The story of the TISSOT UCI Track World Cup 2018 so far
After yet another weekend of top class cycling in Berlin, attention turns to the hugely-anticipated fourth instalment of the 2018 TISSOT UCI Track World Cup – right here in London.
A host of top riders will fight it out for medals at London’s Lee Valley VeloPark from December 14-16, with the likes of Laura and Jason Kenny leading the charge for Britain – you can see the full squad here.
And with three events down and London now sharply into focus, we decided to take a look back at the highlights of the competition so far, including a series of impressive performances from British riders.
Round 1, Saint-Quentin-En-Yvelines, France
Saint-Quentin-En-Yvelines was the stage for the Track World Cup 2018 curtain raiser, and those in attendance in France saw Australia and Great Britain battle it out for the early supremacy.
European champion Neah Evans spearheaded the British challenge, with the Scot following up her silver in the Madison with bronze in the omnium.
Megan Barker and Ollie Wood powered to silver medals in the women’s scratch and men’s omnium respectively, while GB also won silvers in the men’s team pursuit and points race.
Spurred on by a supreme performance from Ashlee Ankudinoff who claimed gold in both the women’s team pursuit and the scratch race, Australia also roared out of the traps, picking up a total of eight medals – including three golds – to lead the way in the standings.
The 28-year-old Ankudinoff’s achievement was all the more impressive for the fact that she was one of only two riders alongside Denmark’s Lasse Norman Hansen to claim multiple golds across the weekend.
Round 2, Milton, Canada
GB followed up their strong opening to the Track World Cup a week later in Milton, Canada by winning nine medals – including four golds – in total to edge Australia off top spot in the standings.
Making her first World Cup appearance since January 2016, four-time Olympic champion Laura Kenny claimed two gold medals, with husband Jason also tasting success in the men’s keirin.
GB teammate Katie Archibald, meanwhile, also took double gold to cap a hugely productive weekend for GB in north America.
Elsewhere, Hong Kong’s Lee Wai rode to her second successive gold in the women’s sprint, with Denmark’s Casper von Folsach also starring by winning the men’s Madison and team pursuit.
Round 3, Berlin, Germany
After a month-long hiatus, the World Cup was back with a bang in Berlin over the weekend in the most keenly-contested event of the season yet.
Indeed, no fewer than eight countries tasted gold, outlining the depth and quality of the field in the German capital, while the fight for ascendancy between GB and Australia at the top of the rankings continued in earnest.
Following success in Milton, Katie Archibald (team pursuit and omnium) and Laura Kenny (team pursuit and Madison) picked up where they left off by claiming two golds apiece, while Emily Nelson replicated her GB teammates’ feats in the team pursuit and the Madison.
Star of the show in the men’s competition, meanwhile, was Australia’s Sam Welsford, who eclipsed his peers to become the only man to claim double gold in Berlin.
Welsford’s success contributed to another pivotal weekend for Australia as they once again beat off the competition to top the standings.
On the early evidence, their head-to-head with GB promises to be not just one to watch in London next weekend, but also a defining part of the World Cup season.
See the stars of British Cycling #BackToTheTrack at London’s Lee Valley VeloPark at the 2018 TISSOT UCI Track Cycling World Cup series between December 14 and 16. For tickets and more information click here