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Kiwi trio continue team sprint domination at World Championships

Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster and Edward Dawkins were crowned men’s team sprint champions for the third time with victory over Netherlands at the UCI Track World Championships.

The trio have enjoyed plenty of success in the sprint event in recent seasons, winning the rainbow jerseys in 2016 and 2014, while claiming second in 2015 and 2013, and bronze in 2012.

Gold was secured on the first day of the 2017 Championships in Hong Kong with a comfortable win over Netherlands, the Kiwi team coming home in 44.049 seconds – three tenths faster than their rivals.

France edged a much closer bronze-medal race with Poland, their trio of Benjamin Edelin, Sebastien Vigier and Quentin Lafargue winning by 0.162secs.

Gold to Men’s sprint team! They hold onto their rainbow jerseys as World Champions once again #TWC2017

— Cycling New Zealand (@CyclingNZL) April 12, 2017

Russia successfully defended the women’s team sprint title they won in London last year with a narrow victory in the gold medal race with Australia.

Daria Shmeleva and Anastasiia Voinova led Russia to victory by 0.162 seconds over Kaarle McCulloch and Stephanie Morton, while Germany beat China to clinch bronze.

— UCI Track Cycling (@UCI_Track) April 12, 2017

The first title of the Championships went to Italy’s Rachele Barbieri in the women’s scratch race, the 20-year-old timing her sprint to perfection to snatch gold on the line.

Great Britain’s Elinor Barker was in a promising position with two of the 40 laps remaining as she overtook 2016 silver medalist Kirsten Wild but she was unable to hold on as Barbieri came through, with Belgium’s Jolien D’Hoore completing the top three.

New Zealand will look to deny Australia back-to-back men’s team pursuit titles in Thursday’s gold-medal race after impressing in the qualifying rounds – although they were lucky to survive disqualification after clashing with Canada in their first outing.

Australia laid down a marker in the opening race with a time three tenths outside of the world record, before beating France to set up a final with New Zealand. Great Britain will face Italy for bronze.

Meanwhile, defending champions United States were fastest in qualifying for the women’s team pursuit, finishing ahead of Australia, Canada, Italy, Great Britain, New Zealand, France and Poland.