Track World Cup atmosphere 'phenomenal' - Archibald

Track World Cup atmosphere 'phenomenal' - Archibald
By Sportsbeat

17/12/2018 at 15:46

Katie Archibald savoured an atmosphere like no other as she and Laura Kenny brought the Lee Valley VeloPark to their feet with a stunning Track World Cup performance.

The Olympic champions had already tasted London gold but their performances were to get even better, a dominant Madison victory capping off a spectacular weekend for the British team.

There was also gold for Matt Walls as he completed a sweep of medals on home boards to help the team finish with a flourish.

But it's all eyes on next year's World Championships and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games for Archibald and Kenny, revelling in an event that is set to make its Olympic debut in two years' time.

Though the Scot knows the feeling of winning in front of a packed home crowd is one that's tough to beat.

"I've ridden at a home Commonwealth Games and that was pretty special, I've been to an Olympic Games and that's obviously next level, but this is the most phenomenal crowd support I've had in my whole career," she said.

"I've never felt like that. And I think it makes a difference being next to Laura because it's her track in a sense. I'm still shaking from it if I'm honest.

"As a nation we've medalled in every World Cup Madison with a different pairing every time. That's pretty cool.

"Great Britain have put a stamp on this event and it's because we've got that depth that means it brings us all on.

"This is the best World Cup, this is us, this is home, this is GB and it feels so good."

Great Britain have made the Madison their own this World Cup season though this was just a second outing as a duo for Kenny and Archibald.

Yet their performance was more befitting of seasoned veterans, textbook in deciding when to go for sprints and when to rest en route to their 34 points.

That tally was 15 clear of second-placed Australia but the two were never in danger of taking their feet off the pedal, Kenny launching a late sprint to bring the Lee Valley VeloPark – home of the London 2012 Olympic Games – to their feet.

"I love this track, I absolutely love it. I honestly think that for me this is the best track in the world. The crowd are always amazing and it just feels like it's my home," she said.

"I treat the Madison like an elimination race, you never want to be too far back. You always have to be moving forward I think that's really important."

One final medal was to come the British team's way thanks to Walls, rounding off a weekend that eclipsed even his own expectations.

The 20-year-old had already led the team pursuit quartet to an unlikely bronze, while Saturday saw he and Fred Wright overcome quality opposition to bag Madison silver.

And the hat-trick was secured in clinical fashion, showing skill and maturity beyond his years to hold on to gold in the multi-event omnium.

Consistency proved his key, finishing in the top three in each of the first three races but the work was far from done there as he entered the points race in the lead.

Elia Viviani and Ignacio Prado both threatened his crown but points in seven of the ten sprints – including each of the last four – saw Walls hold on to an historic Track World Cup title.

Sportsbeat 2018