November 10, 2023
UCI Track Champions League 2023 – London, UK 🇬🇧
The Track Champions League (TCL) is a new event looking to revolutionise and revive the sport of track cycling.
November 10, 2023
UCI Track Champions League 2023 – London, UK 🇬🇧
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, Ellesse Andrews, Dylan Bibic and Katie Archibald defend series leads yet several new race winners emerge inside a packed Lee Valley VeloPark
HOW THE ACTION UNFOLDED
All four competitions of the 2023 UCI Track Champions League will go to the wire after a dramatic penultimate night of action in London.
Blue jersey holders Harrie Lavreysen (Netherlands) and Katie Archibald (Great Britain) were both among the winners inside a packed Lee Valley VeloPark on Friday, while Dylan Bibic (Canada) and Ellesse Andrews (New Zealand) managed to defend their leads despite coming away from Round 4 empty handed.
The first victory of the night proved to be Roy Eefting. The Dutchman stole a march on the bunch in the Men’s Scratch by attacking two laps from home and then held off his pursuers to take a surprise victory. Tobias Hansen (Denmark) chased hard to try and bring Eefting back but was pipped to second place by the ever-determined Bibic.
And the surprises didn’t end there. In the Women’s Scratch, Dannielle Khan (Great Britain) had the London crowd on their feet when she outsprinted Lily Williams (USA) to claim her first-ever UCI Track Champions League triumph. Khan and Williams had broken away with Sophie Lewis (Great Britain) with six laps to go, but when Lewis faded in the closing stages, it was Khan and Williams who went wheel-to-wheel, with the home favourite taking her win by less than half a wheel.
The sprinters then took the spotlight with Matthew Richardson (Australia) and Lavreysen once again facing off in the Men’s Sprint final, just as they had done in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines. This time it was Lavreysen who came out on top in a thrilling battle which had seen Richardson kick first, only to see the 13-time UCI World Champion edge past him just before the line.
Alessa-Catriona Pröpster (Germany) was then celebrating in the Women’s Sprint final. She came up against Katy Marchant (Great Britain) and launched her winning move with just over a lap to go. Despite Marchant’s best efforts to peg her rival back, Pröpster proved too strong and rounded off her victory brilliantly.
Back to the Endurance series, William Tidball (Great Britain) and Jules Hesters (Belgium) enjoyed a titanic battle in the Men’s Elimination. The duo had to go full gas to get rid of Sebastián Mora (Spain) and then fought out one of the closest races of the night, with Tidball ultimately claiming victory by the tightest of margins.
The Women’s equivalent was halted by a large crash which meant the Keirin finals were brought forward. In the Men’s event, UCI World Champion Kevin Quintero (Colombia) claimed his maiden UCI Track Champions League success by holding off Lavreysen and Richardson in sensational style, and then Martha Bayona made it two Colombian wins from two, holding off a late surge from Andrews to triumph in the Women’s final.
With the riders’ wounds patched up, the Women’s Elimination then rounded off a memorable night and it was Archibald who emerged triumphant. The British star proved too hot to handle for Norway’s Anita Stenberg, leaving her rival in the dust as the action reached its conclusion, and the 29 year old was able to soak up the cheers from the crowd as she crossed the line with her arms aloft, one step closer to defending her Women’s Endurance title.
ALL THE REACTION FROM ROUND 4:
Men’s Endurance leader Dylan Bibic (Canada) said: “It’s not gone well for me tonight but the situation is still salvageable and I’m going to give it my all in Round 5. My performance in the Scratch was acceptable but I made a very noteworthy mistake in the Elimination, so I’ll be aiming to put that right.”
Women’s Endurance leader and Elimination winner Katie Archibald (Great Britain) said: “It meant a lot to win the Elimination tonight because I knew Anita [Stenberg] was strong, but I managed to force a fast pace earlier in the race which I hoped would tire her out in the final, and thankfully, so it proved.
“Tonight has been good, if a little bittersweet, as the crash in the Elimination meant there were a few riders that hadn’t been eliminated that couldn’t restart. Hopefully some of them will be back tomorrow.
“I’m really glad to be in the leader’s jersey. There was a midpoint in the series that I wouldn’t have minded losing it, to take the pressure off, but going into the Grand Finale, it makes no odds now. I definitely want to test myself again, and hopefully have more fun.”
Women’s Sprint leader Ellesse Andrews (New Zealand) said: “Tonight’s been massive. I definitely hoped for more for in the Sprint but I’m really happy with how I performed in the Keirin. I left every little ounce of energy on the track, so I can’t be mad about that.
