Jess bags a brace of bronze medals

Podium queen: Jess Varnish, right, took double bronze in Holland.

Podium queen: Jess Varnish, right, took double bronze in Holland.

First published in Sport

JESSICA Varnish savoured double bronze success at the European Track Cycling Championships in Holland to confirm she is nearly back to her best.

The 22-year-old finished third in the individual women’s sprint and did the same alongside Becky James in the team event in Apeldoorm.

The Halesowen Cycling Club star’s success was all the more satisfying as she had spent most of the year recovering from a serious back injury.

Dad Jim Varnish said: “Jessica was absolutely delighted with her performances in Holland.

“She had been in rehab for most of the year but she was desperate to do well. She’s not quite back to her best but she’s getting there.” In the women’s team sprint, Varnish and James found themselves in the minor final against the Netherlands.

After a strong ride posting a time of 33.771 seconds they took the win and the bronze medal by nearly half a second ahead of the Dutch team. The gold medal was won by Russia who beat Olympic Champions Germany over the two lap race to the line.

In the individual, Varnish had qualified in 11.374s, just two hundredths faster than fellow Brit, Victoria Williamson who set a time of 11.399.

Both riders made it safely through the early rounds they met each other in the quarter-finals where Varnish comfortably earned her place in the semi-finals, leaving Williamson to battle it out in the race for fifth to eighth place.

Varnish lost to Elis Ligtlee in the semi-final but won both races in the minor final against Virginie Cueff of France to collect her second bronze.

Team GB finished second in the medal table behind Germany with three gold, two silver and three bronze.

Success in Holland built on encouraging displays at the Nationals at the end of September, when she won gold in the keirin, 500 metre time trial, individual and team sprints.

The Bromsgrove rider will be hoping to translate her form into success at the UCI World Cup events in Manchester at the start of November and then Mexico afterwards.

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