Jason Kenny delighted the Manchester crowd by winning the team sprint title alongside Phil Hindes, Ryan Owens and Jack Carlin at the HSBC UK | National Track Championships this afternoon.
The six-time Olympic champion, who has recently returned to competition following an extended post-Rio break, anchored North West Region A home in a time of 43:593 in the final, ensuring that the Sportcity Velo trio of Matt and Tom Rotherham and Joel Partington had to settle for silver.
Bronze went to Alex Jolliffe, Lewis Stewart and Hamish Turnbull (North West Region B), who edged out Black Line A by 0.004 seconds.
“The likes of Ryan, Jack and Joe Truman have been right at the sharp end all season – and last season as well – so I was pleased to get a ride today and have a hit out. They’re looking really good in the run-up to the world championships.
“I didn’t really set any targets in terms of coming back – I’m just kind of taking it as it comes for now. My target is to be back in the team for the next Europeans and the world cups next season, and getting stuck in on a regular basis. That’s quite a long way away still, so anything in the short term is just a bonus.”
Katie Archibald completed a unique hat-trick, by successfully retaining the third of the three titles she won last year – the points race.
A break from Jess Roberts, Corrine Hall and Becky Raybould saw the group of three catch the pack and each pick up 20 points. Emily Kay followed this up with an impressive solo attack to claim 20 points of her own, a move swiftly followed by a break off the front by the outstanding Archibald.
With the Scot leading, Dani Rowe made a brave last-ditch attempt to take a lap, not quite managing to bridge the gap but taking all ten points on offer for the final sprint. Archibald crossed the line next, securing her gold medal ahead of Kay (silver) and Roberts (bronze).
Archibald said afterwards:
“It’s fantastic. I thought that race was all over. It was do or die with about ten laps to go – I was doing the maths and I thought maybe I could get the five points for the sprint and then contest the last one, but then you think to yourself, this is the last lap – if you latch on to the pack here, this is your everything.
“It obviously wasn’t all over, as I still had to mark Emily Kay, but it’s amazing how your mindset just switches – as soon as I latched on, I felt ready to go again.”
Katy Marchant won her second title of the weekend as she secured victory in the women’s 500m time trial in a time of 34:584.
Loughborough Students’ Anna Morris held the lead throughout the early heats, but her time was eventually surpassed by Lauren Bell. Blaine Ridge-Davis and Georgia Hilleard both briefly held the lead as well, but Marchant and Lauren Bate each recorded sub-35-second times in the penultimate heat to put the pressure on the final two riders, Jess Crampton and Sophie Capewell.
Neither rider could ultimately challenge Marchant’s time, but the provided the crowd with a thrilling battle for bronze, which Crampton edged on the final lap.
A dramatic men’s team pursuit final saw 100% ME, in the form of Rhys Britton, Ethan Hayter, Matt Walls and Fred Wright, catch defending champions Team KGF (Dan Bigham, Charlie Tanfield, Jacob Tipper and Jonathan Wale), who cruelly suffered a mid-race mechanical fault just over halfway through the 4km.
Emphasising their strength in depth, Team KGF B joined their counterparts on the podium, as the quartet of John Archibald, Harry Tanfield, Ethan Vernon and Simon Wilson caught their opponents – the University of Derby – in the final kilometre of their bronze medal race, before going on to record a time of 4:04:102.
Bate and Hilleard built on their respective impressive 500m time trial performances to later team up to win the women’s team sprint – as North West Region A – in a time of 34:564, defeating Scotland B’s Lucy Grant and Lusia Steele in the final.
Bronze was won by North West B – Capewell and Ridge-Davis, after they beat Crampton and Alexandra Novacki of Sportcity Velo.
The final champion of the weekend was crowned in the men’s scratch race, and it was JLT Condor’s Ollie Wood who took the title with a perfectly-timed sprint to the line. 100% ME duo Britton and Walls completed the podium.