U.S.’s Jennifer Valente and Britain’s Katie Archibald‘s heated race in Berlin’s UCI Track Champions League round two was the highlight of the competition.
The two ladies won both races on Saturday and established themselves as the undisputed leaders in the women’s endurance category.
Archibald dominated the night by taking first place in both the Scratch Race and Elimination Race. Second in both races, Valente nonetheless managed to maintain her position as the women’s endurance category leader after two of five rounds.
After just three of the 20 circuits in the Scratch, Archibald grabbed the bull by the horns and pulled away. The situation necessitated action from Valente, and she made her way over; then, working together, the two of them managed to turn their advantage into a lap gain, and they were able to rejoin the pack with three circuits to go.
Then, in the last sprint to the finish, Valente sat up, giving Archibald the win and a perfect 20 points.
Later on in the Elimination Race, elimination guru Laura Kenny (Great Britain) and previous week’s victor Anita Stenberg were both eliminated at very early points (Norway). When just Archibald and Valente remained, Archibald gave one more burst of speed, and Valente sat up and accepted second place.
While Valente increased her total score to 66 points, her advantage was decreased to 60 by Archibald, who won the Scratch but was eliminated first in the Elimination in Mallorca during the Champions League’s first round. In third place, with 43 points, is Lily Williams (USA).
Archibald said, “Tonight has gone beautifully, and to have two victories feels great.” I feel like I’ve entered the room armed with amazing abilities. Riding through Berlin is one of my favorite things to do. The turnout tonight was just amazing. I’m thrilled to once again be competing at a high level in the Endurance league.
In the men’s sprint class, Australian Matthew Richardson and Dutchman Harrie Lavreysen renewed their rivalry with a rematch.
They met in the Sprint final just as they did the week before in Mallorca, with Richardson again coming out on top thanks to an inside move. They also competed in the Keirin, with Lavreysen coming out on top once again.
As a result, Lavreysen maintained his lead in the men’s sprint category, increasing to 74 points and leaving Richardson, who placed third in the Mallorca Keirin, two points behind in second place. Third place goes to Germany’s Stefan Botticher, who has 58 points.
“I began the evening with the Sprint and lost to Matthew Richardson in the final, but in the Keirin, I made some amazing tactical maneuvers and gained my triumph,” said Lavreysen.
This evening has been fantastic. Though I blundered, I’m hoping to make amends in the Sprint next week.
Martha Bayona (Colombia) has surpassed Shanne Braspennincx (Australia) at the top of the women’s sprinting rankings (Netherlands). It was a night to forget for the Dutchwoman, who finished outside of the top six in the Keirin and was eliminated in the Sprint preliminary rounds.
Bayona was second in the Keirin behind Kelsey Mitchell of Canada, however she and Mitchell did not advance to the Sprint final, where Mathilde Gros of France triumphed against Laurine Van Riessen of the Netherlands (Netherlands).
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Bayona leads Mitchell by one point in the standings with 49 points, while Gros moves up to third with 46 points and Braspennincx drops to fourth with 45 points.
British competitor Oliver Wood won the Scratch race, Canadian competitor Dylan Bibic won the Elimination, and Canadian competitor Mathias Guillemette won the overall Men’s Endurance category.
Mark Stewart (Great Britain) dropped from first to second after finishing ninth and eighth, while Guillemette (France) rose from third to first and currently leads by five points.
As of this writing, the last two events of the Track Champions League will take place in London on December 2-3, with the first taking place in Paris the following Saturday.
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