Laura Kenny and Katie Archibald crush the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Madison to take gold

A huge performance by the Brits in a chaotic race, as the Madison returns to the Olympics

Laura Kenny (left) and Katie Archibald on their way to Madison gold
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Katie Archibald and Laura Kenny put in a crushing performance in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Madison to take the gold, with no teams able to touch the British pairing. 

The Madison returned to the Olympics after a long hiatus, with Kenny and Archibald among the favourites heading into the race.

But the multiple Olympic gold medallists also had to go up against a strong Dutch pairing of Amy Pieters and Kirsten Wild, who looked to be the biggest rivals out on the track.

Kenny and Archibald dominated proceedings early on, winning almost every sprint lap in the first half of the race to pull out a comfortable points lead on the Dutch.

Then late into the race a lap gain put Team GB out of reach, as Pieters and Wild began to fall apart following a crash, eventually finishing outside the medals.

The Brits took the gold, as Amalie Dideriksen and Julie Leth of Denmark took silver, with bronze going to Gulnaz Khatuntseva and Mariia Novolodskaia of Russia. 

How it happened 

The British pairing came out of the gate with huge motivation in the 120 lap (30km) Madison, which made its return to the Olympics for the first time since 2008. 

Kenny and Archibald held the front of the bunch for the entire opening half of the race, winning a majority of the early sprints. 

With 70 laps still to race, GB had built up a comfortable margin to their nearest rivals the Netherlands, when a big crash in the bunch tipped the balance further in their favour.

As the Netherlands pairing attempt to switch over with a hand throw, one of the Australians found herself in the wrong place at the wrong time, with Kirsten Wild falling as a result of the contact with the Aussie. 

Wild fell in the path of a Belgian and Polish rider, temporarily taking them out of action. 

The Dutch were able to re-enter the fray however, and with 50 laps remaining there was another pivotal moment in the race, as the Dutch squad hit out for the line, with Katie Archibald putting in a huge surge to chase down the move and win the sprint. 

At this point in the action, Team GB had won six of the seven sprints, putting them on 32 points, the Netherlands trailing on 16, with Australia in the bronze spot on seven.

Into the final 30 laps and Archibald smashed another sprint ahead of Denmark, smiling as she crossed the line to extend the lead to 26 ahead of the Netherlands.  

Another crash came as the Belgian duo missed their hand-sling and fell, taking out one of the Australians in the process.

Meanwhile amid the chaos Great Britain gained a lap on the field along with Denmark and the Russian Olympic Committee, scoring an extra 20 points on their total.

With 16 laps to race Britain lead with 67 points, followed by Denmark on 32, and the ROC on 26, the Netherlands bumped out of the medals.

Onto the final of the sprints before the finish and the Netherlands needed to score big, but the points went to France and Denmark with the Netherlands finishing third, GB scoring one point.

Heading towards the finish sprint and the Netherlands needed the victory to move back into the medals, while GB only had to finish the race safely to secure the second track gold of the Tokyo games.  

Heading into the final laps and Archibald led from the front, pulling away from the field and getting the hand-sling on the bell for Kenny to sprint towards the line.

>>> Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games cycling schedule: when to watch the racing

Kenny fired clear and won the race to add to the points tally, taking the gold medal after an utterly dominant display, leading by 43 points. 

The Netherlands couldn’t fight back onto the podium at the line, as Denmark took silver and the ROC claimed bronze.  

Tokyo 2020 Olympics Madison

1. Great Britain, 78pts
2. Denmark, 35pts
3. ROC, 26pts 
4. Netherlands, 21pts
5. France, 19pts
6. Poland, 9pts
7. Australia, 9pts
8. Italy, 2pts
9. United States, 1pt
10. Belgium, -18pts 

Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

Alex is the digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output.

Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. 

Away from journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.