Cycling

British teams cruise through qualifying heats

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Great Britain made the perfect start to the European Track Championships in Grenchen as both the men's and women's pursuit teams eased through qualifying in top spot.

Sir Bradley Wiggins led the men's quartet alongside Steven Burke, Owain Doull and Andy Tennant as they breezed to the top of the timesheets in a time of three minutes 57.277 seconds and will face Russia in their first-round heat.

Defending champions Great Britain led by 0.3sec after the opening kilometre and stretched that advantage to to 0.572 at the halfway mark.

They eventually stopped the clock nearly two seconds clear of hosts Switzerland, who finished in a time of 3:59.026, with France third quickest.

Earlier, the women's team had turned in a dominating performance in qualifying quickest by more than nine seconds.

Laura Trott, Ciara Horne, Elinor Barker and Joanna Rowsell-Shand were three seconds up on Russia at the midway point and a stunning final 2km enabled them to stop the clock in a time of 4:21.089.

Horne told British Cycling: "It was a really good, solid team effort, really chuffed.

" We were trying a new strategy and it worked really well so we're happy with that."

Horne and her colleagues will face Poland in the opening round.

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