Monday, January 17, 2022
HomeChampions LeagueUCI Track Champions League - Round 3 - London

UCI Track Champions League – Round 3 – London

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The cancellation of the final round of the opening UCI Champions League in Tel Aviv next weekend – due to Israel’s strict travel ban following the emergence of the Omicron Covid-19 variant – meant that the double-header in London acquired new significance, with the second round on Saturday becoming the series finale.

Covid had other impacts, too, with the Dutch sprint squad hit by a number of positive tests – Jeffrey Hoogland, Shanne Braspennincx and Laurine van Riessen all missing the final weekend, along with the Belgian endurance riders Tuur Dens and Jules Hesters.

None was a significant factor in the overall, but it did mean a couple of blank spots in the sprint competition, with young British riders William Tidball and Josh Charlton filling out the Men’s Endurance field, but ineligible for points, having competed in too few rounds.

Men’s Sprint

First Round

The one upside of Hoogland’s absence was that we were treated to one proper, two-up sprint in the opening round, but before we got there, we saw Jair Tjon En Fa of Suriname and Rayan Helal of France go shoulder-to-shoulder down the finishing straight, with the South American rider holding on to take the win, with Kevin Quintero of Colombia in third.

Tjon En Fa’s win wasn’t exactly a surprise, although it was his best showing in the Champions League so far – but we get a bit of an upset in the second heat, where veteran Lithuanian Vasilijus Lendel beat off the challenge from the on-form young Russian Mikhail Iakovlev – after South Africa’s Jean Spies had made the early running.

Two results somewhat against the run of form, but it was the third heat that provided the first shock of the evening with Tom Derache of France seeing off Germany’s Max Levy and the fastest man in the world, Nicholas Paul of Trinidad and Tobago in the closest heat of the round.

Then came the two-up heat, which saw Denis Dmitriev of Russia line up alongside Hugo Barrette of Canada. The most tactical round of the heat saw Barrette make the jump with a lap to go and put up a stout defence as the Russian closed on him off the final bend, but in the end Dmitriev had enough to take the win.

One to go and it was the rejuvenated Stefan Boetticher of Germany who booked the penultimate berth in the Semi Finals, essentially winning unchallenged from Jordan Castle of New Zealand and Kento Yamasaki of Japan.

The final heat gave Harrie Lavreysen an opportunity to bolster his title chances in the final heat against Jai Angsuthasawit of Thailand and Mateusz Rudyk of Poland – and, although the Pole make the first move, the Dutch rider left him to contest the minor places with the Thai rider – with Angsuthasawit taking the extra points.

Heat 1
1 LAVREYSEN Harrie NETHERLANDS
2 ANGSUTHASAWIT Jai THAILAND
3 RUDYK Mateusz POLAND

Heat 2
1 BÖTTICHER Stefan GERMANY
2 CASTLE Jordan NEW ZEALAND
3 YAMASAKI Kento JAPAN

Heat 3
1 DMITRIEV Denis RUSSIA
2 BARRETTE Hugo CANADA
DNS HOOGLAND Jeffrey NETHERLANDS

Heat 4
1 DERACHE Tom FRANCE
2 LEVY Maximilian GERMANY
3 PAUL Nicholas TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

Heat 5
1 LENDEL Vasilijus LITHUANIA
2 IAKOVLEV Mikhail RUSSIA
3 SPIES Jean SOUTH AFRICA

Heat 6
1 TJON EN FA Jair SURINAME
2 HELAL Rayan FRANCE
3 QUINTERO CHAVARRO Kevin Santiago COLOMBIA

Semi Finals

With Hoogland’s absence and Paul’s early exit, the Semi Final results were never really in doubt. Lavreysen dominated the first of them – leaving Tjon En Fa and Dmitriev trailing in his waked and Boetticher taking a comfortable win in the second, ahead of Lendel and Derache.

Would the final be as predictable?

