Callum Skinner unable to defend British titles

Callum Skinner. Pic: Getty
Callum Skinner. Pic: Getty
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Capital cyclist Callum Skinner had his British Track Championship challenge ended by illness before it got started.

The 23-year-old had planned to defend all four of the titles he won last year, with his first event being the Keirin. He was also the champion in the individual sprint, kilometre time trial and team sprint.

However, Skinner was forced to withdraw shortly before the action got underway in Manchester yesterday.

Last night, he tweeted: “Sorry to say I’ve pulled out of Nats. Various issues the past few weeks made resting this weekend a better option for races still to come.”

Former City of Edinburgh rider Katie Archibald, now racing in the colours of the Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International, went into the women’s 3 kilometre pursuit as defending champion. She looked to be in good shape to repeat last year’s success when she posted the quickest time in qualifying.

However, in the gold medal ride off, she faced double Olympic champion Laura Trott, last year’s runner up and champion the previous season. And it was Trott who turned on the power to regain the champion’s jersey.

Edinburgh Road Club sprinter Ellie Richardson performed strongly throughout the day, reaching the semi-finals of the individual sprint before succumbing to Becky James, the Welsh rider who was double world champion in 2013.

That left Richardson in the bronze medal ride-off against Victoria Williamson. And it was a disappointing finale for Richardson who finished fourth after going down 2-0 against the rider from Norwich.