Great Britain Cycling Team added two more medals to their haul on Saturday at the UEC European Track Cycling Championships.
Jon Dibben and Chris Latham both earned bronze medals in the omnium and elimination race respectively, while Laura Trott could claim a golden hat-trick on Sunday – the double European champion is the overnight leader in the women’s omnium.
Dibben’s bronze looked unlikely at the start of the final event of the omnium, with the Southampton rider down in ninth place, 42 points behind leader Elia Viviani.
The 21-year-old admitted he thought a medal might prove too difficult to win at that stage, but an incredibly gutsy ride put him back into contention – and briefly into the lead.
Dibben led solo charges to take a lap, not once, but twice, picking up sprint points along the way as well, to finish in third place, just three points behind the winner, the Italian Viviani.
It’s Dibben’s second European medal of the week after he picked up gold in the team pursuit on Thursday and he said he enjoyed the ride.
“It went well for me. Once I got my first lap, I kind of picked it up and morale picked up, so in a way, it hurts a little bit less but still it’s tough.
“I certainly came here looking for a medal, and maybe a win, and then as the omnium progressed, going into that points race, pretty much a medal was almost a long shot really, I’d have to race well and get a little bit lucky, which I did, so very happy in the end.”
In the elimination race, Chris Latham claimed the second senior international bronze medal of his career with an intelligent ride throughout.
The Senior Academy rider remained composed and well-positioned to finish third behind winner Brian Coquard of France and the Italian Simone Consonni.
Latham said it was a tough ride: “It’s a stand-alone event, everyone just wants to be near the front, nowhere near the back.
“It’s hard, you want to duck and dive as well as be up there as well so I thought I did alright keeping up there at the beginning.
“You’re never sure. The strongest guy will always win but if you make a mistake, that’s it, you’ve messed it up.”
The day’s other elimination race was part of the women’s omnium, an event dominated so far by Great Britain Cycling Team’s Laura Trott.
With two gold medals in the bag already, in the team pursuit and scratch race, Trott took second in the omnium scratch before winning the individual pursuit and elimination race.
With three events to come on Sunday, Trott stands in provisional gold position on 118 points, 12 clear of her nearest rival.
“The scratch race went how I wanted it to really. We let the Lithuanian (Ausrine Trebaite) go, which wasn't too bad because it's only two points to make up in the points race.
“I led it out, which I was really happy with because normally I just sit in and wait for the sprint and you can end up getting a right wheel or you can end up getting the wrong wheel so I didn't want that to happen.
“A 32 (3:32) in the IP which gave me the fastest which again I was pleased with.
“The elimination race is always such a stressful one. Before the start all the sensors were broken and it's just more time to think about it rather than just get on and get it done.
“So I got stuck in and I'm just glad that I won that too."
Elsewhere, Katy Marchant’s dreams of a 500m time trial medal were shattered by the fastest time ever recorded.
Russian Anastasia Voinova took the gold in a new world record, snatching a medal position from Marchant as the last rider. The former heptathlete finished in an encouraging fourth, with team-mate Victoria Williamson seventh.
In the kilo, Matt Crampton finished eighth as Dutch rider Jeff Hoogland claimed his second gold of the championships.
Defending individual pursuit champion Andy Tennant had to settle for fifth place in this year’s event, unfortunate to miss out on a second medal following his team pursuit gold.
A frantic day of action and two more medals sees Great Britain consolidate second position in the medal standings, with more opportunities to come on the final day.