Host country starts well at EC Track Cycling
Gold and bronze at the opening night of the European Championships Track Cycling: a better start to the tournament by host country the Netherlands was hardly possible. Thanks to Kirsten Wild (points race) and the team pursuit men there were medals for the Netherlands straight away. But there was also a world record on the Omnisport track in Apeldoorn.
The most exciting race of the first day was without a doubt the points race for women. Dutch rider Kirsten Wild took the gold medal by beating her main rivals Dani King and Leire Olaberria in the final sprint of the night. Wild took her first big prize of her track career. In 2011 she made her debut with a third place at the World Omnium Championships.
Her points race was worth a title but the UEC regulations decide that the event is not an official championship. Nevertheless Kirsten was on the podium, with a blue jersey with yellow stars and a medal. She was rightfully happy with her achievement. “Title or no official title, this is just really cool,” the Argos-Shimano rider said. In the men’s points race Elia Viviani was in a league of his own. The Cannondale rider who just returned from the Tour of Beijing gathered enough points in 9 of the 16 sprints to beat everyone else. Thomas Boudat of France and Spain’s Eloy Teruel joined Viviani on the podium.
The EC also offered a world record on the opening night. The British team pursuit women signed for that. Laura Trott, Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker en Dani King clocked a time 4.26,55 and took the European title on their way. The event’s has got a new lay-out since this year because the women’s team pursuit is done with four women now. The best time therefore automatically meant a world record.
The British men didn’t manage to get a world’s best time but they did take the European title. In the final they beat the Russian quartet. The Russians were leading the race for a long time but they eventually lost by two tenths of a second to Great Britain: 4.02,25 vs 4.02,46. The Netherlands were the surprising bronze medal winners. In the team sprint the German men were the fastest. Rene Enders, Robert Förstemann and Maximilian Levy beat the Frech team. The World and Olympic Champions Miriam Welte and Kristina Vogel were beaten by Elena Brejniva and Olga Streltsova of Russia. Only 35 thousands of a second separated the two teams. The bronze medals were for Great Britain (women) and Russia (men).
Photo: Gert Bonestroo - GeeBeeFoto