Great Britain Cycling Team’s Katie Archibald won gold on the penultimate day of racing at the UEC European Track Championships.
Recently crowned as the European team pursuit champion, Katie added another gold medal to her collection by winning the women’s points race. Katie stated her intent from the start, winning the first two sprints, collecting points in the following two, and then winning the fifth sprint which put her in a comfortable lead at the halfway point. With 30 laps to go, Katie made her attack, along with Italy’s Silvia Zanardi, Poland’s Karolina Karasiewicz and Portugal’s Maria Martins, with the foursome taking a lap with 24 still to go. Silvia Zanardi ate into Katie’s lead on the penultimate sprint, narrowing it down to ten points, meaning gold for Katie was not a foregone conclusion. However, Katie stayed attentive and showed her strength by winning the final sprint, taking the European points race title by 18 points.
Katie said: “I get drawn into the sprints and it puts me in danger, so against a different field I would have been kicking myself as I was really in danger – the right attack could have done me in, so I’m glad I kept my head and didn’t let the wrong move go and I was there to contend at the finish.”
Ethan Vernon was in action for Great Britain in the men’s points race, having recently graduated from the Senior Academy programme and onto the Podium programme. Ethan got himself on the scoreboard in the second sprint, taking three points, and went on to score in six more of the 16 sprints, finishing in fifth place overall with 18 points. Spain’s Sebastian Mora Vedri won the gold medal with 51 points.
In the women’s keirin, Sophie Capewell finished third in her heat which saw her progress to the finals. Here, it was a cagey start to the race once the derny left the track, but Sophie got herself into a good position with two laps to go. It was a drag race to the finish and on the final bend, she was shoulder to shoulder to contest the bronze medal but was beaten to the line by Spain’s Helena Casas Roige. Olena Starikova from Ukraine took the victory. Katy Marchant finished fourth in her heat which placed her into the minor finals where she finished in 12th place overall after being relegated.
The Great Britain Cycling Team will be back in action on the final day of competition tomorrow with representation in the men’s and women’s Madison races as well as the men’s kilo.