Jack Carlin took Team GB’s first silver medal of the European Track Championships in the men’s Sprint on Sunday.
Hindered by injuries sustained in a crash during the semi-final, Carlin won the first of the three race final, but was unable to repeat the performance to seal top spot, Frenchman Sébastien Vigier eventually taking gold.
Carlin’s race one victory came after he defended the inside line, the most successful tactic on the temporary Munich track, but it was clear from both his body language and the blood seeping through his skin suit that any further effort would be difficult.
And so it proved. Before the second round Carlin seemed to struggle to walk to his bike, blood visible through his suit, but he pushed the Frenchman very close, losing by a fraction, but in the decider he was roundly beaten.
The sprint competition had seemed a good chance for the British team to take two medals with Carlin joined by Hamish Turnbull in the semis. But the younger man lost out, instead competing in the bronze medal race. There he was beaten in two races by another Frenchman, Rayan Helal taking the medal.
Carlin’s crash came in the second semi final race. Having won the opening round with sheer power, in the second he was he was forced to the back and up the track by Helal. However, as the Brit closed in the Frenchman crossed the red sprinter’s line, hitting Carlin who crashed. Helal was subsequently judged to have deviated from his line and was relegated.
As Carlin made his way back to track centre his tattered skin suit was evidence of the impact, suggesting injuries which might hinder him later in the evening.
Turnbull looked good in his first semi-final race following the low line tactic which had been so profitable for him and others in previous rounds. He beat Vigier, but next time out the Frenchman forced a decider, which he won.
The ride of the day came from Italy’s Elia Viviani, who won the elimination race after finishing seventh in the 207.9km road race earlier in the day.
World champion in the discipline, he was invisible early on, and as the race progressed seemed to be tiring. Britain’s Will Tidball nearly forced the Italian out, but was eliminated himself, finishing fifth. Meanwhile Viviani obliterated the final two laps, going long and forcing German Theo Reinhardt into a distant second.
Sunday’s evening session began with women’s Sprint, involving British riders Lauren Bell and Sophie Capewell. The women’s events were no different to Saturday’s men’s sprints, with the short track aiding the riders at the front, and Bell fell victim to this very tactic, losing to Laurine van Riessen in the single race 1/8 qualifier.
In her 1/8 race Capewell powered her way into the front position and held off Belgian Nicky Degrendele to qualify for the quarter final. There, despite using the same tactic, she was was outclassed by world champion Emma Hinze, who will be favourite for Monday’s finals.
World champion Lotte Kopecky won the women’s 25km Points Race with an aggressive, masterful performance.
After an early move from a three woman group, Britain's Neah Evans bridged and went straight over the top. However, before she could gain a lap or even win a sprint, Kopecky came over the top, achieving both.
Meanwhile, Evans looked cooked and slipped back into the clutches of a splintered pack, though she had done enough to lift herself into second place, behind the Belgian.
However, by the two-thirds mark Evans began to drift down the leader board while simultaneously Italy’s Silvia Zanardi and Frenchwoman moved into the medal positions. And after Kopecky imperiously took another lap, the race finished in that order.
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Owen Rogers is an experienced journalist, covering professional cycling and specialising in women's road racing. He has followed races such as the Women's Tour and Giro d'Italia Donne, live-tweeting from Women's WorldTour events as well as providing race reports, interviews, analysis and news stories. He has also worked for race teams, to provide post race reports and communications.
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