UCI Track Champions League: Highlights as Lavreysen continues perfect start in Berlin
Ellesse Andrews wins both races to take overall women's Sprint lead, as Archibald and Hashimoto extend Endurance leads
Harrie Lavreysen (Netherlands) continued his sprint dominance at the UCI Track Champions League, once again winning both the Sprint and Keirin in Berlin, as Katie Archibald (Great Britain) extended her lead in the women’s Endurance standings.
Like Lavreysen, Ellesse Andrews (New Zealand) won both Sprint events on the women’s side to take the overall Sprint lead, as Japan’s Eiya Hashimoto shot to the top of the men’s Endurance standings.
After the opening round in Mallorca last weekend, the five-round Champions League series touched down in Germany this weekend, with another night of modern track action under the lights.
The format breaks the racing into two disciplines – Sprint and Endurance – each of which features two races – Individual Sprint and Keirin for the former, and Scratch Race and Elimination Race for the latter.
The night began with the men’s Scratch Race, which saw Dylan Bibic cruise to victory. The Canadian went clear with Maximilian Schmidbauer (Austria) with nine laps to go and then eased clear towards the end. In the women’s race, there was a two-up sprint, with Lily Williams (USA) and Sarah Van Dam (Canada) working together to hold off the pursuers before sprinting it out between themselves, Williams coming out on top.
The Sprint races were up next, and the dominant force of 13-time world champion Lavreysen was too much for Poland’s Mateusz Rudyk in the final, as the Dutchman led from the front and finished it off. In the women’s Sprint, Andrews held of Great Britain’s Katy Marchant to take her first win of the night.
The Elimination Races came next, and Jules Hesters (Belgium) produced a long-range attack to finish things off against Hashimoto and Will Tidball (Great Britain), before Archibald did what she does best and calmly negotiated the early rounds before picking off Maggie Coles-Lyster (Canada) at the finish.
The night was rounded off by the Keirin races, with Lavreysen edging out Matthew Richardson (Australia) in the men’s race, before Andrews made it a double double in the Sprint events.
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Overall standings and rider reactions
"I felt really good today and really enjoyed my night,” said Lavreysen, whose perfect run in the two rounds so far takes him to 80 points at the top of the Sprint series leaderboard, 22 points clear of Richardson.
“In the Sprint, the semi-final was almost tougher than the final - going up against Matthew [Richardson] and Mikhail [Yakovlev] - but winning that meant I was relaxed for the final. In that I went full gas, didn't make any mistakes, and it felt really good to beat Mateusz [Rudyk].
"That triumph also meant I had a lot of confidence going into the Keirin final. That was another hard race. There was a lot going on around me so I knew I needed to go really quickly to the finish line. I didn't think it would be possible to win both races again, so I'm delighted to have done it."
Andrews, meanwhile, usurped Alessa Catriona-Pröpster (Germany) at the top of the women’s Sprint standings, with a five-point lead.
"To win both races is really special, and I'm really happy. I'm definitely getting into the groove of the UCI Track Champions League and I'm loving it,” she said.
"The Sprint final was really tough but I was focused on producing my best-possible ride, and thankfully things played out as I hoped. Then, in the Keirin final, I tried to stay patient and shelter for as long as I could. When I saw Alessa-Catriona [Pröpster] come over the top, I knew that was the wheel I had to follow, and the last lap was a bit of a blur.
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In the women’s Endurance standings, Archibald and Williams shared the night’s honours, but the latter’s early exit in the Elimination saw Archibald take her overall lead from two points to six.
“I went into the Scratch a bit too confident so I wanted to be more humble in the Elimination and focus on the end goal,” said Archibald. “When it got down to the last five riders, I really enjoyed it, and it was amazing to take the win. I've loved being in Berlin; it's a very cool track and the night turned out to be a big success."
Hashimoto wasn’t able to win this week, but his continued consistency was enough for him to defend his blue jersey as men’s Endurance leader.
“I’ll do everything I can to defend it again because I would love to wear it in London, and my ultimate goal remains to win the Endurance competition overall,” he said.
When can I watch the Track Champions League on GCN+?
All five rounds of the UCI Track Champions League will be broadcast worldwide, live and ad-free on GCN+, with live shows providing additional analysis and interviews from inside the velodrome. The schedule for the 2023 series is as follows:
- October 21 | Round 1 - Mallorca (Velòdrom Illes Balears)
- October 28 | Round 2 - Berlin (Berlin Velodrom)
- November 4 | Round 3 - Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (Velodrome National de St-Quentin-En-Yvelines)
- November 10 | Round 4 - London (Lee Valley VeloPark)
- November 11 | Round 5 - London (Lee Valley VeloPark)
Head over to GCN+ now to check the broadcast times in your region so you don't miss a minute of the TCL action. Plus, catch up with all the behind-the-scenes action from the 2022 series with our Back on Track documentary series
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Patrick is GCN’s Deputy Editor, writing and shaping content across all areas of the website