February 13, 2024
Tissot UCI Track Nations Cup: Team GB sets the pace

Showing strength ahead of the Games

British track stars dominated a hard-fought first round of the 2024 Tissot UCI Track Nations Cup ahead of the hosts, Australia.

The race to Paris and the 2024 Olympic Games grew in intensity with the first round of the 2024 Tissot UCI Track Nations Cup, in Adelaide, Australia (February 2-4).

International stars flocked to the Adelaide Super-Drome, and Team GB came out on top in the points standings (13,009.0) ahead of the Oceanian nations, with the Australians (11,656.0) and New Zealand (9,882.0) following the Brits in the overall top three into the next two rounds, in Hong Kong, China (March 15-17) and Milton, Canada (April 12-14).

Kiwis took the most victories, with a total of four: in the women’s team pursuit (Bryony Botha, Samantha Donnelly, Emily Shearman and Ally Wollaston), the women’s elimination race (Ally Wollaston), the men’s Madison (Aaron Gate and Campbell Stewart) and the women’s omnium (Wollaston, again).

But the Brits crowded the podiums with a total of eight medals, including three victories: the men’s team pursuit (Rhys Britton, Charlie Tanfield, Josh Tarling and William Tidball); the women’s team sprint (Sophie Capewell, Emma Finucane and Katy Marchant); and the women’s Madison (Katie Archibald and Elinor Barker).

Archibald leads the British way

Great Britain’s strength and depth is no surprise after they dominated the track events in every edition of the Olympic Games medal table since 2008. Team GB came to Australia with 20 riders, including Olympic icons such as Katie Archibald and Elinor Barker, along with stars in the making, Megan Barker, Emma Finucane, Josie Knight and William Tidball, who took their maiden Elite rainbow jerseys last year in Glasgow, Scotland (United Kingdom).

Archibald was more than up to her status with a medal on each of the three days of competition. On Friday, she took silver in the team pursuit with Elinor Barker, Josie Knight and Anna Morris, while New Zealand powered to victory. On Saturday, nobody could resist the pairing of Archibald and Elinor Barker in the Madison.

On Sunday, she was back for another silver behind the main hero of this round, New Zealand’s Ally Wollaston. With three gold medals in Adelaide, the 23-year-old keeps on winning after she kicked off her year in style on the road, with victory in the first stage of the Santos Tour Down Under.

British fast women also showed their collective strength as they beat China in the final of the team sprint. And the boys dominated Australia in the final of the team pursuit, with the Italian Olympic Champions (including Filippo Ganna) settling for bronze.

Showing strength ahead of the Games

At home, Australians racked up seven medals, only one shy of Team GB’s tally. On the very first night, the local heroes delighted their fans with a victory in the team sprint powered by Matthew Glaetzer, Leigh Hoffman and Matthew Richardson.

Aussies looked set for more laurels in the individual sprint but Japan’s Kaiya Ota (riding with Team Rakuten K Dreams) brought the upset in the final, after Richardson had won the first round! Glaetzer completed the podium with the bronze medal.

Asian stars were particularly brilliant in the sprint events. Before his gold medal in the sprint, Ota had already taken silver with Japan in the team sprint, and bronze in the keirin won by Malaysia’s Azizulhasni Awang Mohd with Japan’s Shinji Nakano claiming silver.

Ota’s countrywoman and teammate Mina Sato dominated the keirin and took silver in the sprint, behind Emma Hinze. At 26 years old, the German star is eight-time UCI World Champion at Elite leve, but in the Tokyo Olympic Games she had to settle for silver in the team sprint and 4th place in the individual sprint… Hinze is already demonstrating that she’ll be a force to reckon with in Paris.

Canada’s Dylan Bibic also has the means to be one of the biggest stars of the summer as he heads to his first Olympic Games at 20 years of age (he will turn 21 on August 3), following his previous conquests at the UCI World Championships and in the UCI Track Champions League. In Adelaide, he won both the omnium (ahead of Italy’s 2016 Olympic Champion Elia Viviani) and the elimination race. The tone is set for a thrilling year!

Courtessy : UCI Official Website