Katie Archibald and Dylan Bibic took the endurance titles at the Grand Finale of the UCI Track Champions League in London, while Harrie Lavreysen and Ellesse Andrews claimed the overall sprint titles, with the rider from New Zealand dominating the women’s sprint events on the final night.
It was a return to the top step of the overall winner for Dutch rider Lavreysen, who won the sprint title at the inaugural edition but finished a close second to Australia’s Matthew Richardson in 2022. For Archibald, it was the third year in a row claiming the endurance title.
The rider from the United Kingdom didn’t finish with a victory during the final evening, but after winning four of the five elimination races across the series and consistently performing in the scratch race, Archibald still finished 15 points ahead of Norway’s Anita Yvonne Stenberg to take the overall title.
“It feels very good [to win the overall]. It wasn’t a sort of unassailable lead at the end there. And it’s a shame I suppose not to win in the final rounds,” said Archibald to reporters, including Cyclingnews. “I feel mainly bad because this was the race that my sister came to, so she might not be the lucky charm I was after, but I’m really happy.”
The two-time Olympic gold medallist finished fourth in the Scratch as fellow Scot Neah Evans slipped away for an electric win in the Lee Valley VeloPark. She was third in the Elimination which was won by Ireland’s Lara Gillespie, who was delighted to take the victory, having described Archibald as “an icon” to Eurosport earlier in the week.
“It’s really cool. I’m really proud that I can pull it off and you always have to believe you can beat your icons otherwise what’s the point of being in the sport?” said Gillespie to Cyclingnews. “You have to have the confidence but also there’s huge respect there, I’ve learned a lot from people like her so yeah, pretty happy and I think I can just progress from here.”
Lavreysen reclaimed his sprint title after a dominant sequence of performances throughout the 2023 Track Champions League, but not without challenge as Australia’s Matt Richardson extended the rivalry from last year and defeated him in the sprint final.
Richardson, famous for emptying himself, was the only man to beat Lavreysen in a sprint during the series, once in Paris and London. However, the supreme Dutchman came straight back at him by winning a tense keirin final and vindicating his blue jersey reclamation in the…