Ethan Hayter defended his omnium world title after four fantastic races and an epic points final, while Josie Knight secured her second world championship medal with a bronze in the individual pursuit on day four of the UCI Track World Championships.
The women's Madison ended in disaster as Laura Kenny crashed out to end her and Neah Evans' chances of a medal. In the sprints, Jack Carlin and Hamish Turnbull rode commendable races before losing out in the quarter finals, while Emma Finucane and Lauren Bell finished in 11th and 12th places in the women's 500m TT qualifying.
Ethan Hayter managed to defend his omnium world title after a fantastic four races, and an awesome display of talent in the final points race. Hayter started the scratch race in a calm and collected manner, positioning himself well. Big moves came thick and fast with breakaway groups forming to lap the bunch and gain ground. With three laps to go, Hayter had positioned himself at the front of the bunch ready for the sprint, which he dominated, giving him an overall fourth place finish.
A strong tempo race followed, which saw Hayter taking two laps throughout the race, picking up additional sprint points, and securing a second-place finish just two points behind Japan’s Shunsuka Imamura. The result sent Hayter into the evening’s elimination race in third place, just six points behind overall leader Imamura.
The elimination saw Hayter stay out of trouble near the front of the bunch and finishing calmly in second, as well as securing his place at the top of the standings on 110 points – four points ahead of New Zealand’s Aaron Gate.
It was still all to play for in the final 100-lap points race, which started at a rapid pace from the gun. Hayter kept the pressure on, gaining a point in the second sprint, leading the front group in the third sprint for a full five points, and adding another five on the fourth sprint to maintain his lead by seven points from Gate. Hayter continued to keep his lead, taking another point, and then five more points as he went off the front with France’s Benjamin Thomas with ten laps to go. Hayter and Thomas worked together and made the catch with just half a lap to go, leading Hayter to defend his title on a whopping 147 points.
Women’s Individual Pursuit
Josie Knight qualified fourth for the bronze medal race, getting a British record in the process with a time of 3:20.792. The bronze ride off saw the German Mieke Kröger initially hold a small lead, but with two laps to go Knight gave it everything she had and it paid off, seeing her take home the bronze medal, her second medal of the championships.
After the race, Knight said: “I’m so ecstatic - it’s felt like the Germans have been pretty unbeatable over the past few years so to qualify fourth and come back with a medal is just fantastic. I think we’re in a really exciting place as a squad.
“We’ve got Cam [Meyer] as our coach and he’s just so enthusiastic for it and he brings out the best in all of us, I think, and we’re all really looking forward to getting stuck into the next two years.”
Anna Morris completed her debut world championships with a personal best individual pursuit time of 3:22,094, finishing in fifth place in the qualifying round.
Team sprint bronze medal winners Hamish Turnbull and Jack Carlin returned to the track for the men’s sprint event, comfortably qualifying in ninth and 10th position with times of 9.592 and 9.601 seconds in the flying 200m.
Both riders continued on a positive trajectory, confidently winning their 1/16 finals to progress to the 1/8 finals. Carlin took on Rafal Sarnecki, controlling from the front, making the Pole work to stay in the race but comfortably pipped him to the line, sailing into the next round.
Turnbull also took decisive control of his race early on, creating a considerable gap for last year’s bronze medallist Sebastian Vigier to close, culminating in an incredibly dramatic photo finish which would declare Turnbull the winner, sending him into the evening’s quarter final.
Turnbull was eventually beaten by Dutch rider Harrie Lavreysen in straight rides, while Carlin was just bettered by Matthew Richardson of Australia in the quarter finals.
Neah Evans and Laura Kenny entered the Madison as one of the favourite pairs but ended it in disaster after being in contention for a medal. The 120-lap race was initially neutralised after just ten laps as the lights on the back straight of the velodrome went out. After restarting, Kenny and Evans timed it perfectly to gain five points and win the second sprint of 12.
The pair continued to collect a point in the next sprint, and another two in the fifth sprint to stay in contention for a medal, but had tough competition from France, Australia, and Denmark. Evans picked up three more points for the GB duo, followed by Kenny doing the same to move into the silver medal position on the standings – just three points behind France with less than 40 laps to go.
Belgium went off the front in a bid to move up the leader board as Great Britain maintained second position over the next sprint laps but were moved down to third as Belgium managed to gain a lap and a 20-point advantage. With ten laps remaining, Australia moved into the bronze medal position after winning a sprint, with Great Britain just two points behind in fourth. In the final two laps, an unavoidable crash for Kenny ended Great Britain's chances of a medal and the British duo finished in fifth place on 17 points.
Women’s 500m TT
Following their bronze medal victory in the team sprint on the first day of competition, Lauren Bell and Emma Finucane returned to the track for the women’s 500m time trial. Emma Finucane clocked a time of 33.659 seconds - a personal best and just over one tenth of a second off the national record which put her 11th on the leader board. Lauren Bell covered the 500m, also in a personal best time of 33.915 seconds, finishing in 12th place which was unfortunately not enough for either rider to progress into the final.
The competition comes to a close tomorrow with Sophie Capewell and Emma Finucane taking on the women’s keirin event. Neah Evans rides the women’s points race while Ethan Vernon rides the men’s elimination and Ethan Hayter and Ollie Wood contest the men’s Madison final.