Cycling-Olympic champions Italy, Germany win team pursuits at world championships

Cycling - UCI Track Cycling World Championships - Stab Velodrome, Roubaix, France - October 21, 2021 Germany's riders celebrate after winning gold in the women's team pursuit final REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

ROUBAIX, France (Reuters) - Olympic champions Italy added the men's team pursuit title to their list of impressive victories in 2021 as they defeated hosts France in the final at the track cycling world championships on Thursday.

It was a first world title for the Italians in the men’s pursuit for 14 years as Filippo Ganna, Liam Bertazzo, Simone Consonni and Jonathan Milan finished the four km race in a time of 3:47.192 ahead of France’s 3:49.168.

Britain took the bronze medal after defeating defending champions Denmark for third place.

"The people by the track showed great support for the French, but we always race to the last metre and to win the rainbow jersey in the same year as we won gold at the Olympics is really important for us," Ganna told reporters.

Women’s team pursuit Olympic champions Germany claimed the world title as they prevented an Italian double by beating the latter to gold in the final.

The German quartet of Franziska Brausse, Lisa Brennauer, Mieke Kroeger and Laura Suessemilch finished in 4:08.752, with the Italians some way off the pace in 4:13.690.

Britain again picked up the bronze, this time beating Canada to third place.

There was French joy when Donavan Grondin won the men's scratch race ahead of Tuur Dens from Belgium in a time of 16:59.

Dutch sprinter Harrie Lavreysen, who won individual and team golds at this year’s Olympics, claimed the men's keirin final over 200 metres in a time of 10.027 to beat compatriot Jeffrey Hoogland and Russian Mikhail Iakovlev to the top of the podium.

Lavreysen also won the team race in the sprint final with Hoogland on Wednesday.

Italian Letizia Paternoster won the first ever women’s elimination race at the world championships, with Belgium’s Lotte Kopecky and Jennifer Valente of the United States completing the podium.

(Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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