The best bits from Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup London 2018-19
With drama aplenty and thrills as relentless as a GB team pursuit quartet, the fourth round of the Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup 2018-19 was one fans will remember for a long time.
The home crowd packed into Lee Valley VeloPark and feasted on some epic racing featuring the finest riders on the planet – with a healthy dose of British success to boot.
Katie Archibald and Laura Kenny stole the show with their dominant Madison win on Sunday night, roared on by a crowd Archibald later claimed hailed as best support she had received in her career.
Matt Walls’ omnium title was another fine highlight for home fans, while Kenny and Archibald anchored the women’s team pursuit to catch the United States in a memorable team pursuit final under the Friday night lights.
Stephanie Morton was a powerhouse in the women’s sprints, taking both keirin and individual sprint titles, while the Dutch ruled the men’s competition, Matthijs Buchli claiming the keirin crown, Harrie Lavreysen defeating fearsome Aussie Matt Glaetzer in the final of the individual and the pair being part of the trio which sealed team gold.
KENNY, ARCHIBALD AND WALLS STAR ON HISTORIC WEEKEND OF ACTION
In a jam-packed opening night of action in east London, the roof was lifted off by a crowd who witnessed a remarkable win even by the lofty standard of the GB women’s pursuit outfit.
Archibald, Kenny, Neah Evans and Ellie Dickinson not only won their final against the United States, but successfully hunted them down after 3,000 metres to exert their dominance over the rest of the world once more.
The men’s race saw a thrilling finale between Belgium and the HUUB Wattbike domestic team – the Derby-based outfit edging a tensely-fought encounter as they – and their fervent supporters – added an extra dimension of character to the already lively crowd. Their victory over the talented Belgians proved another wonderful moment for home cycling fans.
Matt Walls was part of the young British team which beat Italy for bronze in that event – but there was far more to come from the European elimination champion.
Walls and fellow youngster Fred Wright secured a magnificent silver in the Madison, behind only the powerhouse Danes Casper von Folsach and Julius Johansen, before Walls sent the place wild with a truly superb victory in the omnium on Sunday.
THE BEST IN THE WORLD MEAN BUSINESS
Of course, it was not just British riders who caught the eye on the London boards – there were plenty of overseas athletes who simply shone.
Stephanie Morton has had a truly stellar 2018 – three Commonwealth titles in her homeland in April reflecting her pace and power – and she capped it off in fine style by racing to victories in both the keirin and the individual sprints, despite fierce competition from the likes of Russia’s Daria Shmeleva – a triple world champion and Olympic silver medallist.
The men’s sprint was an even more monumental battle, with drama early on as six-time Olympic champion Jason Kenny was eliminated in the 1/8 final stage.
Jack Carlin, competing for Team Inspired, produced some sterling rides to complete a star-studded semi-final lineup also featuring Glaetzer, Lavreysen and Jeffrey Hoogland.
And it was Lavreysen who had enough in the tank to take gold as he outpaced Glaetzer in the final for glory.
Kirsten Wild was sporting the rainbow stripes on the back of her three world titles in Apeldoorn earlier this year – and she oozed class as she powered to omnium success.
Having enjoyed a long and glittering career, the experienced Dutch rider showed once more why she is the one to beat as she displayed tactical nous and magnificent athleticism to beat American Jennifer Valente to gold, winning both scratch and elimination races in the process.
PARA-CYCLING DELIGHTS ON WORLD CUP DEBUT
History was made in London, with the competition being the first World Cup to host para-cycling on the same stage as able-bodied racing.
British para-stars Jody Cundy, Kadeena Cox and Dame Sarah Storey were all on song as Britain’s dominance on the international stage came through, with overseas para stars such as American Joseph Berenyi and Dutch speedster Alyda Norbruis also showing their class on the world stage once again.
Cox led a superb one-two with Storey in the women’s C4-5 500m time trial, while Cundy scooped two golds in the C4 kilo and the mixed C1-5 team sprint – a title he won with Louis Rolfe and Jon-Allan Butterworth – and Neil Fachie and Matt Rotherham won an impressive tandem sprint crown.