Top Dutch rider Harrie Lavreysen has reflected on what was a mixed opening round of the Track Champions League for the sprint star in Mallorca.
The evening ended with the men's sprint final and Lavreysen suffered a very rare loss as Matthew Richardson took the spoils in stunning fashion in a time of 10.282 with his opponent +0.059 off him.
The 23-year-old Australian stormed to victory with a hugely impressive performance as Lavreysen, still the overall sprint leader, was left to rue a surprising and weaker finish to his night.
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There was some joy for Lavreysen earlier, though, as he started the evening with a masterful victory in the keirin ahead of Stefan Botticher of Germany in second place and Richardson in third.
Looking back on his surprise loss to Richardson and also his triumph in the keirin, Lavreysen admitted to Eurosport Netherlands that it was "something big" that he suffered a loss as such a consistent winner.
“I travelled back right away yesterday," Lavreysen told Eurosport Netherlands'
. "My body took the first edition pretty well. It was a heavy and intense race again.
"I did not have the perfect preparation because I had been a little bit ill before I went to Mallorca. Because of that, I couldn’t train on the track. I think that’s what bothered me the most.
“I did feel good before the evening, though. Just the recuperation during the races wasn’t optimal. I did enjoy it, though. It was another beautiful evening and I won the keirin. That was very cool and tactically I did that very well.
“After the keirin, the sprint went pretty well but before the final, I noticed my tank was empty," he continued, on his loss to Richardson. "I did not do that very smartly, and unfortunately, I lost. But I am still happy I am going to the next round as the leader.
“I always look at the races I lost, even if I lost them on power. Just to see if I can think of a way I could have won. There are always possibilities, I hope. That night was about recuperation. You are continuously trying to perform at the highest level, but also you’re thinking about how to be recovered for the next race.

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“At the European and World Championships, you just want to win, but at the Champions League, it's about finishing high all the time and ending up on top of the rankings. This time, I lost a sprint and that is something big. I understand that because I have been beaten.
"Still, I look further than that, though, because I have to finish high in the coming races. In the end, it's all about winning the Champions League. Of course, I don’t want to lose races, but I do look beyond that.
“When you win this much, at some moments people think you should be beaten sometimes. I would feel the same way if it was someone else. Still, I want to show all the people that I can just keep on winning, of course.”
Lavreysen was happy to note that the format of the Track Champions League means he will be able to seek revenge very swiftly in the next round.
“That is the beauty of it," he said. "Of course, it is easy to think you just want to win, but actually it's good this way. I hope to have a final like this in Berlin as well and then do better.
"We can ride a lot of matches against each other now. If it weren’t for this, I would probably never meet Matthew Richarson. You would have to be really lucky to meet in a Nations Cup, but you probably won’t. Then I would only see him next year at the World Championships. This is perfect to get to know each other.

Lavreysen 'really happy with this win' after keirin triumph in Mallorca

Asked if he thinks Richardson's challenge could just be fleeting, Lavreysen paid him a lot of respect.
“I don't see it that way," he said. "Richardson is a world champion at the team sprint with Australia. I don’t expect him to be gone next year.
"I can't think about that. For anything, he can still make improvements. I am not allowed to think it's easy.”
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After a great debut season, the UCI Track Champions League is back for season two, with Laura Kenny joining the party. You can watch it all live and on demand on discovery+. We also have extensive coverage across eurosport.com.
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