The wheels have not come off British cycling.

This can be considered both an attempt to endorse a sense of stability following a result which has tested the resolve of the country's track team and also an effort to stave off cliche. There seemed a risk that might be used to fill the void left by Britain's short-lived campaign in the World Championships in Columbia this week.

A failure by the men's pursuit team to reach Wednesday's finals in Cali has been cause for acute disappointment, not least for Ed Clancy. He has won two Olympic medals but a finish of eighth place - alongside team-mates Sam Harrison, Owain Doull and Jon Dibben - is notable instead for being Britain's worst result in 15 years.

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It was a result exacerbated by the fifth-place finish of three-man pursuit; Phil Hindes, Kian Emadi and Jason Kenny unable to keep up with their aspirations for success in South America. Britain has not won the world title in team pursuit since 2005 and the days of Chris Hoy, who travelled to Cali in the role of team mentor.

Given the disappointment Britain has since endured, the effect of the decorated Scot's presence has been the subject of debate. Kenny - who has twice won Olympic gold in the three-man pursuit - dismissed such concerns, though, and sought to take the positives from a performance which still yielded a time of 43.617 seconds.

"It is frustrating for me," said the 25-year-old. "I've got a lot of medals in this event over the years, not many of them gold. We've got the Olympic gold medals, which is the main ones.

"We've got the potential to dominate, or certainly to be competitive every time we go out and that's where I'd like to be really. We're disappointed with the result, but the time itself and the way we rode wasn't that bad. We've got a lot closer to the lead than we have been."

Closer still were Britain's Jess Varnish and Becky James, who took bronze in the women's team sprint with a time of 33.032 secs. "It was a solid performance," said Varnish. "It's a really different track to what we've ridden on and you can't really compare it to other performances. It was a really good start."

But one which the men's teams were unable to keep up with.