Flawless Archibald crowned omnium world champion

Flawless Archibald crowned omnium world champion

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Katie Archibald powered to her second world omnium title in Roubaix on day three of the 2021 UCI Track Cycling World Championships, winning all four events in a perfect all-round display.

After qualifying comfortably in the first race of the day, Archibald opened her campaign with a faultless ride to take victory in the 7.5km scratch race, surging past Olympic champion Jenifer Valente of the USA in the final lap. 

Archibald won all four events en route to overall victory in the omnium at the UEC European Track Championships earlier this month, and made it two from two here with another dominant display in the tempo race.

After breaking clear of the bunch she won a total 14 of the 26 sprints and gained a lap on the field, taking victory with 34 points ahead of Ganna Solovei (Ukraine) on 24 and Lotte Kopecky (Belgium) on 21.

A third successive victory followed in the elimination race, where Archibald composed herself after an early crash which neutralised the race to surge further still ahead of her nearest rivals Valente and Elisa Balsamo (Italy), going into the decisive points race.

Points in four of the eight sprints in a masterful tactical performance was enough to secure the overall victory, 18 points clear of Kopecky in second, and a second medal of the week following yesterday’s bronze in the team pursuit.

Katie Archibald, omnium gold, UCI Track Cycling World Championships Roubaix 2021

Speaking afterwards, she said:

“I had a nice run in Euros. The races here have gone quite differently, and in some ways I’m happy I’ve succeeded in different ways. I was just so unbelievably nervous and it feels so much better now.

“I felt quite good going into it [the elimination race] and said to myself don’t use it all being stupid, and then I sort of pull my foot out and I’m like ‘I’ll just go hard’. There’s definitely a way I can ride that better and have more security in that final sprint.

“We had a really solid Games prep. Me and Laura working really closely on our Madison assault, and with that she was doing omnium prep and I was doing a lot of that with her just so that we were comrades, as it were, so I’ve really benefitted essentially from her Olympic prep to run into this. I just had to tune myself up the last four weeks.”

Archibald will now look to add a third medal of the week to her tally in tomorrow’s Madison, alongside room-mate Neah Evans:

“I’m nervous, the same as I am for this, as it’s a big target. When you’re passionate about something it terrifies you, doesn’t it? Me and Neah are sharing so we probably won’t be able to help ourselves talking about it all night but we’ll eventually switch off, and get ready for the race.”

Ethan Vernon, points race, UCI Track Cycling World Championships Roubaix, 2021

In the first event of the evening session Ethan Vernon rode strongly to a fifth-place finish in the men’s points race. In what was an aggressive race throughout Vernon picked up points in six of the 16 sprints, but despite an almighty effort the elite world championships debutant was unable to get the lap points needed to force his way into medal contention.

Earlier in the day Charlie Tanfield was eighth fastest in qualifying in the individual pursuit with a time of 4:13.840, with only the top four riders progressing to ride for medals.

Tomorrow’s penultimate day of the championships will see Archibald and Evans in the Madison, and further medals up for grabs in the women’s 500m time-trial, women’s individual pursuit and men’s omnium.