Thrilling racing continued at Six Day London, as Mark Cavendish and Elia Viviani went wheel-to-wheel on the third night.
The great sprint rivals were the last riders standing during the team elimination on Thursday (October 24), with the race going down to the wire.
But it was Cavendish who put in a composed performance to take victory at the line, with Viviani beaten into second.
“The team elimination is the most spectacular race and a big show,” Viviani said.
“I anticipated Cav’s sprint but my legs were completely done and he just jumped me on the line.
“Losing to Cav is never good, but I spoke to him straight after the race and it’s just good to have him back at this level and in good shape.
“Next year is another big year and maybe we can come back to sprinting against each other on the road – why not?”
Despite the narrow victory, it was Viviani and his partner Simone Consonni who went into the general classification lead after night three.
The first Madison Chase of the night was won by the Austrian duo Andreas Grad and Andreas Müller, while Cavendish then took the 40-lap Derny, his second of the week.
In the 7.5km points race, Viviani took maximum points before Cavendish took revenge with victory in the elimination race.
The second Madison Chase went to French riders Bryan Coquard and Donavan Grondin while the final race, the 40-lap Derny, was won by Australia’s Caleb Ewan.
Viviani an Consonni lead the general classification on 259 points, trailed by reigning Six Day London champions Yoeri Havik and Wim Stroetinga.
Cavendish and his partner Owain Doull are now fourth on 235 points.
In the sprint race, Maximilian Levy continues his utter domination, winning the 200m Flying Time Trial, the sprint and the Keirin to cement his lead on the GC.
For the under-21 riders in the 1878 Cup, Dutch pair Vincent Hoppezak and Philip Heijnen made it three wins on the bounce in the 40km Madison.