Katie reigns at Phynova Six Day Manchester
22 March 2019
Opening night at the inaugural Phynova Six Day Manchester belonged to Katie Archibald, who revelled in rampant omnium victory amid a stacked women’s field.
The two-time Six Day London winner delivered the night’s biggest roar as she ripped past world champion Kirsten Wild in an astounding kick to win the elimination race.
Three event wins out of four shone a light on the 25-year-old’s dominance at the National Cycling Centre, with only Wild’s scratch race victory early on threatening her progress.
“It’s nice to be at the top – I’m feeling quite fast and I think the racing is suiting me,” said the Olympic gold medallist.
“I was a bit coy in the first 20 laps of the Madison and I made a bit of an error trying to be too smart. That took it down to one point and that can make you freak out and change your plan.
“The way I set the bike up I kind of had to stick to it, going for the sprints, so I’m glad I did.
“This is an event we’re all coming into knowing we’ll have a good time, so we can experiment with the way we’re racing. I’ve gambled and it’s paid off.
“On another day, it could have been someone else but I’m glad it was me!”
Archibald took the omnium with a haul of 134 to Wild’s 119, with four Brits following in the shape of third-placed Laura Kenny, Neah Evans, Elinor Barker and Emily Nelson.
The sprinters served up a compelling opening night of action with the Brits on top as home hero Jason Kenny ended top of general classification and young pretenders impressed.
It was a ding-dong battle between the searing sextet, 21-year-old Jack Carlin edging out Kenny by just over a tenth of a second to claim the spoils in the flying time-trial.
And Matt Rotherham carved up the six-time Olympic champion in a stunning conclusion to the Keirin final, picking up maximum points in the process.
German pair Max Levy and Robert Forstemann had their say with sprint final wins before Kenny swept past Rotherham to end day one top of the charts.
“I’m dead happy to cross the finish line first in that one – Jack’s the benchmark in the British team and has been for a couple of years now,” said Kenny.
“We get great crowds in the UK, the best in the world. That’s not just because I’m British, most people would agree we get great crowds in the velodromes.
“Six Day is a bit different, it’s a bit more relaxed, you get to enjoy the racing when you’re not chasing points and chasing medals.”
The elite men’s field traded blows, too, with the Antipodeans holding sway as Aaron Gate and Shane Archbold ended top of the general classification.
Gate was the hot hand on the night, securing savvy race wins in the opening Madison of the weekend and then winning the first derny heat alongside Shane Archbold.
Australia’s Stephen Hall came up on the rails to take points race victory from under the Wim Stroetinga’s nose, but the Dutchman came back to scoop the team elimination.
The day ended with Archbold and Gate ahead on 82 points, with Jarad Drizners and Leigh Howard the only pair to stay in touch on laps.