Commonwealth Games: Silver for Katie Archibald in points race
Archibald’s GB team-mate Elinor Barker won the gold medal for Wales with a class ride, leaving the pre-race favourite, who was backing up after winning gold in the pursuit 24 hours previously, with too much to do in the closing stages.
Barker was the only rider to take a lap in the race and consistently scored throughout, benefiting from some excellent Welsh teamwork, which the Scottish pair couldn’t contend with.
There was, however, the bonus of 27-year-old Aberdonian Evans holding on for bronze. In the end, Barker took the double points final sprint to finish on 40 points, ahead of Archibald on 20 and Evans 17.
Archibald admitted the extra racing in her own legs may have taken a toll, but said indecisive tactics in the early stages had cost her.
“In the first half of the race I really felt I didn’t have it in me,” she said. “I thought we (her and Evans) were that strong that we could both be on the podium so I’m proud that we’ve done that.”
Evans, racing in her first Commonwealth Games at the age of 27, was delighted to pick up a medal.
“I knew it was going to be a big atmosphere, the Aussie crowd is always huge and there’s a lot of Scotland fans here too,” she said. “I’m delighted with the result.”
Barker, meanwhile, said: “It feels amazing, it’s a really good feeling.”
The 23-year-old’s absence from the pursuit events in the first two days of competition here had been a surprise but she said it was always the plan - to the extent she did not even bring her pursuit bike to Brisbane.
That may have given her advantage in the points race but she did not feel it was decisive.
“I think it’s more the fresh legs within the race,” she said. “I didn’t contest any of the first four sprints because I really wanted to take a lap.
“I’ve been studying races and watching for signs of when people are struggling a little bit. There were four or five people I was watching and when I saw those signs I was going to go.”