The Netherlands' men defended their title in the team sprint ©Getty Images

The 2019 International Cycling Union World Track Cycling Championships began in Pruszkow in Poland today with The Netherlands defending their title in the men's team sprint.

With racing going on throughout the day at the Puszkow Arena, the Dutch team of Roy van den Berg, Harrie Lavreysen and Jeffrey Hoogland ensured their country won gold for the second year in a row.

They finished in 41.923sec, almost a second ahead of the French trio of Gregory Bauge, Sebastien Vigier and Quentin Lafargue.

For the French that result marked an improvement from last year, when they finished third.

This time around the bronze medal went to Russia, with their trio beating Germany in the ride for third place by less than two tenths of a second.

The women’s team sprint finals also went ahead today, with Australia snatching gold there.

Their team of Kaarle McCulloch and Stephanie Morton sealed the title by beating Russia’s Daria Shmeleva and Anastasiia Voinova by more than three tenths of a second in 32.255.

Missing their star athlete Kristina Vogel, who was forced to retire last year when a serious training accident left her paralysed, defending champions Germany had to settle for bronze.

Their pair of Miriam Welte and Emma Hinze finished the battle for third place in 32.789, meaning they beat Mexico’s pair by almost seven tenths of a second.

In the women’s scratch race, the first individual gold of the Championships went to Great Britain’s Elinor Barker, who finished in a time of 12.49.

In a dramatic race which featured a crash on the penultimate lap, the 24-year-old finished ahead of Kirsten Wild from The Netherlands and Belgium’s Jolien D’Hoore.

Tomorrow several more finals will go ahead in events including the men's scratch race, and both the men's and women's team pursuits.