Heat 1
1 LAVREYSEN Harrie NETHERLANDS
2 TJON EN FA Jair SURINAME
3 DMITRIEV Denis RUSSIA

Heat 2
1 BÖTTICHER Stefan GERMANY
2 LENDEL Vasilijus LITHUANIA
3 DERACHE Tom FRANCE

Final

Again, the fact that the final is a two-up sprint – albeit a one-off, sudden death encounter – did provide the sell-out crowd with a more classical match sprint and it was relatively close on the line – maybe half a wheel – but the win went to Lavreysen and his lead in the sprint competition looked untouchable.

1 LAVREYSEN Harrie NETHERLANDS
2 BÖTTICHER Stefan GERMANY

Women’s Keirin

First Round

Only one rider failed to qualify from the first Keirin heat, with Braspennincx a non-starter and series leader Emma Hinze of Germany and Lauriane Genest of Canada crashing out with a lap to go. That left Mathilde Gros of France and Miriam Vece of Italy to book their places in the Final, with only Sophie Capewell of Great Britain missing out, much to the disappointment of the home crowd.

Heat 2 saw a full field – but when that field contains the World Champion Lea Sophie Friedrich, the other five know they’re just competing for the second spot in the Final. Martha Bayona of Colombia held off Mina Sato of Japan and Yana Tyshchenko of Russia to follow Friedrich home, with Yuli Verdugo of Mexico and Daria Shmeleva of Russia completing the heat.

The last two spots went to Ukrainian pocket rocket Olena Starikova – who saw off an early challenge from Canada’s Kelsey Mitchell and a late one from Simona Kreckaite of Lithuania to take with win – and Krupeckaite, with Mitchell in third ahead of Riyu Ohta of Japan and Anastasiia Voinova of Russia – with Van Riessen the absent rider.

Heat 1
1 GROS Mathilde FRANCE
2 VECE Miriam ITALY +0.031
3 CAPEWELL Sophie GREAT BRITAIN +0.251
DNF HINZE Emma GERMANY +2
DNF GENEST Lauriane CANADA +2
DNS BRASPENNINCX Shanne NETHERLANDS +3

Heat 2
1 FRIEDRICH Lea GERMANY
2 BAYONA PINEDA Martha COLOMBIA +0.073
3 SATO Mina JAPAN +0.089
4 TYSHCHENKO Yana RUSSIA +0.092
5 VERDUGO Yuli MEXICO +0.304
6 SHMELEVA Daria RUSSIA +0.524

Heat 3
1 STARIKOVA Olena UKR UKRAINE
2 KRUPECKAITE Simona LITHUANIA +0.095
3 MITCHELL Kelsey CANADA +0.202
4 OHTA Riyu JAPAN +0.280
5 VOINOVA Anastasiia RUSSIA +0.359
DNS VAN RIESSEN Laurine NETHERLANDS +3

Final

Without Hinze, the final was only ever going to go one way and, although Starikova took second to boost her overall standings, it was yet another sprint win for Germany as Friedrich overtook Hinze at the top of the League table. Bayona took third – not far behind the Ukrainian, and ahead of Krupeckaite, with Gros and Vece taking the final two places.

1 FRIEDRICH Lea GER GERMANY
2 STARIKOVA Olena UKR UKRAINE +0.114
3 BAYONA PINEDA Martha COL COLOMBIA +0.207
4 KRUPECKAITE Simona LTU LITHUANIA +0.386
5 GROS Mathilde FRA FRANCE +0.422
6 VECE Miriam ITA ITALY +0.778

Women’s Scratch

With Canada’s Maggie Coles-Lyster’s breakaway win in the opening round still fresh in the memory, the Women’s Scratch race was always going to come down to a bunch finish, with Kirsten Wild of the Netherlands and series leader Katie Archibald of Great Britain always active at the front of the race.

Yumi Kajihara of Japan did have one attempt to slip away, but it was quickly snuffed out and the only real surprise in the bunch sprint was that the talented Portuguese rider Maria Martins – who has looked out of sorts so for in the Champions League – managed to take second, between Wild and Archibald. Coles-Lyster finished way down in 14th, bolstering Archibald’s chances of taking the overall title on Saturday night.

