SIX-TIME Olympic champion Jason Kenny claimed the men’s keirin title on the final day of the HSBC UK | National Track Championships in front of a full house in Manchester.
The joint-most decorated Olympian in British history had a tricky day on the track as he failed to automatically qualify for the semi-final. The Bolton rider had to go through the repechage heats to stay in the competition.
He won the repechage and the semi-final to qualify for the final. In that final he battled it out with world-cup silver medallist, Jack Carlin. The pair sprinted hard on the final lap and Kenny claimed the photo-finish victory.
Afterwards, Kenny spoke about his mistake and said: “I didn’t think it was the last lap of the heat, but then I thought I heard the bell! It was a bit of a disaster to start the day, and I honestly thought it would be one of those days at that point.
“That’s life though – it’s happened before and it’ll happen again. Whether things go well or not so well, you always have to focus on the next race and keep chipping away, and that’s what I did.” he added.
Elsewhere, Neah Evans followed up her silver in Friday’s individual pursuit to win points race gold. Evans produced a terrific solo break to take a lap early on in the race, timing her attack perfectly in order to also take sprint points.
Her fellow Scot Katie Archibald mounted an attack of her own later on in the 80-lap race, but despite some typically gritty riding, she was unable to latch onto the back of the pack and claim the 20 points on offer for a lap gain.
Archibald’s time out in front did see her win two of the sprints though, and it took a win on the final, double-point sprint for Emily Nelson to claim silver and edge Archibald back down into bronze medal position.
Wales Racing Academy won bronze in a thrilling race, beating the University of Derby quartet by 0.24 seconds.
It was a landmark day in the long career of Shanaze Reade, who claimed her first ever national jersey in any discipline when she won the women’s team sprint alongside Blaine Ridge-Davies. They overhauled Team Terminator – Sophie Capewell and Milly Tanner – in the final lap to take gold.
In the bronze medal ride-off, there was a hugely popular victory for Vicky Williamson – just days after she made her international comeback at the Track Cycling World Cup in Hong Kong – and her partner Lusia Steele, representing Black Line.
The women’s 500m time trial was won by Ellie Coster, who upgraded the silver she took in the keirin yesterday by recording a time of 35.311 in the penultimate heat. Her keirin conqueror, Jess Crampton, was last on track, however was unable to beat Coster’s time, posting a 35.509 which earned her silver. Lucy Grant won bronze in a time of 35.749.
In the final event of the championships, Ethan Hayter won a sprint finish to take men’s scratch race gold ahead of Mark Stewart (silver) and Will Tidball (bronze).
Photo credits: swpix.com