rounding into Olympic form. This was his sixth career ride inside 10-flat, only his 4th at sea-level and his first-ever not at the Olympics or World Champs.

Callum Skinner, something of a Revolution specialist, clocked another good time with a 10.046 and finished runner-up to Kenny. Lewis Oliva produced a sea-level best at 10.149 before winning the kierin. Matt Crampton was next home with 10.147.

Perhaps the most impressive ride of the day was Jonathan Mitchell’s 10.262, a pb that moved him to 16th fastest of all-time and was a new Cyclostat’s British Amateur Best, surpassing Chris Pritchard’s Moscow-assisted 10.272 from 2010.

Hindes becomes 8th Brit under 10-flat

He may only have qualified 15th fastest at the Guadalajara World Cup, but Phil Hindes’ 9.898 was good enough to make him the 5th fastest British rider ever.

The altitude helped 24 men go under 10 in all, led by Matthew Glaetzer’s track record of 9.516. It seems that Guadalajara boosts times by around 0.25-0.35 seconds for the 200 over a “par” track like Manchester, so altitude or not, Glaetze’s time was impressive. Jason Kenny qualified 10th in 9.852 – his third fastest ever before eliminating Hindes in the first round. Given that Kenny has been 9.713 on  a normal track at sea-level (at the London Olympics), which is the World best in such conditions, he is still clearly some way off top form.

The full list of sub-10 rides by Brits (which now number 20) can be found in our rankings section or here.

British Junior Track Rankings: Flying 200m, Women

Rebecca James 11.093 World Juniors Moscow 13-Aug-09
Victoria Williamson 11.236 World Juniors Moscow 18-Aug-11
Anne Blythe 11.260 World Cup Moscow 15-Dec-06
Danielle Khan 11.469 Nationals Manchester 27-Sep-13
Jessica Crampton 11.785 National Jnrs Newport 27-Aug-12
Jessica Varnish 11.803 Nationals Pruszkow 3-Sep-08
Rosie Blount 11.935 Nationals Manchester 28-Sep-12
Laura Trott 11.961 World Cup (Omnium 250) Cali 17-Dec-10
Sophie Capwell 12.094 National Jnrs Manchester 6-Aug-14
Grace Garner 12.209 Euro Juniors (Omnium) Anadia 27-Jul-14
Ellie Coster 12.244 National Jnrs Manchester 6-Aug-14
Hannah Blount 12.368 National Juniors Manchester 6-Aug-14
Lucy Ayres 12.384 National Jnrs Manchester 2006

Junior Men Flying 200m rankings up and running

We have posted the latest ranking list, which is the Junior men’s flying 200m. This is a bit of a double whammy in terms of tracking accurately because junior rankings are inherently more difficult to compile, and the flying 200 is probably the toughest event to track. If you spot mistakes, tell us about it at

Anyway, the rankings are dominated by results on the over-sized Moscow track. Jason Kenny’s 10.378 remains the fastest on a normal track as far as we can tell.