October 28, 2023
UCI Track Champions League 2023 – Berlin, Germany 🇩🇪
The Track Champions League (TCL) is a new event looking to revolutionise and revive the sport of track cycling.
October 28, 2023
UCI Track Champions League 2023 – Berlin, Germany 🇩🇪
The Track Champions League (TCL) is a new event looking to revolutionise and revive the sport of track cycling. With a focus on fast-paced, easy-to-understand races, this event is perfect for newcomers to the sport, as well as diehard fans. The league comprises five international rounds held over three action-packed weeks. Riders earn points through their results in these events. Points accumulate over the five weeks and, at the end, those with the most will be declared the winners of their respective Sprint League or Endurance League. Whatsmore, prize money for both men and women across the competitions is equal!
Harrie Lavreysen (Netherlands) continued his 100% start to the 2023 series by winning both Men’s Sprint races once again as Round 2 of the UCI Track Champions League touched down in Berlin.
The 13-time UCI World Champion made it four victories in a row by edging out Mateusz Rudyk (Poland) in the Sprint final, and then backed that up with an equally dominant performance in the Keirin.
Ellesse Andrews (New Zealand) also enjoyed a perfect night in the Women’s Sprint, winning both the Sprint and Keirin races to take control of the leader’s blue jersey.
Katie Archibald (Great Britain) meanwhile, triumphed in the Elimination to extend her advantage at the top of the Women’s Endurance standings, and Eiya Hshimoto (Japan) also defended his overall lead in the Men’s Endurance competition.
HOW THE ACTION UNFOLDED
The first victory of the evening went to Dylan Bibic in the Men’s Scratch. The Canadian jumped clear with Maximilian Schmidbauer with nine laps to go and then opened up a sizeable gap over the Austrian in the closing stages before cruising to a comfortable win.
In the Women’s Scratch, Lily Williams (USA) produced a faultless display, bridging over to early escapee Sarah Van Dam (Canada) and then outsprinting her rival at the line after the duo had worked hard to evade their pursuers.
Harrie Lavreysen (Netherlands) continued where he left off in Mallorca by leading from the front against Mateusz Rudyk (Poland) in the Sprint final and continued his winning streak by powering to a hard-fought success.
The Women’s Sprint final followed a similar pattern with Ellesse Andrews (New Zealand) taking the race on and fending off a determined challenge from Katy Marchant (Great Britain) to claim her second win of the series.
The Men’s Elimination saw Jules Hesters (Belgium) produce a stunning attack to leave Eiya Hashimoto (Japan) and William Tidball (Great Britain) in the dust when the race came down to three riders, leaving the 24 year old with plenty of time to celebrate his first-ever UCI Track Champions League win.
Katie Archibald (Great Britain) produced a typically dominant display in the Women’s Elimination after Williams had suffered a surprise early exit. Williams could only manage 10th place in the final Endurance race of the night, and Archibald capitalised by leaving Maggie Coles-Lyster (Canada) trailing in her wake before wrapping up an incredible 12th UCI Track Champions League triumph.
Lavreysen (Netherlands) then rounded off the night in style, timing his move brilliantly to edge past Matthew Richardson in the Keirin final despite the Australian giving everything he had heading into the bell lap. Lavreysen proved on another level, pulling away from his rivals before crossing the line with over four bike lengths to spare.
ALL THE REACTION FROM ROUND 2:
Men’s Sprint leader, and winner of both the Sprint and Keirin races, Harrie Lavreysen (Netherlands) said: “I felt really good today and really enjoyed my night. In the Sprint, the semi-final was almost tougher than the final – going up against Matthew [Richardson] and Mikhail [Yakovlev] – but winning that meant I was relaxed for the final. In that I went full gas, didn’t make any mistakes, and it felt really good to beat Mateusz [Rudyk].
