European Track Champs 2011 day three photo gallery by Andy Jones>>
Matt Crampton recorded the biggest victory of his career this weekend at the European Track Championships in Apeldoorn by winning the men's keirin event ahead of Christos Volikakis of Greece.
With a chest infection putting Sir Chris Hoy on an early flight home from The Netherlands and Jason Kenny finishing fourth in the individual sprint, the responsibility fell on Crampton's shoulders to bring home a medal for Great Britain's male sprinters.
His victory in the men's keirin was initially reported as having salvaged a gold amidst a disappointing overall showing for the sprint stars. Yet a commanding final ride, which saw Crampton lead the field from the front, has thrown the spotlight on a talented rider who is finally beginning to demonstrate the form and performances of which people have always expected he is capable.
"It's been a few years really, for myself. I got going in the sprints and started winning some medals and World Cups, and then have not had anything for a year, two years," explained Crampton.
His best performances to date have been two silver medals in the World Championships - one in the keirin in 2008, and in the team sprint in 2009. Crampton is now hoping that his first gold can help propel him forward into the upcoming season.
"It's a big reward this [win]; I can set my sights on Melbourne [the World Championships] now in the keirin there, and hopefully repeat this success.
"If I can make the keirin my own now, that's a great chance for London 2012 and that's where all my dreams are."
With Hoy out of action, Crampton admitted that he had been aware of making the most of the opportunity.
"You always get apprehensive in the first round - you don't know how everyone is going and you want to get through nice and cleanly. I had about three or four hours wait, and a lot of time to think. I've grown up with it though so I'm used to it."
The next stop for Crampton will be the brand new velodrome in Kazakhstan where he is likely to feature in the team sprint and keirin in a full-strength GB sprint squad that should include Hoy, Kenny, Edgar and Queally.
Crampton leads from the front
Related links Photo gallery: Euro track champs day threePhoto gallery: Euro track champs day twoBritish sprinters miss out on medals on frustrating day in ApeldoornBritish sprinters miss out on medal ride in team sprintGreat Britain's hattrick of gold on opening nightEuro track champs, day one galleryHoy pulls out of Euro track champs with chest infection
Around Apeldoorn velodrome
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Richard Abraham is an award-winning writer, based in New Zealand. He has reported from major sporting events including the Tour de France and Olympic Games, and is also a part-time travel guide who has delivered luxury cycle tours and events across Europe. In 2019 he was awarded Writer of the Year at the PPA Awards.
DNA Pro Cycling amasses three national titles across the Americas; signs Canadian talent Emily Marcolini
DNA Pro Cycling earns three national titles across the Americas; signs Canadian talent Emily Marcolini
By Anne-Marije Rook • Published
Europol confirms raids on Bahrain Victorious at Tour de France related to 'the use of prohibited substances in cycling races'
Three people were interrogated as officials searched 14 locations in six countries
By Ryan Dabbs • Published