Britain’s two-time Olympic omnium champion Laura Kenny crashed heavily in the first round of the event at the Track Cycling World Championships in Berlin on Friday.
Kenny, who took gold in the omnium at the London and Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2012 and 2016, as well as the team pursuit at both Games, went down just before the start of the 30th and final lap of the scratch race.
The 27-year-old, who was racing in Berlin only a month after breaking her shoulder during the omnium at last month’s World Cup in Canada, suffered bleeding close to her right eye.
British Cycling said Kenny had stitches and got the all-clear from doctors following a concussion check.
She could not force her way back into the medal reckoning as Yumi Kajihara became the first woman to win a track world title for Japan, but a strong third place in the final points race moved Kenny up to 12th overall.
“I should probably stop headbutting the floor, shouldn’t I?” said Kenny. “It’s just been one of those months. One to forget.
“But Sir Chris (Hoy) just spoke to me and said: ‘You know what, in six months time this will all be forgotten.’ And he’s right. It just wasn’t my day today. But I’m glad I got back up and raced. I came here to race. Rightly or wrongly.”
There was disappointment for Mark Stewart in the points race as the reigning Commonwealth champion could only manage 12th place.
Stewart won the second sprint of the race but then struggled to impose himself, and the 24-year-old admitted his disappointment with the battle for Olympic places on.
“It probably will [make a difference], yes,” said Stewart. “I’ve had a real good winter. It’s a bit of a surprise that result, considering my sensations coming into it. I’ll learn from it and come back stronger but all the other guys are strong
so we’ll see what the other guys do.”
In the men’s individual pursuit, Italy’s Filippo Ganna, who rides on the road for Team Ineos, broke his own world record in qualifying.
Ganna’s solo time of 4:01.934 was faster than the 4:01.979 set by the Great Britain team pursuit squad – including Sir Bradley Wiggins – in winning bronze at the Sydney Olympics back in 2000.
Ganna went on to beat American Ashton Lambie to take gold in the final.