British men lay down marker with team pursuit gold at Euros

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British men lay down marker with team pursuit gold at Euros
Britain secured their first European title in nine years.
Britain secured their first European title in nine years.
Reuters
Britain's men's team pursuit quartet laid down an early marker for the Paris Olympics as they beat favourites Denmark to win the European title in Apeldoorn on Thursday.

The second day of the European Championships ended with Britain taking their first gold thanks to a superb display by Dan Bigham, Ethan Hayter, Ethan Vernon and Charlie Tanfield.

After a tight battle with the world champions in the 4km event, Britain powered clear in the closing laps to take the European title for the first time in nine years.

Britain's men have a rich pedigree in team pursuit winning gold at the Beijing, London and Rio Olympics but in recent years have been usurped by the Danes and Olympic champions Italy.

But securing the European title at the start of the Olympic year augurs well for their hopes of regaining their crown in Paris.

"It is one of the last races we will do against the guys here, so it is nice to take a good time and take some confidence going into Paris," Vernon said.

"A few of us are going off onto the road now with our teams, so we are not going to be back together for a few months."

Italy won the women's team pursuit ahead of world champions Britain with Elisa Balsamo, Martina Fidanza, Vittoria Guazzini and Letizia Paternoster putting in a relentless display.

Matteo Bianchi won the men's 1km time trial to put Italy on top of the medals table.

France's Clara Copponi won the women's scratch race.

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