Katie Archibald dominated in the Women’s Omnium as she claimed gold at the UCI World Track Championships in Roubaix, pulling on the rainbow bands in this event for the second time in her career.
The Milngavie rider won the Scratch, Tempo and Elimination Races to give herself a 20-point advantage going into the Points Race, a buffer that her opposition could barely put a dent into, as she eased to the global crown with an 18-point advantage over Belgian Lotte Kopecky.
Once she had qualified from the early morning heats, the Scottish star kickstarted the event proper - which would ultimately see her take Great Britain’s first gold of these championships - with a dominating win in the scratch race, Olympic champion Jennifer Valente of the United States directly behind in second. It seemed that the two would be embroiled in a transatlantic battle over the rainbow stripes, however some intelligent riding in the tempo race allowed Archibald to open up a sizeable lead, with none of the other major protagonists finishing in the top three.
Despite not being her favoured event, the Elimination race was the sign that a replication of her European exploits was happening on the world stage. A fantastic show of mental and physical strength saw Archibald recover from getting caught up in a nasty pile-up, which neutralised racing, seemingly unfazed, some strategic riding boxing in and eliminating both Lotte Kopecky and Jennifer Valente; such was her strength she took the final head-to-head sprint against Elisa Balsamo without contest.
Then came the fourth and final event, the Points race, the Olympic Madison champion using brains and braun in equal measure to control proceedings, winning sprints when she needed to, to wrap up another global title.
This is Archibald’s second Omnium title in a matter of weeks – winning the same event in Switzerland a fortnight ago at the European Championships in a similarly dominating manner.
The now two-time World Omnium Champion said afterwards:
“I turned up pretty nervous. I saw the other riders in the Scratch Race and the Elimination Race [earlier in the week] and thought 'gee they look fast'. Especially with the qualifiers, it was a nice warm up for the event. When you have the first event go well as I did with the Scratch Race, it gives you more confidence to race aggressively as you go through the day. It’s a virtuous cycle – I suppose – you can go from strength to strength and that’s what I benefited from today.
“This has been a fantastic year; I race the Madison with Neah Evans tomorrow and we have our qualification event in about 13 hours so a nice spin and some ice [is needed] as I hit my knee a little bit with the Elimination knock, and then we can just keep going!”
That Madison heat, which Archibald refers to with fellow Scot Evans, starts at 10am BST and is available to watch via Eurosport Player and the GCN+ app. Subject to qualification, the final takes place at 17:10 BST tomorrow, and will be able to view on both Eurosport/GCN and the BBC Sport Website.