November 4, 2023
UCI Track Champions League 2023 – Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Paris, France 🇫🇷
The Track Champions League (TCL) is a new event looking to revolutionise and revive the sport of track cycling.
November 4, 2023
UCI Track Champions League 2023 – Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Paris, France 🇫🇷
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!
Bibic claims the blue leaders’ jersey while Andrews, Archibald and Lavreysen defend their series leads in Round 3
A thrilling third round of the UCI Track Champions League in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines saw Dylan Bibic (Canada) move to the top of the Men’s Endurance standings by winning both the Scratch and Elimination races in front of a packed crowd of almost 4,000 passionate fans.
Harrie Lavreysen (Netherlands), Ellesse Andrews (New Zealand) and Katie Archibald (Great Britain) were also celebrating at the end of the night after successfully defending their leads in the Men’s Sprint, Women’s Sprint and Women’s Endurance competitions respectively.
Bibic got his evening off to a successful start in the Men’s Scratch, outpacing fellow Canadian Mathias Guillemette in a bunch sprint finish at the conclusion of a hotly contested race which failed to yield a successful breakaway, despite several attempts. Tuur Dens (Belgium) rounded out the top three in third.
The Canadian winning streak continued in the Women’s Scratch with Sarah Van Dam attacking solo six laps from home and then holding off a belated chase from the rest of the bunch to win by quarter of a lap ahead of compatriot Maggie Coles-Lyster, who pipped Archibald for second place.
It was then time for the sprinters to shine, with Matthew Richardson (Australia) ending Lavreysen’s 100% record by beating him in the Men’s Sprint final. The battle between the duo was intense, with both riders repeatedly track standing before Richardson took the initiative and fended off a late charge from the UCI World Champion to claim his first win of the season.
The Women’s Sprint final saw Andrews come up against Olympic Champion Kelsey Mitchell (Canada) and the New Zealander bagged her fourth straight victory of the series by leading from the front as the bell lap sounded, and then proved the fastest finisher.
With the focus back on the Endurance riders, Bibic rounded off a perfect night, triumphing in the Men’s Elimination after going toe-to-toe with Jules Hesters (Belgium) in the closing stages. The Canadian once again took the initiative in the last lap and his pace proved too much for his rival.
In the Women’s Elimination it was Archibald who came out on top. The British star surfed the wheels brilliantly before going up against Anita Stenberg in the final, and then pulled away from the Norwegian in the closing lap to continue a remarkable run which has seen her win 13 out of the 24 Women’s Endurance races since the UCI Track Champions League began in 2021.
A gripping night concluded with the Keirin finals. In the Men’s contest Lavreysen re-asserted his authority by triumphing in consummate style, setting a pace in the final lap which none of his rivals could match. Alessa-Catriona Pröpster (Germany) then had the French crowd on their feet in the Women’s final, surging ahead in the final lap and then wrapping up her second win of the season.
Tonight’s results have set the scene nicely for the final two rounds of action which will be taking place back-to-back in London at Lee Valley VeloPark next Friday and Saturday (10-11th November).
ALL THE REACTION FROM ROUND 3:
New Men’s Endurance leader and winner of both the Scratch and Elimination races, Dylan Bibic (Canada) said: “I always aim to win both races in every round I start, so it feels nice to have finally done that tonight. I’m solely focused on winning races, and not on the overall standings, the feeling of crossing the line first is unmatched.
“My approach won’t change in London, but it will be harder now I’m in the lead. I know what it was like being in the rainbow jersey last year – you have a target on your back – and it’ll be the same now I’m in the blue jersey.”
Women’s Endurance leader and Elimination winner Katie Archibald (Great Britain) said: “I went into the Elimination feeling super relaxed. I didn’t think I had the win in me after the Scratch, but then when I realised I would defend my overall lead if I made it into the top eight, and I suddenly felt better, and that proved key.
“I’m trying not to think too much about holding onto the blue jersey in London and just want to enjoy tonight first.”
Men’s Sprint leader and Keirin winner Harrie Lavreysen (Netherlands) said: “That was a hard round. In the Keirin final I was spot one, which I wasn’t very happy about because it meant it was going to be really hard with all the other riders in my wheel. Thankfully Daan Kool (Netherlands) came to the front and that was good for me because it meant I would be out of the wind before I chose my moment to kick.
“Losing the Sprint final was actually a bit of a relief because I knew I couldn’t continue my winning streak forever, and it’s given me added motivation for London. Overall tonight has been good. It’s been the toughest round yet and I’m happy to still be in the lead, and I am looking forward to London.”
Women’s Sprint leader and Sprint winner Ellesse Andrews said: “It’s been a really good night. I enjoyed the Sprint. In that final I wanted to keep control of the race and make sure I was in front the whole time. I was happy to do that well and react to what Kelsey [Mitchell] was doing. It was great to take that win on the Olympic track.
“The Keirin was fun as well and the experience tonight has been crucial. For London, I want to approach the remaining races in the same way I have done all series, and doing everything I can in every race I enter.”
Women’s Scratch winner Sarah Van Dam (Canada) said: “It was a tight bunch for most of the race and I was thinking it could be a bunch sprint finish, but I saw an opportunity to go off the front and took it. This win means a lot because I’ve been working so hard and believed it could happen, so I’m over the moon.”
Men’s Sprint winner Matthew Richardson (Australia) said: “Normally I’m not so good on the front against Harrie, so I thought I’d try something different and keep it as slow as possible, and it worked. I kept him stuck towards the top of the track and then produced my fastest sprint possible in the last lap. I’m on a high having won that and I’d like to take this momentum forward to London now.”
Women’s Keirin winner Alessa-Catriona Pröpster (Germany) said: “It was nice to win that Keirin after my evening didn’t start so well in the Sprint. Ellesse [Andrews] is really strong so it’s a big achievement to beat the UCI World Champion and end the night on a high.
“The overall standings are really close so we will see how the the races go in the next rounds in London. I am looking forward to them and will do everything I can to win.”
Matthew Richardson returned to winning ways tonight, claiming his first victory of the season after claiming the Men’s Sprint title last year. It took a burst of 1,863 watts, at 200 beats per minute, for him to get the better of Harrie Lavreysen in the Sprint final. The Australian pushed even harder in the Keirin final, hitting 2,033 maximum watts, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Lavreysen’s more sustained effort which saw him launch his sprint with two laps to go.
Rising through the ranks, Philip Heijnen (Netherlands) achieved his best UCI Track Champions League result so far, coming fifth in the Elimination. He did so by hitting the highest heart rate of the race, showing the absolute intensity of his effort: 197 bpm, a new personal record, three bpm higher than his previous best.
Mathias Guillemette (Canada – 194 bpm), Mark Stewart (Great Britain – 192 bpm), Sebastián Mora (Spain – 194 bpm) and Theo Reinhardt (Germany – 187 bpm) also beat their maximum values, brilliantly highlighting the intensity of the race.
In the Women’s Endurance series as well, Lily Williams (USA) pushed even harder than the first two rounds, beating her personal record with a maximum heart rate of 191 bpm in the Scratch. Williams’s effort was surpassed by Sarah Van Dam (Canada), who achieved a maximum heart rate of 197 bpm, and that meant Williams’s dream of third successive Scratch win were dashed.
Finally, Sophie Capewell (Great Britain) also deserves credit after producing the most impressive burst of power among the female sprinters in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, with a peak power of 1,639 watts (which equates to 21 watts per kilogram).
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