Valente holds off world champion Archibald in World Cup thriller

Valente holds off world champion Archibald in World Cup thriller
By Sportsbeat

11/11/2017 at 06:56Updated

Jennifer Valente won a titanic tussle with reigning world champion Katie Archibald as the American took omnium gold to end a sparkling first night at the TISSOT UCI Track World Cup.

Leading Archibald by six points heading into the final points race, Valente's advantage was almost overturned by the final sprint, but she beat Archibald to the line and claimed the gold.

Elsewhere at the National Cycling Centre, Manchester, there was double team sprint glory for Germany, while Rachele Barbieri and Nikita Panassenko won their scratch races.

The women's omnium was set up for a thrilling conclusion as Archibald beat Valente in a tight and tense elimination race to start the evening session.

Amalie Dideriksen finished third, but as Archibald and Valente entered the final lap the American surrendered and gave the Brit a clear run to the line - meaning the reigning world champion went into the points race in second place, six points behind Valente.

And Archibald looked to have done enough during the final race, just needing to beat Valente to the line in the final sprint to secure the win - but the American took on the Brit in the final lap and out-paced her to the line.

"We might not have raced head to head but she's the one wearing the rainbow stripes so that deserves respect and you have to watch out for that," Valente said of her opponent.

"She is an incredible team pursuit as well so it was nothing new for me.

"I think you really have to take things one race at a time, and even in the points race break it up into sections and focus on a section at a time.

"All the fans here are incredible. It's really great. All the community programmes. Coming into this World Cup, people know about it, it's on social media and it's exciting for the riders to see that and experience it."

Earlier in the night the German team sprint outfits had both qualified fastest in their respective competitions.

The women in a time of 32.542 as they beat Great Britain in the first round, while the men beat the Czech Republic with a mark of 43.129 to book their final place against Beat Cycling Club.

The Dutch teams both had to settle for a place in the bronze medal ride-offs as the women set up a clash against the Holy Brother Cycling Team, while the men faced off against home trio Great Britain.

Holy Brother and the Netherlands were victorious, but the night belonged to Germany.

"At the beginning of the season, when I saw that the World Cup in Manchester was on my birthday, I was a bit sad - I thought, no, a competition on my birthday?!" said birthday girl Kristina Vogel who won a hat-trick of gold medals at last weekend's opening World Cup in Poland.

"But to win here, with Miriam [Welte], together, getting a gold medal is one of the best birthday gifts I could have given myself.

"Why not three golds again?!"

With men's winner Maximilian Levy adding: "Twelve years ago I won my first World Cup in Manchester, so it's good to be back on the podium so many years after I started my senior career.

"It's hard. I have to go to Milton, in Canada, as well for the next World Cup. I was prepared for a lot of racing and I used the Six Day in London to get into shape and improve a little, without giving it all.

"I saved a little energy to come back to the UK and get the World Cup victory." In the men's scratch race a fragmented affair saw ten riders take a lap, with eight riders a lap back and a further three finishing two laps down.

It was Kazakhstan's Panassenko that took the win ahead of Wales' Jon Mould and the Netherlands' Wim Stroetinga.

While the women's race saw a much closer affair as all riders finished on the same lap, with reigning world champion Barbieri taking the sprint in a photo-finish ahead of Hong Kong's Yang Qianyu and Belgium's Jolien D'Hoore.

But one of the loudest cheers of the night came as Great Britain's team pursuit quartet pegged back half a second in the closing 500m to beat European champions France and book their place in Saturday's gold medal ride with a time of 3:56.137.

There they will face Denmark, while British national champions Team KGF will ride against France for the bronze. Sportsbeat 2017

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