“That triumph also meant I had a lot of confidence going into the Keirin final. That was another hard race. There was a lot going on around me so I knew I needed to go really quickly to the finish line. I didn’t think it would be possible to win both races again, so I’m delighted to have done it.”
Women’s Sprint leader, and winner of both the Sprint and Keirin races, Ellesse Andrews said: “The Sprint final was really tough but I was focused on producing my best-possible ride, and thankfully things played out as I hoped. Then, in the Keirin final, I tried to stay patient and shelter for as long as I could. When I saw Alessa-Catriona [Pröpster] come over the top, I knew that was the wheel I had to follow, and the last lap was a bit of a blur.
“To win both races is really special, and I’m really happy. I’m definitely getting into the groove of the UCI Track Champions League and I’m loving it.”
Women’s Endurance leader, and winner of the Elimination, Katie Archibald (Great Britain) said: “My legs felt pretty good this week. I went into the Scratch a bit too confident so I wanted to be more humble in the Elimination and focus on the end goal. When it got down to the last five riders, I really enjoyed it, and it was amazing to take the win. I’ve loved being in Berlin; it’s a very cool track and the night turned out to be a big success.”
Men’s Endurance leader Eiya Hashimoto (Japan) said: “It’s been a great night for me. I wasn’t able to win tonight but the consistency of my results meant I was able to defend my blue jersey. I’ll do everything I can to defend it again in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines because I would love to wear it in London, and my ultimate goal remains to win the Endurance competition overall.”
Men’s Elimination winner Jules Hesters (Belgium) said: “It was a hard race, nervous in the beginning with everybody wanting to be at the front. I spent a lot of energy because I didn’t want to hide in the bunch and I was so tired with five riders to go, but wanted to see how far I could get. When it got down to three riders I used my momentum to jump underneath them and it proved to be the right move. It hurt so much but I’m so happy to take the win.”
Women’s Scratch winner Lily Williams (USA) said: “I was shocked to win. I thought that luck had been on my side last week, but fortunately again, everybody seemed to be watching Katie [Archibald] and I managed to break away at just the right time. It feels great to have notched up another win and consolidated some more points, and I want to keep focusing on one race at a time.”
Men’s Scratch winner Dylan Bibic (Canada) said: “I wanted to change my style, roll the dice and race from the front. I saw an opportunity with nine laps to go, took it, and managed to get away. It’s about time I won a Scratch in the UCI Track Champions League – I’ve been trying so hard since the start of last season – so it feels so nice to finally get it.”
Ellesse Andrews (New Zealand) was extremely consistent through the night, with maximum heart rates of 199bpm (which she achieved in the 1st round of the Women’s Sprint), 199bpm (Sprint semi-final), 200bpm (Sprint final), 200bpm (Keirin 1st round) and 198bpm (Keirin final) to claim 40 points out of 40 in Berlin.
Eiya Hashimoto (Japan) is the first rider to lead the overall Men’s Endurance standings for two consecutive rounds. The 29 year old hit 197bpm in the Scratch and 198bpm in the Elimination, both very close to his potential maximum of 200bpm.
William Tidball (Great Britain) hit the highest heart rate of the night – 206bpm – but despite that, could only take seventh place in the Men’s Scratch.
Lily Williams (USA) managed to push herself even harder than last week – 188bpm vs 187bpm – to win the Women’s Scratch but she could only hit 185bpm in the Elimination, eventually finishing in 10th place.
Katie Archibald (Great Britain) followed an opposite trend, only pushing to 183bpm to finish sixth in the Scratch, but then upped the ante to 186bpm to win the Elimination.
Sprint / Men / First Round
Sprint / Women / First Round
Scratch / Men
Sprint / Men / Semi Finals
Sprint / Women / Semi Finals
Scratch / Women
Sprint / Men / Final
Sprint / Women / Final
Elimination / Men
Keirin / Women / First Round
Keirin / Men / First Round
Elimination / Women
Keirin / Women / Final
Keirin / Men / Final