“My goal is to reset now, freshen up with a good night’s sleep, and take it from there. It’s been great riding in front of this London crowd so I’m definitely excited to see what tomorrow night brings as well.”
Men’s Sprint leader and tonight’s Sprint winner Harrie Lavreysen (Netherlands) said: “It’s been a good night. There was a lot that happened in that Sprint final. Matthew [Richardson] wanted a slow start and we ended up swapping places a few times before it kicked off, and in the end it was another close one. After he won this race last week, I definitely wanted to take it back, and it feels really good to have done that.
“I obviously wanted to win the Keirin as well, but Kevin [Quintero] was super strong. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and the crowd in London is always great. I need to rest to give myself the best preparation for the Grand Finale. I want to keep the leader’s jersey so it will be a big night of racing.”
Men’s Scratch winner Roy Eefting (Netherlands) said: “It was another hectic race but I sensed the peloton had slowed down a bit with two laps to go, so that was when I went. I was fully committed to my sprint and my momentum was enough to take the win, which was nice. I’ve been struggling over the last three weeks so to finally triumph is really good.”
Women’s Scratch winner Dannielle Kahn (Great Britain) said: “I just can’t believe I’ve won. I only just returned to the track before the series started and that meant I made some mistakes in the first rounds. I was determined not to let that happen this week. I’m over the moon that everything has paid off here in front of my family and friends. This isn’t just my win, there are so many people that have played a part in this, and I want to thank them all, because without their belief and support, I wouldn’t be here.”
Women’s Sprint winner Alessa-Catriona Pröpster (Germany) said: “It was a super-hard final for me. Katy [Marchant] was very strong and my legs were burning so much at the end. I’m super-happy and super-proud to take this win. My shape is good and I hope to carry that into the Grand Finale.”
Men’s Elimination winner William Tidball (Great Britain) said: “That was fun. When the going got serious, I was pleased to deliver the goods. I used the wheels well and tried to stay out of the wind, and it was nice to enjoy the home crowd after I’d won. That’s something you dream of as a kid, so I’m delighted.”
Men’s Keirin winner Kevin Quintero (Colombia) said: “I felt good in qualifying and I was patient, analysing the riders, and I am happy I got the victory in the final. It’s incredible to compete in this velodrome, in front of a full house, and to win in the way I won makes me very satisfied.”
Women’s Keirin winner Martha Bayona said: “I’m very happy. I came here feeling well, with good sensations, and I’m delighted to take this victory today. I’m grateful to my coach, who is the one who keeps an eye on me and teaches me how to race, and tomorrow I hope to enjoy it again.”
Harrie Lavreysen was pushed to his limits tonight, as illustrated by his outstanding peak power in the semi-final of the Men’s Sprint. The Dutchman had to produce 2,338 watts to get the better of Kevin Quintero (Colombia) and Joe Truman (Great Britain) to move through to the final. That’s the highest power ever recorded in the UCI Track Champions League!
Lavreysen went on to push 2,013 watts on his way to victory in the final against Matthew Richardson (Australia).
With that win in the bag, Lavreysen kept firing on all cylinders in the Men’s Keirin too, achieving a maximum power of 2,096 watts in the final. The 26 year old was beaten by Kevin Quintero though, despite the fact the Colombian ‘only’ maxed out at 1,706 watts. Quintero – the reigning UCI World Keirin Champion is smaller and lighter, and also made the most of his racing craft.
The Women’s Keirin final perfectly illustrated how smaller sprinters can punch above their weight, with Martha Bayona (156cm, 58kg) edging Ellesse Andrews (176cm, 78.2kg) to the line. The Colombian featherweight pushed a maximum of 1,113 watts, i.e. 19.2W/kg, and made the most of drafting behind the Kiwi powerhouse, who pushed 1,458 watts, 18.7W/kg.
Participating in his third UCI Track Champions League, Roy Eefting went harder than ever to take his second victory in the Scratch (repeating his previous success in London in 2021). The Dutch rider pushed up to 1,370 watts in the final two laps and his heart rate hit 202 beats per minute (a new personal record).
Dannielle Khan also pushed her limits, seeing her heart rate soar to 206 bpm, to win the Women’s Scratch. Her previous highest heart rate in the UCI Track Champions League was 203 bpm.
In contrast, Katie Archibald appeared to be much more in control as she won the Women’s Elimination with a maximum heart rate of 185 bpm (which had peaked at 195 bpm previously). The British rider has now won 11 of the 13 Elimination races she has taken part in at the UCI Track Champions League, and all four so far in 2023. A perfect run of five from five would be unprecedented in the history of the series.
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