Great Britain Cycling Team put on another strong show of racing on day three of the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Saint Quentin en Yvellines, Paris.
Dan Bigham went for his second medal of the championships in the individual pursuit, which wasn’t to be as he finished in fourth place. Will Perrett delivered a tactical fifth place ride in the men’s points and debutant Sophie Lewis took 16th place in the omnium.
Men’s Individual Pursuit
New team pursuit world champion Dan Bigham took to the track for another day of racing - this time solo in the individual pursuit. In qualifying, he delivered an incredible performance which saw him almost catch Canadian Carson Mattern, narrowly missing an altercation at the bottom of the track.
A personal best time of 4:05.181 was enough to put him through to the bronze medal race against Portugal’s Ivo Manuel Alves Oliveira where he clocked another strong ride, but back to back racing proved too much and Bigham just missed out on the bronze medal and came away with a commendable fourth place finish.
Men’s 40km points race
Will Perrett rode an incredibly tactical points race, taking laps and picking up points consistently along the way, staying in contention over the 160 laps. Unfortunately, the podium was not to be this time and he finished his first world championship points race in a brilliant fifth place.
Perrett took his time getting into the race, waiting until the second lap to take his first point, quickly followed by another two sprints later. In the mid part of the race, Perrett manged to get into the lead group of five who took a lap on the bunch to gain a 20-point boost ahead of the seventh sprint where he took another two points, putting him in fourth position with 90 laps to go.
The ninth sprint saw a win with five additional points taking him further up the leaderboard and into second place just over halfway into the race. Subsequent sprints brought more points with Perrett working hard to bridge gaps and took another lap with the front group.
Going into the final lap, Perrett stood just one point behind third place. In a nail-biting sprint finish, he emptied the tank but couldn’t quite get round the group to scoop up those all-important final points and finished the race in fifth place with 61 points.
Sophie Lewis continued her first track cycling world championships, competing in the women’s omnium. In the first race of the day, the scratch, Lewis rode a calm and collected race from the start. With five laps to go, the race opened up and reigning world champion, USA’s Jennifer Valente attacked, putting Lewis at the front of the back. As the race started to break, with attacks being made in the final lap, Lewis tried to make her way through but couldn’t quite find a gap and finished in 21st place.
The tempo race saw Lewis stay strong in the bunch, slowly edging forward and spotting a gap around lap 13, but wasn’t quite able to get through to take sprint points. A tricky race saw her finish in 11th place. The tempo race was followed by the elimination where Sophie was the seventh rider to leave the race, giving her an overall position of 18th.
The final points race started well for Lewis as she took a lap with the front group early and some additional sprint points along the way, giving her 28 points. Lewis tactically sat in the bunch to hold her reserves, and with attacks launching in the final four laps, Lewis clung on to the wheels of Belgium's Lotte Kopecky and Italy's Elisa Balsamo in a three-up break with four laps remaining. Lewis led them into the final lap, and sprinted to cross the line first and secure 10 more points, finishing on 38 points and 16th place. Lewis' final placing in the ominium was 16th at her first world championships.
Racing continues on Saturday, when reigning world champion Ethan Hayter will be defending his omnium title, while Laura Kenny and Neah Evans aim for the Madison title. The sprinters return to the track with women’s 500m TT for Lauren Bell and Emma Finucane and men’s sprint for Jack Carlin and Hamish Turnbull. Josie Knight and Anna Morris will also take on the women’s individual pursuit.