Katie Archibald left 'disappointed' after Track Champions League round four

The 28-year-old trails by eight points ahead of the competition’s final round

Katie Archibald at the UCI Track Champions League in Paris 2022
(Image credit: SWPix)

Olympic gold medallist Katie Archibald (Great Britain) said she was “disappointed” after round four of the UCI Track Champions League in London, where she ended the night eight points adrift of endurance league leader Jennifer Valente (USA). 

The 28-year-old went into the evening just one point behind the American and took the lead temporarily with a second place in the scratch race. Archibald then finished seventh in the elimination race, which Valente won to retain her blue jersey. 

“I’m disappointed, but I probably deserved it,” the Scot told the press after the elimination race. “I had quite a few close calls, so I should’ve got my head down. But when you don’t have the legs, it changes your decision-making, which is an issue." 

With Valente now eight points clear, Archibald said her chances of winning the overall standings on Saturday night are “not looking good”. 

“I would need an error from Jennifer,” she added. “I guess anybody can make mistakes. I don’t know why I keep doing them, but it’s available for anybody.” 

Elsewhere, British Madison champion Will Perrett took his first victory of the series in the men’s scratch race, attacking off the front and gaining a lap on the field. The 26-year-old sat up in his saddle as he came across the line, raising his arms and flexing his muscles to the home crowd. 

Speaking to Cycling Weekly after the race, Perrett explained his strategy was to “absolutely whack it”. 

“There’s no point doing it half-heartedly,” he said. “You’ve either got to go flat out, or don’t go at all.”

The first time the Brit came to the Lee Valley Velodrome, he was sat in the stands cheering on his country at the 2012 Olympics. Asked how it felt to win on the same boards, Perrett said: “It’s amazing. Ten years ago when I was watching, I never thought it was attainable to be a cyclist riding for Great Britain.

“It’s incredible what you can do with stepping stones,” he added.    

In the women’s scratch race, Ireland’s Emily Kay stunned the bunch to claim a maiden Track Champions League win. The 27-year-old made her move with six laps to go, and with nobody daring to pursue, ended up winning by half a lap. 

As she tried to get her breath back after the race, Kay was stuck for words. “I’m not sure I can quite believe it,” she told Cycling Weekly. “I saw the opportunity and I thought ‘well, I’ve got nothing to lose really.’ It’s not gone that well for me so I just thought it’s the last weekend, I’m going to give it a crack.”

Australia’s Matthew Richardson tipped the scales in his favour in the men’s sprint competition, winning the keirin and placing second to 11-time world champion Harrie Lavreysen (Netherlands) in the sprint.

“It’s been down to the wire the whole way through,” said Richardson, who leads by two points ahead of the final round. “At the end of the day, I came here to get top-five and gain some experience, so win or lose tomorrow, I’m happy with how I’ve raced.” 

In the remaining events, Gavin Hoover (USA) was the last man standing in the elimination race, Steffie Van der Peet (Netherlands) won the women’s keirin and Olena Starikova (Ukraine) edged league leader Mathilde Gros in the women’s sprint.

Gros, Valente, Richardson and Claudio Imhof will wear the blue leader's jerseys in Saturday’s fifth and final round.

The UCI Track Champions League is exclusively live on Eurosport and discovery+.

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Tom Davidson
News and Features Writer

Tom joined Cycling Weekly as a news and features writer in the summer of 2022, having previously contributed as a freelancer. He is the host of The TT Podcast, which covers both the men's and women's pelotons and has featured a number of prominent British riders. 

An enthusiastic cyclist himself, Tom likes it most when the road goes uphill and actively seeks out double-figure gradients on his rides. 

He's also fluent in French and Spanish and holds a master's degree in International Journalism.