Spectacular battles on final day EC Track Cycling
Three days of top level cycling have ended. The European Championships Track Cycling resulted in several highlights with expected champions and stars-to-be: also on the final day of the event that calls Omnisport in Apeldoorn its home.
One of the biggest stars of these European Championship was also one of the youngest athletes on the start list of 269 riders. Dutch rider Elis Ligtlee (19) exceeded all expectations by winning gold and silver on the speed events.
Keirin is a tactical game where Ligtlee used her tremendous power to its best. She succeeded in beating the big favourite Kristina Vogel in the final. Bronze was for Virginie Cueff of France. “Incredible that I can already do things like this. And that I can do that two days in a row, or actually three because on Friday I already was here for the teamsprint,” the tired but happy champion said.
Maximilian Levy received the blue jersey with the yellow stars in the men’s keirin event. The German former world champion of 2009 beat the other big stars of the event: Jason Kenny from Great Britain (silver) and France’s Francois Pervis (bronze).
The fight for gold was thrilling untill the final second in the women’s omnium. After the first day of the event it was clear that three riders were going to ride for the medals: Kirsten Wild, Laura Trott and Jolien d’Hoore. The trio put on quite a cycling show. Wild started the second day as leader in the overall and kept her lead untill the final event but the 500 meters time trial is traditionally a difficult discipline for the Dutch rider.
Wild clocked the seventh time while Trott came in second. This result took the jury a while to process because Wild and Trott were now even on points. Trott came out on top after the countback of the timed events. Flemish rider D’Hoore took the bronze medal.
In the omnium for men, there was no one better than the Russian Victor Manakov. Only 21 years old and riding for procontinental team Rusvelo, he was by far the best and most consistent rider. He finished in the top 5 in each of the six events which resulted in 14 points overall. Dutch rider Tim Veldt saw a decent omnium of 29 points awarded with silver while Martyn Irvine of Ireland got 40 points and a bronze medal.
Elia Viviani of Cannondale came to Omnisport with a mission this week: to take two golds in the endurance events. On Friday the Italian won gold in the points race. On Sunday he added another title in the Madison with Liam Bertazzo.
Soon after the start of the race Viviani and Bertazzo and the Spanish duo Albert Torres and David Muntaner distanced themselves from the main field by lapping the bunch. Thanks to a smart move by Viviani who attacked in the final laps with a Swiss rider, the squadra azzurra decided the event to their advantage. Belgian duo Kenny De Ketele and Gijs Van Hoecke took the bronze medal.
Photo: Gert Bonestroo - GeeBeeFoto