The home nations enjoyed an exhilarating end to the Commonwealth Games track cycling programme, with gold, silver and bronze taking the total track medals won to 24.
Women’s 10km scratch race
Laura Kenny claimed England’s first cycling gold of the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games with a fantastic sprint finish in the women’s 10km scratch race.
England’s Grace Lister put in an attack with four laps left, along with Scotland’s Neah Evans. Lister was unable to keep on Evans’ wheel as she continued to power away. Lewis and Kenny managed to reel Evans back in, with Kenny soaring past and putting in an incredible injection of pace to take gold.
Michaela Drummond of New Zealand gave chase but was unable to match Kenny’s unbelievable speed as she crossed the line with ease in a perfectly executed race. Evans took fourth after her commendable effort.
Afterwards, a delighted Kenny, who had taken the adoration of the home crowd, said:
“It feels amazing. I came in this morning in a completely different mindset, thinking, ‘of course you can do it.’ I told myself in the toilet, ‘you need to race as Laura Trott,’ that old bike rider who didn’t think about anything else other than crossing that finish line first. When I changed my mindset, I just felt completely different.
"When Sophie and the other England rider rolled over, everything was on my side. Then Sophie drops in and I’m like, ‘we’ve done it, I’ve won this bike race.’ Honestly I was just so happy, to be able to do it here in London."
The women’s keirin saw strong representation across all home nations, with England’s Sophie Capewell and Wales’ Emma Finucane gliding through round one, straight to the second round. England’s Milly Tanner, Lauren Bell for Scotland and Wales’ Rhian Edmunds qualified in their respective repechages.
Bell was knocked out in the second round, leaving four home nations riders out of six finalists, battling for the podium. New Zealand’s Ellesse Andrews came out on top, just pipping Sophie Capewell to the line in another impressive performance this Games. Canada’s Kelsey Mitchell took the bronze.
On the silver medal win, Sophie Capewell said:
“I thought I was going to come back at Ellesse (Andrews). I think I left the gap a bit too big unfortunately, which is a lesson learned going forward. My legs are just gone now! I'm really pleased to come away with silver.
“Without getting too emotional, I lost my dad. I just feel like he’s with me. It’s been a really hard few years. That was for him - everything’s for him. I know he’d be screaming in the stands for that one because I got it right. It means much more than I can put into words.”
Men’s 40km points race
It was a lively start to the men’s 40km points race, with Welsh riders Rhys Britton, William Roberts, and Josh Tarling setting the pace early on. Oli Wood quickly got himself in a comfortable position, taking maximum points in both the fourth and fifth sprints of the night.
With less that 100 laps to go, a breakaway of Scotland’s John Archibald and New Zealand’s Campbell Stewart formed in a bid to lap the field and get into a podium position. It was a brilliant effort from Archibald, it wasn’t meant to be, as the pair was drawn back in with 30 laps to go.
With just one point between Wood and Stewart, it was all to play for going into the final sprint. However it was Stewart who crossed the line first to gain maximum points and edge ahead of Wood in the standings, leaving the Englishman with a brilliant bronze medal.
Archibald claimed fourth while fellow Scotsman and 2018 winner Mark Stewart took fifth. Junior rider Tarling finished in seventh for Wales, and England’s Will Perrett came in ninth.
Men’s 1000m Time Trial
Home nations riders gave strong performances in the 1000m kilo, but it wasn’t enough to make the podium, with England’s Ethan Vernon and Hayden Norris finishing in sixth and seventh respectively. Joe Holt, of Wales, finished eighth while teammate Harvey McNaughton came in 13th place.