Canada raced to a silver medal in the women's team pursuit at the track cycling world championships on Friday, narrowly losing to the United States.

The quartet of Allison Beveridge of Calgary, Jasmin Glaesser of Vancouver, Kirsti Lay of Medicine Hat, Alta., and Georgia Simmerling of West Vancouver, B.C., crossed the line in four minutes 4:19.525, not enough to beat the Americans' 4:16.802.

Simmerling took up endurance cycling less than two years ago but, should she be selected, Rio will be her third Olympics in three different sports.

Originally a skier, Simmerling raced in the Super-G at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Four years later, in Sochi, she competed in the ski-cross — an event in which she is a five-time World Cup medallist.

Looking to cross-train, she took up rowing and then endurance cycling and now Simmerling is on the brink of a third Olympics at age 26 with the team announced early April.

"It's been a roller coaster, it's been an amazing experience," Simmerling told The Associated Press. "I have worked so hard to get to where I am today. I am so honoured to be a part of such a successful team and such a professional and positive culture in Canada cycling."

The past few days were tough mentally despite the team emerging with a silver medal.

"It's been incredible. Racing in front of this amount of people," Simmerling said. "I never ski raced in front of this amount of people — except the Olympics — but I am using that as my strength, using my mental experience in sport at an elite level to excel."

She added: "I am trying to be a sponge and learn as quick as I possibly can."

Britain won bronze, the team's worst ever result in the event after six golds and two silvers in the previous eight editions.

Filippo Ganna announced his presence on the international stage with victory in the men's individual pursuit.

The Italian rider is only 19 years old but he bided his time to take the lead with 625 metres of the 4,000 left, beating Domenic Weinstein in 4:16.141.

Anastasiia Voinova made a successful defence of her title in the women's 500 time trial.

The Russian rider was the last of the 15 riders to take to the track and she took 0.777 seconds off long-time leader and 2013 champion Wai Sze Lee, winning in 32.959.

Jonathan Dibben sent Britain to the top of the medal table with victory in the points race.