There were titles for six-time Olympic champion Jason Kenny and Scotsman John Archibald on the opening night of the 2020 HSBC UK | National Track Championships in Manchester.
Kenny – who rode in the qualifier – helped Team Inspire retain their Team Sprint crown as preparations for the Olympic Games start to intensify. The team, who are more than likely to represent Great Britain in Tokyo saw off the Slingshot team to clinch the coveted red, white and blue jerseys.
Archibald won gold in the men’s Individual Pursuit as he too retained his national title from 12 months ago, seeing off his Huub Wattbike team-mates Jonny Wale and Dan Bigham.
In a dramatic final, Wale took an early lead, but Archibald fought back and dominated from the 1,500m mark.
The Scot said: “I didn’t have the perfect ride but I’m delighted to win – that’s all that counts.”
There was a maiden national title for Lauren Bate, who was victorious in the women’s sprint, after defeating Milly Tanner in the final.
“To win my first senior [national] title feels amazing. This national jersey means everything to me and to be the best in the country is incredible. All the hard work after a nine month injury is really rewarding,” said Bate.
A first national title was also won by Team Breeze’s Josie Knight who took the first gold of the evening in the women’s Individual Pursuit. Knight defeated Anna Morris in the final.
Of her first ever senior national title, Knight said: “I really wanted this. This time last year I wasn’t on the Great Britain Cycling Team programme but I was here, trying to record a time to get me on the programme, and I just managed to do that, so to come back and win this year is really special.
“Katie (Archibald – the winner of this title for the last three years) is an incredible athlete, who I really look up to, so to be able to take the jersey on for the next year is really special.”
Featured image: SWPix