Newly crowned two-time junior world champion Danni Khan completed her final day of competition with a silver medal in the keirin – although after making the final it wasn’t the hat-trick of rainbow jerseys the British Cycling Olympic Development Programme athlete wanted.
Khan opened the final day of competition by winning her keirin heat with ease, placing her safely into round two and bypassing the repechages. Round two was another success, Khan taking the win with ease, having accelerated away down the back straight of the last lap.
The finals weren’t as simple as the qualifying rounds. A bit of a tussle with a Belgian rider in the final stages slowed Danni slightly, meaning she was pipped to the finish line by the French rider Melissandre Pain, resulting in Danni adding a silver medal to her two golds. Although disappointed with second place, Danni was able to take away some positives and also see the bigger picture.
“Going into that keirin final, I wanted to make it three golds but you win some, you lose some and I’m really happy with what I’ve done here in Glasgow. I did make a mistake going into that final lap – I needed to be more committed, I hesitated for one moment, which made it very close on the back straight, which caused me and the Belgian rider to have a small collision and that took off a bit of my speed. It’s good to have the experience though, I can learn from that now.”
Emily Kay went into day two of the omnium event in sixth position but this soon changed after she won the individual pursuit in 2:28.858, beating her previous PB time by four seconds and moving her up the overall classification into fourth position, just two points off the top three with two events still to go.
Emily went into the scratch race with the confidence that she was the reigning British champion however unfortunately the race didn’t quite work out for her and she finished down in ninth place which really put the pressure on for her to perform in the final race – the 500m TT – in order to stay in medal contention.
And perform she did, posting a time of 37.699 finishing third, which moved her back up the rankings to take the bronze medal. After two days worth of highs and lows, Emily reflected:
“I came into the omnium thinking the bunch races would be my strongest events and I would be weaker in the individual events, but I actually PB’ed in all my individual events. The bunch races didn’t go to plan but I managed to get a bronze medal which I’m pretty pleased with. I’ve learnt a lot from this omnium, for example if I have a bad race I need to stop and refocus – it doesn’t mean it’s all over. If someone had told me at the start of the week I could have a gold and a bronze I would have taken it straight away, so I’m overjoyed with my results.”
The final event of the UCI Junior Track World Championships for the British riders was the madison where Matt Gibson and Jake Ragan didn’t have luck on their side, as Jake explains.
“The first twenty laps were quite tame at the front, we kept out of trouble and made sure we weren’t going underneath changes and stayed in a comfortable position. About 30 or 40 laps in, the break went and we were with it so there was us, the Danes and the New Zealanders and we gained a lap but unfortunately a Latvian rider who had been lapped came down onto Matt and knocked his foot out the pedal and because of that we ended up off the back of the leading group.
“We got back in and we fought really hard, we tried to get in some sprints to gain some more points and we tried as hard as we could in the last 20 laps to get back away but we couldn’t and we ended up finishing in eighth position.”
Despite their misfortune, the duo were pleased with their ride:
“We aren’t disappointed, we rode a race that could have put us on the podium had we not have had that mishap – there’s nothing we could have done, we couldn’t have done any more so we can’t be disappointed. Tactically, I think we were good.”
Great Britain finished their UCI Junior Track World Championships campaign with three golds, one silver, two bronze and one world record. Their next stop is the Junior British Track Championships which take place at Manchester velodrome next week.