Drama on final night of Track Champions League as Richardson just pips Lavreysen

There were three British wins in London, but Katie Archibald was unable to overturn Jennifer Valente's lead in the endurance competition

Matthew Rihardson wins at the Track Champions League
(Image credit: Alex Broadway/SWpix)

Matthew Richardson spectacularly pipped Harrie Lavreysen on the line to win the men's sprint competition on the final night of the 2022 UCI Track Champions League in London that saw four different classification winners.

Just a day after moving to the top of the standings for the first time in the five-round event, Australian Richardson looked to have missed his opportunity to seal overall victory when the Dutchman Lavreysen edged him out in the sprint race.

That meant the world champion Lavreysen had a slender lead of just one point going into the final Keirin race, and he was well-placed to secure the overall title until the final few metres when Richardson appeared right on the line to snatch victory by two points.

"I knew it was going to be close between Harrie and I coming into the end, but it couldn't have come any closer than that," Richardson said afterwards.

It was just as nervy in the finale of the men's endurance competition, with Switzerland's Claudio Imhof and Spain's Sebastián Mora tied at the summit of the standings on the same number of points.

Neither proved victorious in the scratch race that was won by Britain's Mark Stewart - his second such win of the campaign - but Imhof was awarded the overall title after finishing two places ahead of Mora in the elimination race, won by Ollie Wood of Britain. It had looked like Imhof would take the win, only for Wood to gain on the Swiss inside the final half-a-lap and to win by a bike length.

"It's just crazy," Imhof smiled. "I never believed I could win this when I travelled to to Mallorca for round one."

Both the women's sprint and endurance competitions witnessed less series-defining drama, with Jennifer Valente of the United States expectedly defending her lead in the endurance classification against British star Katie Archibald.

Just 24 hours before, the Scotswoman was left disappointed after her gap to Valente grew from a single point to eight, the Scot finishing seventh in the elimination race won by her rival.

That meant Archibald required a big error from the American in the scratch or elimination race, one she did not make; come the end, Archibald lost by three points despite comfortably winning the elimination race. Chloe Moran of Australia was victorious in the scratch event.

"This definitely caps off a much better year than I could have hoped for," said Valente.

The women's sprint crown was predictably won by the dominant Mathilde Gros, the world and Olympic champion winning the sprint race to secure her overall title. The Keirin race was won by Colombian Martha Bayona.

Upon winning the series by a whopping 13 points, Frenchwoman Gross said: "It's been harder than last year but I've taken a lot of pleasure in racing with the other riders in the UCI Track Champions League. I'm really happy with my performance and the final result."

Each of the four classification winners earned €25,000 for their victory.

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