Rhys Britton and Matthew Walls rode the perfect Madison to claim Great Britain Cycling Team’s fifth European gold medal of the week in Montichiari.
The junior British pair reached the top step of the podium as Jessica Roberts won omnium bronze in the junior women’s competition.
In a year when the world Madison title was won by a pair of Great Britain Cycling Team legends in Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish, two junior British riders showed the future in the event is just as bright as the present.
Walls, who won team pursuit gold earlier in the week, and Britton won points in four of the six sprints in the 120 lap race and also took a lap on the rest of the field, something no other pair managed in the 30km race.
Britton said taking a lap wasn’t always the plan:
“It was a good race. We wanted to be at the front for most of it, in the top three. We wanted to go for the points and see how the race panned out but we ended up taking a lap!”
Team-mate Walls said they felt they had to take advantage with other riders tiring:
“I knew that it was a good opportunity to go and make the most of it. We were feeling pretty strong, we knew we had to dig deep and just go.”
Three different omnium competitions were in action on Saturday as the junior women and under-23 men completed the six events and the under-23 women got underway.
Great Britain Cycling Team’s Jessica Roberts, already a bronze medallist earlier in the week in the junior team pursuit, started the day in fourth place after three events.
Roberts took fourth place in the 500m time trial in 37.475 and followed that up with the third fastest flying lap in a time of 15.052.
That put the young rider in fourth going into the points race, 22 points behind third place and just 24 points behind the leaders.
The teenager was riding well, and pounced to take a lap on the rest of the field, earning an extra 20 points.
Her medal chances were boosted by the disqualification of Russia’s Mariia Novolodskaia for a series of sprinting infringements and dangerous manoeuvres and a first place finish in the final sprints guaranteed Roberts her second bronze of the week.
“I was going into it fourth so I knew I needed to take a lap to try to get a medal. I wanted to wait until halfway through so that everyone was a little bit more tired and I just went for it! Luckily two other riders came with me and we got the lap.
“I knew I needed to keep getting points in the sprint and I managed to win the last two and I got in the medals, I’m really pleased, I’m just really glad to get on the podium in my first year of doing this.”
Overnight, Chris Latham was in second place in the under-23 men’s omnium after a strong showing on Friday, but didn’t have as much success on the final day of omnium competition.
Latham placed ninth in the 1km time trial in 1:05.138, before taking seventh in the flying lap in 13.524.
That put the 22-year-old in sixth place with just the points race to go, but Latham was unable to finish the 40km race, finishing 14th in the omnium standings. France's Thomas Boudat won gold.
Emily Kay will look to continue her good start to the under-23 women’s omnium on Sunday, the final day of competition, as she sits in third place overnight.
In the junior keirin competition, Georgia Hilleard came agonisingly close to a medal, finishing fourth as Sara Kankovska of the Czech Republic took the gold.
Jenny Holl made it through to the minor final, taking eighth place in the competition while Lewis Stewart also reached the same stage, winning his minor final to finish seventh as Martin Cechman of the Czech Republic won gold.
Follow our #RiderRoute blog from three of our junior riders here.