Katie Archibald triumphed once more in the women’s Elimination on Friday night at the Track Champions League in London.
The Briton tops the standings with 132 points, 12 clear of Anita Stenberg in second place, with Lily Williams in third on 107.
Maaike Brandwagt of the Netherlands was the first to be caught out, before Francesca Selva followed.
Drama struck when a huge crash took Archibald out of the running, which brought the red flag out as around eight riders were all sent to the ground.
Danielle Khan was left in tears to be assessed as she looked to have problems with her right arm, while Petra Sevcikova was able to continue following a heavy crash.
While in obvious pain, Khan attempted to warm up once more and was able to compete at the restart.
The cyclists were given five minutes to gather themselves and prepare for a restart, with Archibald sporting a couple of scrapes.
Race organisers were out in force to effect some repairs on the track, and 14 riders took their place once more.
Olivija Baleisyte was the first out from the restart and Antonieta Gaxiola followed, before Amalie Winther Olsen was eliminated in 11th.
Emma Cumming just scraped into the top 10 and then Khan found herself stuck at the back with no room to manoeuvre.
Helene Hesters was next, followed by Sevcikova, and Williams then left as she looked to be fatigued from her earlier exploits, and Maggie Coles-Lyster joined them.
Neah Evans finished fifth, and that saw Archibald launch her attack to lead from the front. Sarah Van Dam was out to finish fourth.
Lara Gillespie was the next to attack but that effort cost her as she took third place. Archibald then pulled away with an almost laughable gap emerging to leave her poised for victory on Saturday, as Stenberg was second.
Earlier in the evening, in the women’s scratch, Khan claimed victory that would leave her seventh overall in the standings.
Archibald took an early lead in the first stages of a cagey start, with the pace well off the earlier competition events.
With seven laps and two kilometres left, Sophie Lewis made a huge move to open up a gap, and with a few laps remaining Archibald looked out of the running.
Khan moved up for her own attack, as did Williams. As the bell rang for the final lap, former sprinter Khan and Williams went toe-to-toe with the Briton leading, and were able to hold on for victory as her rival just fell short.
For Archibald there may be disappointment as Williams’ second spot allowed her to eat into her Champions League points lead.
Roy Eefting won the men’s scratch, as the 5km event gave the chance to race aggressively for endurance riders, with world champion Will Tidball one of the favourites.
The European Championships will begin in January 2024, so while Friday’s events were important in their own right, they gave a chance for the competitors to build towards the new year.
After a few laps from the start, Britain’s Will Perrett moved into an early lead.
With four laps left, Tidball picked up the pace as he looked to make a move, but it was the Netherlands who would claim the win.
With one-and-a-half laps remaining, Eefting burst forward and nobody was able to catch him.
This season has been tough for a rider who started the weekend in 15th overall, and a victory will go some way to give him encouragement for the remainder of the campaign.
In the men’s elimination, Tidball claimed a potentially vital victory over Belgium’s Jules Hesters.
Eefting perhaps paid for his efforts early as he was the first rider to be cut, before Claudio Imhof, struggling with injury last week, was next to lose out.
Mathias Guillemette went and Quentin Lafargue was the fourth to be cut, before Dylan Bibic joined fellow Canadian Guillemette out in a surprise early elimination that might have implications for the race, with the rider clearly frustrated with the decision afterwards. Perrett was another scratch rider who then left the race, before Max Schmidbauer was squeezed out.
Bibic said he “made a critical error… so it means it’ll be a hard day tomorrow. It’ll be a fight tomorrow.
“No anger anymore, maybe in the first few moments. All I can do is make the best moves for tomorrow.”
That left 10 riders, with Tidball another scratch frontrunner in the running, but Eiya Hashimoto fell behind, before Mark Stewart was another Briton out as the pace kept up and Tuur Dens left in eighth spot.
Theo Reinhardt was the next one to be called out, as Tobias Hansen followed. Gavin Hoover left in fifth, and Philip Heijnen was fourth.
With the final three competing, Tidball looked to push into first, leaving Sebastian Mora out in third to set up a final dash.
Tidball went up the top of the track as they went full gas for the final lap and after a neck-and-neck finish with Hesters, it was given to Tidball upon review, setting him up with a chance to win the Champions League tomorrow.
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