1 Kirsten WILD NETHERLANDS
2 Maria MARTINS PORTUGAL
3 Katie ARCHIBALD GREAT BRITAIN
4 Anita Yvonne STENBERG NORWAY
5 Annette EDMONDSON AUSTRALIA
6 Tania CALVO SPAIN
7 Silvia ZANARDI ITALY
8 Olivija BALEISYTE LITHUANIA
9 Yumi KAJIHARA JAPAN
10 Eukene LARRARTE SPAIN
11 Emily KAY IRELAND
12 Alzbeta BACIKOVA SLOVAKIA
13 Hanna TSERAKH BELARUS
14 Maggie COLES-LYSTER CANADA
15 Gulnaz KHATUNTSEVA RUSSIA
16 Kendall RYAN USA
17 Karolina KARASIEWICZ POLAND
18 Michelle ANDRES SWITZERLAND

Men’s Scratch

If the women had learned from Coles-Lyster’s solo win, the men, apparently, had missed it. An uncharacteristically pedestrian opening dozen or so laps gave Switzerland’s Claudio Imhof the chance he needed to slip off the front and, with a two laps he had a half lap lead. With the Swiss rider no real threat to Sebastian Mora’s overall League lead, there was no real incentive to chase and it some became clear that the win was decided and the race was for second.

As he has throughout the series, Great Britain’s Rhys Britton was up front, animating the bunch, but it was Kazushige Kuboki of Japan who won the final gallop, with Mora happy in third and Britton in third – those three separated by little more than a wheel – with Gavin Hoover of the USA who continues to look strong at the end of the year rounding out the top five – in another close sprint with New Zealand’s Aaron Gate and Tidball. Former League leader Corbin Strong of New Zealand finished 10th.

1 Claudio IMHOF SWITZERLAND
2 Kazushige KUBOKI JAPAN
3 Sebastian MORA SPAIN
4 Rhys BRITTON GREAT BRITAIN
5 Gavin HOOVER USA
6 Aaron GATE NEW ZEALAND
7 William TIDBALL GREAT BRITAIN
8 Kelland O’BRIEN AUSTRALIA
9 Michele SCARTEZZINI ITALY
10 Corbin STRONG NEW ZEALAND
11 Iuri LEITAO PORTUGAL
12 Alan BANASZEK POLAND
13 Roy EEFTING NETHERLANDS
14 Ed CLANCY GREAT BRITAIN
15 Erik MARTORELL HAGA  SPAIN
16 Rotem TENE ISRAEL
17 Yacine CHALEL ALGERIA
18 Josh CHARLTON GREAT BRITAIN

Women’s Sprint

First Round

The absence of the two Dutch riders meant that we had two two-up heats at the end of the First Round of the Women’s Sprint – but before then we’d seen the two Germans at the top of the League standings ease through to the Semi Finals – Hinze, recovered after her crash in the Keirin, seeing off Vece and Capewell with Friedrich despatching Sato and Shmeleva.

Heat 3 saw Mitchell make up for her Keirin exit, booking her place in the Semis at the expense of Krupeckaite and Voinova, with Starikova carrying her pace through from the earlier event to knock out Mitchell’s team mate Genest and Ohta.

Tyschenko win the first of the two head-to-head contests, knocking out Bayona – with Gros easing past Verdugo in the final heat.

Heat 1
1 HINZE Emma GERMANY
2 VECE Miriam ITALY
3 CAPEWELL Sophie GREAT BRITAIN

Heat 2
1 FRIEDRICH Lea GERMANY
2 SATO Mina JAPAN
3 SHMELEVA Daria RUSSIA

Heat 3
1 MITCHELL Kelsey CANADA
2 KRUPECKAITE Simona LITHUANIA
3 VOINOVA Anastasiia RUSSIA

Heat 4
1 STARIKOVA Olena UKRAINE
2 GENEST Lauriane CANADA
3 OHTA Riyu JAPAN

Heat 5
1 TYSHCHENKO Yana RUSSIA
2 BAYONA PINEDA Martha COLOMBIA
DNS BRASPENNINCX Shanne NETHERLANDS

Heat 6
1 GROS Mathilde FRANCE
2 VERDUGO Yuli MEXICO
DNS VAN RIESSEN Laurine NETHERLANDS

Semi-Finals

After Hinze’s crash in the Keirin, you might have thought there was a chance of something other than an all-German final, but despite the best efforts of Starikova and Gros, Hinze took the first spot in the Final, ensuring that the League leader’s aquamarine jersey would grace both the Men’s and Women’s finals

Friedrich, too, made short work of her Semi – pulling well clear of Tyschenko in the home stretch, with Mitchell a distant third.

