23-year-old provides rollercoaster ride in final points race to claim gold
Katie Archibald claimed Great Britain’s first gold medal of the Track World Championships as she took a superb victory in the women’s omnium.
In a relatively young and inexperienced British team in Hong Kong, 23-year-old Katie Archibald was one of the more seasoned campaigners, and rode faultlessly in the morning’s first two omnium events.
Archibald won both the scratch race and the tempo race to go into the second half of the competition with 80 points, eight clear of second-place Amy Cure (Australia).
The third and penultimate event was the elimination race, where Archibald finished in fifth place, with Cure taking victory ahead of Kirsten Wild (Netherlands), moving herself up to a share of the lead with Archibald going into the final points race.
Archibald picked up a couple of points in the opening sprint of the 80 lap race, and five more in the second sprint to open a lead of six points over Cure in the overall standings.
That prompted Cure into action, attacking with 55 laps to go. The Australian briefly had an advantage of nearly half a lap with three other riders, but was brought back by an unsuccessful counter-attack by Wild.
But at the back of the field Archibald was in trouble, seriously struggling to hold the wheels at the back of the peloton and for a moment looking as if she could be dropped.
Thankfully for the Brit there was a lull in the pace to allow her to recover, with Cure only able to pick up a couple of points in the meantime.
With two sprints to go Archibald’s lead was down to four points, but Cure took second in the penultimate sprint to halve that lead, with all to play for with double points on offer in the final sprint.
The good news for Archibald was that three riders attacked in the final laps, and the Brit was able to cross the line in fourth place to claim gold with 123 points, with Cure second on 115 points, and Wild third also on 115.
Earlier in the day in the points race Tom Stewart picked up points in the opening couple of sprints, but the key moment in the race came when four riders, Kenny De Ketele (Belgium), Cameron Meyer (Australia), Wojciech Pszczolarski (Poland), and Niklas Larsen (Denmark) gained a lap midway through the 160 lap event.
The move effectively decided the medals, with Meyer proving a class above the rest of the field as he even managed to gain a second lap in the closing stages to secure gold ahead of De Ketele and Pszczolarski .
There was drama in the final of the men’s individual pursuit when the starting gun appeared to be fired accidentally after the first few laps, prompting both Filippo Ganna (Italy) and Jordan Kerby (Australia) to sit up.
The race was restarted a few minute later, Kerby was the fastest out of the blocks with a 1-07.332 opening kilometre, and continued in a similar vein for the remaining three kilometres to take gold in a time of 4-17.068. Bronze went to Kelland O’Brien (Australia).
The day’s events were brought to a close with the final of the women’s sprint, where Kristina Vogel (Germany) needed only two rides to beat Stephanie Morgan. There was also some home success for the Hong Kong crowd to cheer as Wai Sze Lee claimed bronze