Brilliant Brits Archibald and Nelson speed to World Championship Madison gold
03 March 2018
Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together?
Two-time Six Day London champion Katie Archibald and Six Day London Madison winner Emily Nelson teamed up to perfect effect in the Netherlands to take a dominant world title.
They may not have raced together in an international Madison before, but their relationship was clear to see as a succession of perfectly-timed changes led to a run of eight successive intermediate sprint victories in a row.
In all the duo won eight of 12 sprints, and placed either second or third in three of the other four to rack up a total of 50 points – 15 ahead of fellow Six Day pairing Kirsten Wild and Amy Pieters in second.
And afterwards, Archibald admitted their strategy had pair off well.
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“Our strength is our speed so we said we were going to go in for every sprint and capitalise,” said a jubilant Archibald.
“We didn’t want to take a lap, we wanted to mark out every lap and win every sprint.
“We tried for 12 and eight’s good enough isn’t it!
“It’s fantastic news that it’s in the Olympics. Everyone goes on the same joyous wave in this Olympic cycle with the Madison getting so much attention.
“We’re so grateful to be part of that big step forwards.”
Italy’s pairing of Letizia Paternoster and Maria Giulia Confalonieri – another Six Day Series rider – came home in third while Amalie Dideriksen and Trine Schmidt, winners of the Berlin and Copenhagen events in the inaugural season of the Six Day Series, came in fourth.
Earlier in the evening Miriam Welte had followed in compatriot Kristina Vogel’s footsteps by winning a second world title of the week – sprinting to victory in the 500m time trial.
“I worked so hard for this event – for the team sprint and the 500m – and I’m so, so happym,” said the German, who pulled on the sixth rainbow jersey of her career.
“It’s just incredible that I get the World Champions jersey again after 2014 and I still can’t believe it.
“We have very, very strong international riders and I was always so close and I was always on the podium but not on the top of the podium.
“I just believed in myself, trained hard and I wanted it so much – I can’t believe I’m world champion again.
“Of course winning the team sprint title gave me a boost. Kristina said after the team sprint ‘let’s do the same as we did in Cali, let’s take home four gold medals’.
“So I said ‘why not?’
“She got world champion yesterday in sprint, I’ve won the 500m so now it’s her job tomorrow to complete in the keirin.”
Elsewhere in Apeldoorn it was an uncharacteristically off day in the men’s omnium for Six Day Series riders, with defending champion Benjamin Thomas finishing down in ninth.
Ollie Wood was the best place Six Day rider in sixth, while Niklas Larsen finished eighth, Albert Torres 13th, Max Beyer 15th and Felix English 19th.
And there was more frustration in the men’s sprint as Max Levy finished an agonising fourth, while Eddie Dawkins was beaten by Britain’s Jack Carlin – who went on to beat Levy in the semi-final before picking up the silver medal – fell at the quarter-final stage.
Sunday should see a return to fortunes for Six Day Series fans, though, with the men’s Madison set to bring the curtain – and probably the house – down as the final event of the championships.
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