Heat 1
1 HINZE Emma GERMANY
2 STARIKOVA Olena UKRAINE
3 GROS Mathilde FRANCE

Heat 2
1 FRIEDRICH Lea GERMANY
2 TYSHCHENKO Yana RUSSIA
3 MITCHELL Kelsey CANADA

Final

For just under an hour, Friedrich had led the overall standings in the Women’s Sprint League from her compatriot. Now, by just seven hundredths of a second – and two points – she was back on top.

With Friedrich 25 points ahead of third-placed Mitchell, there’s no question that one of the Germans will take the inaugural sprint crown and, despite the narrow gap – caused in large part by Hinze’s early exit in this evening’s Keirin – it will be a serious upset if it isn’t Hinze.

1 HINZE Emma GERMANY
2 FRIEDRICH Lea GERMANY +0.074

Women’s Elimination

A problem with the rear wheel of Kajihara’s bike meant a lengthy delay to the start of the Women’s Elimination and, often, that kind of thing can mess with a rider’s head and see them make an early exit. This time, though, it was Martins – who’d showed so well in the Scratch earlier on – who was the first to go.

If that was a surprise, the loss of Alzbeta Bacikova of Slovakia, Tania Calvo of Spain, Kendall Ryan of the USA and Calvo’s compatriot Eukene Larrarte over the next four laps was about what we would have expected on current for. That Anita Stenberg of Norway went next was more of an upset, with Hanna Tserakh of Belaris, Gulnaz Khatuntseva of Russia and Michelle Andres of Switzerland following them onto the track apron.

Emily Kay of Ireland took 9th, one behind Coles-Lyster, whose chances of the overall were fading fast. Kaolina Karasiewicz of Poland had one of her best results so far in 7th, with Silvia Zanardi of Italy the next to go.

That left five – with Wild, Archibald the favourites to contest the final sprint and Olivija Baleisyte of Lithuania, Kajihara – whose spare wheel certainly wasn’t doing her any harm – and Annette Edmondson of Australia the other riders still in with a shout of the win.

Baleisyte went first, before Kajihara’s luck finally ran out. Nettie Edmndson’s energy ran out next, but it was Archibald, who had been at the back for a couple of laps, who now surged through to take a comfortable win and open up a huge 35 point lead at the top of the table. She can be caught, in theory – two wins delivers 40 points – but it would take a massive upset for her to not only fail to win, but to finish in the bottom three twice. We surely have our first UCI Champions League winner.

1 ARCHIBALD Katie GREAT BRITAIN
2 WILD Kirsten NETHERLANDS
3 EDMONDSON Annette AUSTRALIA
4 KAJIHARA Yumi JAPAN
5 BALEISYTE Olivija LITHUANIA
6 ZANARDI Silvia ITALY
7 KARASIEWICZ Karolina POLAND
8 COLES-LYSTER Maggie CANADA
9 KAY Emily IRELAND
10 ANDRES Michelle SWITZERLAND
11 KHATUNTSEVA Gulnaz RUSSIA
12 TSERAKH Hanna BELARUS
13 STENBERG Anita Yvonne NORWAY
14 LARRARTE Eukene SPAIN
15 RYAN Kendall USA
16 CALVO Tania SPAIN
17 BACIKOVA Alzbeta SLOVAKIA
18 MARTINS Maria PORTUGAL

Men’s Keirin

First Round

We may have our second, too – although it isn’t quite so clear cut in the Men’s sprint competition. Lavreysen and Tjon En Fa – having his best round of the competition so far – qualifying for the Final of the Men’s Keirin (with a proper derny, for a change) from Heat 1, with Helal just missing out, ahead of Agsuthasawit, Quintero and an out of sorts Rudyk.

