Posted by Editoress on 11/28/21
The new UCI Champions League series moved to Lithuania for Round 2 on Saturday. As at the first round [three weeks ago - see Mitchell & Coles-Lyster Win at Opening Round of Champions League] the racing was closer than expected, however, for the most part, the top riders prevailed. Happily, the presentation was marred by fewer production problems than the first round.
Canada had riders in three of the four categories - women's Sprint and Endurance, and men's Sprint. Here are the particulars:
Women's Sprint (Sprint & Keirin)
There were a few surprises in the Sprint, with both Olympic champion Kelsey Mitchell (Canada) and Lea Friedrich (Germany) getting knocked out in their first round 3-up heats. Mitchell and Russia's Daria Shmeleva were so busy watching each other, that Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania) was able to launch a surprise attack. Canada's Lauriane Genest fared much better, making it all the way the Final with powerful rides in both of her first two races. However, in the Final she was beaten by Series leader Emma Hinze (Germany), who was just stronger.
In the Keirin, it was Mitchell who was riding more strongly, making it through to the Final, while Genest went out in the first round. In the Final, Mitchell managed to pull up to second on the last lap behind world champion Friedrich, but faded slightly on the final straight to end up third behind Friedrich and Hinze.
Hinze continues to lead the overall standings with 74 points. Mitchell drops to third from second with 50 points, six behind Friedrich, who bumped her down a spot. Genest improves from ninth to fourth overall, at 36 points.
Women's Scratch Race & Elimination
Great Britain's Katie Archibold, the Series leader coming into Round 2, had a perfect night, with wins in both events. Canada's Maggie Coles-Lyster had a another strong showing, finishing second in the Scratch and fourth in the Elimination, cementing her second place in the overall standings, with 60 points to Archibold's 73. Anita Stenberg (Norway) moved into third with 50 points. Unlike Round 1, where Lyster-Coles won the Scratch in a breakaway, the race came down to a field sprint, with Coles-Lyster the only one able to hold Archibold's wheel.
Coles-Lyster said to us: "Round 2 of the UCI Track Champions League in Lithuania was, once again, an experience unlike anything else. The show sold out live and being back under the lights in front of that audience is just incredibly electrifying and makes you want to try moves in a race that you wouldn't typically try in a race like a World Cup or World Champs."
"Thanks to this mentality we had another action packed 20 lap Scratch Race with riders trying moves right, left and centre. I rode aggressively and timed my finish to perfection, coming up short to Katie Archibald for second at the finish. A fourth place finish for me in the Elimination later that evening after being marked by Katie, has me sitting second overall going into London Round 3 & 4 next week and coming away with the biggest compliment ever of being a marked rider by an Olympic and World Champion!"
"It's so special to be able to race this series that's broadcasted on CBC Sports for all my friends and family to watch back home. Even my Calculus Professor tuned into the livestream! A huge thank you to my title sponsors on my skinsuit- my go to sports practitioner in the Vancouver area Moveo Sport and Rehabilitation, my incredible road team DNA Pro Cycling and my coach, Local Ride Racing."
Men's Sprint & Keirin
Canada's Hugo Barrette had a tough draw for the Keirin; up against Denis Dmitriev (Russia) and Jeffrey Hoogland (Netherlands). He tried going long, taking the lead with two laps to go, but couldn't quite hold on, finishing third (only the top-2 moved on to the Final). Series leader Harrie Lavreysen (Netherlands) took the win.
In the Sprint, Barrette again drew Dmitriev and Hoogland for his first race. He attacked early, but Dmitriev was able to come by him on the finishing straightaway. Lavreysen was also the overall winner for the Sprint, but was up against 200m world record holder Nicholas Paul (Trinidad and Tobago). Paul went early, but Lavreysen was able to sit on his wheel and came by on the finishing straightaway.
Lavreysen continues to lead the overall standings with 77 points, with Germany's Stefan Botticher remaining in second at 59 points and Hoogland in third with 47. Barrette did not score any points in Round 2, and drops one spot, to 11th, in the overall standings, with 20 points.
Men's Scratch & Elimination
Spain's Sebastian Mora, who struggled in Round 1, came back very strongly in Lithuania, winning both the Scratch and the Elimination. This also moved him from sixth in the overall standings to first, with 59 points. However, he is only two points ahead of previous leader Corbin Strong (New Zealand). Young American rider Gavin Hoover continues to impress with his consistency, and remains third overall, with 53 points, after recording third in the Scratch and fifth in the Elimination.
Track Champions League: Round 2 results
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