Kieran Reilly and Pfeiffer Georgi added two more medals to the Great Britain Cycling Team’s tally at the 2022 European Championships in Munich, with Reilly landing a 720 double tailwhip to burst onto the podium on his debut for the team.
Earlier in the day Josie Knight and Charlie Tanfield were both narrowly beaten in bronze medal finals in the individual pursuit, while Jack Carlin and Hamish Turnbull breezed through the rounds of the men’s sprint to book their places in tomorrow’s semi-finals.
In Thursday’s qualifying debutants Shaun Gornall and Kieran Reilly qualified in second and third place to progress to today’s final, with average scores of 82.80 and 82.15 respectively.
Unfortunately their teammate Declan Brooks endured a heavy fall and was taken to hospital for further checks. We’re pleased to say that he was discharged on Thursday night and is now recovering under the supervision of the team’s medical staff.
Both riders had a strong start in the final, with Reilly and Gornall sitting third and seventh respectively after their first rides, with the former’s score of 87.20 putting him within touching distance of the leader Anthony Jeanjean.
However Reilly wasn’t finished there, and in a final run which included a 720 double tailwhip, a triple tailwhip transfer and a one-handed front flip, he stormed to the top of the leaderboard with an incredible 92.10. While Gornall was unfortunate to crash out in his final run, Reilly waited anxiously for Jeanjean to post his second score, and the French rider held his nerve to deliver an equally polished run and take the European title with a score of 93.60.
Speaking afterwards, Reilly said:
“The goal for me this weekend was to podium, so to be right in the middle of it is great. I would’ve loved to have been coming home with the jersey but that’s another goal to reach for. I’ve learned some amazing lessons, had an amazing time and I’m leaving healthy, so all-in-all I’d say it’s a win.
“I knew I had to take some risks to beat some of the riding out there, which was insane, so I went out there on the second run and took some risks. I can’t fault Anthony Jeanjean’s racing, it was absolutely amazing, but I’ll definitely be back to chase him for that jersey next year.
“Where BMX is heading is amazing in the UK. We’re lucky enough to have an amazing cycling federation, some really talented riders and some good facilities – it’s making us push eachother even more.
“I wish a speedy recovery to Declan, who took a bit of a slam, but he’ll be back stronger.”
Having competed in the inaugural Tour de France Femmes last month, Pfeiffer Georgi joined up with the team for a rare foray on the track, and looked strong and assured throughout the women’s elimination race.
A heavy crash in the opening stages caused a long delay and saw three riders unable to continue. Once proceedings resumed, Georgi continued to ride a tactically astute race, and found herself in the final three with Mylene De Zoete of the Netherlands and Belgium’s Lotte Kopecky. While Georgi proved too quick for De Zoete, she was outsprinted by a typically formidable Kopecky and took silver on the night.
Afterwards, she said:
“It’s the first time I’ve been on the track for quite a while so I didn’t come in with expectations, so to get a silver is pretty good I think. The nature of the track being 200m does affect the racing quite a lot, so I think for me tactically I wanted to take it on from the front or second wheel just to stay out of trouble.”
After finishing fourth in yesterday’s women’s team pursuit, Josie Knight and Anna Morris were back in action in individual pursuit qualifying, with Knight qualifying fourth fastest to set up a bronze medal ride later in the day against Italy’s Vittoria Guazzini. Despite another fine performance, Guazzini proved too strong in the final, leaving Knight to take a commendable fourth place.
It was to be a similar story for Tanfield, who fell agonisingly short of a place in the gold medal ride, and went on to face Italy’s Manlio Moro for bronze. The final proved to be even more nailbiting, with Tanfield just over a tenth of a second slower than his opponent over the 4,000 metres, and taking fourth place.
After collecting a bronze medal in yesterday’s team sprint, Jack Carlin and Hamish Turnbull were first up on the track today for the individual sprint qualifying. Carlin qualified fastest in 9.604, with Turnbull 10th, meaning both riders progressed to the 1/8 finals. There, Carlin eased past Italy’s Matteo Bianchi to secure a quarter final spot, where he was joined by teammate Turnbull, after his victory over Germany’s Marc Jurczyk.
The quarter finals proved to be just as smooth for the pair, with both riders putting in dominant displays to secure their place in tomorrow’s semi-finals in straight legs.
Lauren Bell qualified ninth fastest in the women’s 500m time-trial, just over a tenth of a second off a place in the final, while in the final race of the evening Rhys Britton finished in 13th place in the men’s scratch race.
The event continues tomorrow with the women’s points race, men’s elimination race and conclusion of the men’s sprint competition.
For full results and schedule, click here.