Lavreysen’s closest rival Boetticher took Heat two – with Lendel taking the second berth in the Final and Iakovlev, Castle, Spies and Yamaski picking up the minor points. Those points, by the way, are determined by their finishing position, but also by their gap to their opponents – a system designed to encourage every rider to race to the line in every heat.

The final two spots went to Paul – making up somewhat for his early departure in the Sprint competition – and Levy, with Derache, Barrette and Dmitriev getting a little extra rest ahead of tomorrow’s final round.

Heat 1
1 LAVREYSEN Harrie NETHERLANDS
2 TJON EN FA Jair SURINAME +0.061
3 HELAL Rayan FRANCE +0.111
4 ANGSUTHASAWIT Jai THAILAND +0.194
5 QUINTERO CHAVARRO Kevin Santiago COLOMBIA +0.202
6 RUDYK Mateusz POLAND +0.45

Heat 2
1 BÖTTICHER Stefan GERMANY
2 LENDEL Vasilijus LITHUANIA +0.059
3 IAKOVLEV Mikhail RUSSIA +0.1
4 CASTLE Jordan NEW ZEALAND +0.223
5 SPIES Jean SOUTH AFRICA +0.581
6 YAMASAKI Kento JAPAN +0.683

Heat 3
1 PAUL Nicholas TRINIDAD AND TOBAG +0.064
2 LEVY Maximilian GERMANY +0.07
3 DERACHE Tom FRANCE +0.155
4 BARRETTE Hugo CANADA +0.227
5 DMITRIEV Denis RUSSIA +2
DNS HOOGLAND Jeffrey NETHERLAND

Final

Not only did Lavreysen miss out to Boetticher in the closely contested final, he finished behind both Lendel and Tjon En Fa – and ahead of Levy and a disappointed Paul.

That leaves him 14 points clear of the German in the overall, which should be enough to secure the title in the final round, but a Hinze-like early departure from either event on Saturday could open the door for Boetticher.

1 BÖTTICHER Stefan GERMANY
2 LENDEL Vasilijus LITHUANIA +0.05
3 TJON EN FA Jair SURINAME +0.09
4 LAVREYSEN Harrie NETHERLANDS +0.254
5 LEVY Maximilian GERMANY +0.36
6 PAUL Nicholas TRINIDAD AND TOBAG +0.636

Men’s Elimination

There were no real surprises in the early stages of the Men’s Elimination race, with Kazushige Kuboki of Japan, Charlton, Roten Tene of Israel and Yacine Chalel of Algeria the first five to go. Gate might have been expected to stay in a little longer but double-winner from round one and fellow Kiwi Strong certainly would, but he could finish no better than 11th, just ahead of Roy Eefting of the Netherlands.

Tidball was the first of the top ten to depart, followed by early series contender Iuri Leitao of Portugal and Britton. O’Brien of Australia and Michele Scartezzini of Italy were next to go – with Imhof following up his earlier win in the Scratch with a fifth place here.

The two Spaniards went next – with Mora taking another third place ahead of Erik Martorell – and Alan Banaszek of Poland took second, leaving Hoover to finally take the win his recent form has deserved.

And that win puts the American into contention for the overall – just five points behind Mora, with Strong now looking out of it 16 points further adrift.

1 HOOVER Gavin USA
2 BANASZEK Alan POLAND
3 MORA Sebastian SPAIN
4 MARTORELL HAGA Erik SPAIN
5 IMHOF Claudio SWITZERLAND
6 SCARTEZZINI Michele ITALY
7 O’BRIEN Kelland AUSTRALIA
8 BRITTON Rhys GREAT BRITAIN
9 LEITAO Iuri PORTUGAL
10 TIDBALL William GREAT BRITAIN
11 STRONG Corbin NEW ZEALAND
12 EEFTING Roy NETHERLANDS
13 GATE Aaron NEW ZEALAND
14 CHALEL Yacine ALGERIA
15 CLANCY Ed GREAT BRITAIN
16 TENE Rotem ISRAEL
17 CHARLTON Josh GREAT BRITAIN
18 KUBOKI Kazushige JAPAN

