A dejected Katie Archibald admitted she didn’t quite have the speed to match Netherlands’ brilliant world champion Kirsten Wild as she had to settle for silver in the omnium at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome last night.
The 24-year-old from Milngavie, who already had team pursuit gold and individual pursuit silver from the weekend, took second spot on the podium again but only after a fascinating day-long battle with the Dutchwoman in the gruelling four-discipline event.
The tone was set early as Wild took the opening 7.5km scratch race, with Archibald in second. The Scot was left disappointed with a fifth in the following tempo race but, with Wild just a place ahead in fourth, the damage was limited.
The highlight of the day in the velodrome came at the start of the evening session as the home favourite produced a roof-raising win in the perennial crowd pleaser, the elimination race. It took a final sprint win over Wild to take it, though, and that left the Dutch rider two points ahead going into the closing 20km points race.
As experienced an operator as Wild knew just what to do as she shadowed the Scot, picking up enough points as the race progressed to take things away from Archibald.
The Briton did pick up the bonus for taking a lap on the field but, crucially, Wild went with her and, with that, the game was pretty much up.
“There wasn’t much I could do,” she said afterwards. “I realised early on that I didn’t have the speed on Kirsten. Maybe if I’d been a bit more sensible about it… but I don’t know what I could have changed tactically.
“I wasn’t fast enough there and I was never going to get the space or the lap gain. Maybe I let it get in my head and I didn’t fight as much as I should have. Then there were a few moments with flipping and Kirsten sticking to my wheel, I felt I was ricocheting. I didn’t feel fantastic about that.
“I don’t think my legs are terrible. I wasn’t quite good enough.”
Archibald will return for the last afternoon of competition at the velodrome for her much-anticipated, dream team tilt at the madison with superstar Laura Kenny.
“There is so much more for the madison. It is 120 laps. Laura and I are a pretty formidable team.”
Just after Archibald’s final event there was disappointment for Paisley 21-year-old Jack Carlin who lost the decider in his men’s sprint bronze medal race to the Netherlands’ Harrie Lavreyson.
Carlin had earlier been involved in a tense and controversial semi-final loss to Stefan Botticher of Germany.
The Scot was relegated in the first race for marginally going outside the sprinting line, before the German suffered a similar fate for some contact in the second. Botticher went on to decisively win the third, though, before losing the gold race 2-0 to Jeffrey Hoogland of the Netherlands.
“I’ve been better. It has been a long day,” said Carlin, who completes his programme today in the keirin. “As expected it was going to be tough throughout the day and my legs just weren’t there today.
“The first one [in the semi-final] didn’t go my way, the decision. I finished first but got relegated for a very small thing, it was a very small error, I didn’t even see what I had done myself. At the end of the day the decision is made and that was that, then the second one there was a relegation and it went my way.
“There was a bit of argy bargy in the second one, a few headbutts here and there. You never learn if you win all the time. I’ve got plenty to take away from today and come back stronger I guess.
“At the end of the day we are all there to win, so it is fair I suppose. If I fell off, I would have got back on. I’ve done it in the past, I know what it is like.
“It has been a really good day and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed racing in front of this crowd, unfortunately I couldn’t quite bring one home for them.
“But either way they were so supportive of me and I couldn’t have asked for a better crowd.”
Britain’s Ethan Hayter and Ollie Wood won bronze in the men’s madison.