Barker wins scratch gold to open track championships

Barker wins scratch gold to open track championships
Cycling - 2019 UCI Track Cycling World Championships - Pruszkow, Poland - February 27, 2019 Great Britain's Elinor Barker celebrates winning the Women's Scratch Race Final REUTERS/Kacper Pempel Copyright KACPER PEMPEL(Reuters)
By Reuters
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PRUSZKOW, Poland (Reuters) - Britain's Elinor Barker claimed the opening gold medal of the track cycling world championships on Wednesday as she held off defending champion Kirsten Wild to win the 10km scratch race.

Barker made her move just over two laps from the finish and outsprinted her Dutch rival to win a fourth world title.

Seconds after the Welsh rider made her move, a huge crash decimated the field as multiple riders hit the boards, although there were no serious injuries reported.

Belgium's Jolien D'Hoore took the bronze medal.

Barker's main success has come in Britain's women's team pursuit squad where she won gold at the Rio Oympics and was world champion in the discipline in 2013 and 2014.

Later on Wednesday, Russia take on Australia for gold in the women's team sprint final while Germany, without their paralysed sprint great Kristina Vogel, ride against Mexico for bronze.

The men's team sprint will also be decided.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Ian Chadband)

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