Standings After 3 Rounds

Women’s Endurance

R1R2R3Total
1Katie ARCHIBALDGREAT BRITAIN334035108
2Annette EDMONDSONAUSTRALIA23242673
3Kirsten WILDNETHERLANDS25103772
4Maggie COLES-LYSTERCANADA30301070
5Anita Yvonne STENBERGNORWAY22281666
6Olivija BALEISYTELITHUANIA28161963
7Silvia ZANARDIITALY11211951
8Yumi KAJIHARAJAPAN13152048
9Maria MARTINSPORTUGAL13131743
10Emily KAYIRELAND9131234
11Hanna TSERAKHBELARUS220729
12Tania CALVOSPAIN991028
13Michelle ANDRESSWITZERLAND69621
14Karolina KARASIEWICZPOLAND47920
15Kendall RYANUSA612119
16Eukene LARRARTESPAIN46818
17Gulnaz  KHATUNTSEVARUSSIA06612
18Alzbeta BACIKOVASLOVAKIA43411

Women’s Sprint

R1R2R3Total
1Emma HINZEGERMANY37372195
2Lea FRIEDRICHGERMANY30263793
3Kelsey  MITCHELLCANADA35151868
4Martha BAYONA PINEDACOLOMBIA22142662
5Mathilde GROSFRANCE16182357
6Yana TYSHCHENKORUSSIA15162354
7Olena STARIKOVAUKRAINE11172351
8Lauriane GENESTCANADA1323844
9Simona KRUPECKAITELITHUANIA9142144
10Miriam VECEITALY1931638
11Mina SATOJAPAN6161335
12Shanne BRASPENNINCXNETHERLANDS1816034
13Yuli VERDUGOMEXICO6111229
14Riyu OHTAJAPAN710825
15Laurine VAN RIESSENNETHERLANDS515020
16Anastasiia  VOINOVARUSSIA78318
17Sophie CAPEWELLGREAT BRITAIN13312
18Daria SHMELEVARUSSIA5038

Men’s Endurance

R1R2R3Total
1Sebastian MORASPAIN19403089
2Gavin HOOVERUSA27263184
3Corbin STRONGNEW ZEALAND40171168
4Rhys BRITTONGREAT BRITAIN16222159
5Kelland O’BRIENAUSTRALIA12281757
6Iuri LEITAOPORTUGAL30141256
7Aaron GATENEW ZEALAND20211354
8Kazushige KUBOKIJAPAN16161749
9Alan BANASZEKPOLAND16112148
10Michele SCARTEZZINIITALY7231747
11Claudio IMHOFSWITZERLAND0143145
12Roy EEFTINGNETHERLANDS209736
13Erik MARTORELL HAGASPAIN1521431
14Jules HESTERSBELGIUM710017
15Ed CLANCYGREAT BRITAIN1539
16Rotem  TENEISRAEL5409
17Yacine CHALELALGERIA6028
18Tuur DENSBELGIUM5005

Men’s Sprint

R1R2R3Total
1Harrie LAVREYSENNETHERLANDS374033110
2Stefan BötticherGERMANY33263796
3Vasilijus LENDELLITHUANIA13193264
4Nicholas  PAULTRINIDAD & TOBAGO24171556
5Mikhail IAKOVLEVRUSSIA18161852
6Jeffrey HOOGLANDNETHERLANDS3017047
7Rayan HELALFRANCE14141543
8Denis DMITRIEVRUSSIA6241040
9Kevin Santiago QUINTERO CHAVARROCOLOMBIA1615839
10Tom DERACHEFRANCE1261836
11Jai ANGSUTHASAWITTHAILAND2171029
12Hugo BARRETTECANADA119929
13Mateusz RUDYKPOLAND1014428
14Maximilian LEVYGERMANY621927
15Jordan CASTLENEW ZEALAND411520
16Jair TJON EN FASURINAME98017
17Kento YAMASAKIJAPAN114015
18Jean SPIESSOUTH AFRICA63110

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