Matt Bostock made his return to the virtual velodrome this weekend. Crowned champion in the previous Men’s competition, the young Brit had a target on his back heading into Day 1.
Watch the video below to catch up on the racing below!
A notoriously difficult virtual event, the Pole Filip Prokopyszyn struck out early to make sure he was not the first to be eliminated in his inaugural race. At the back of the bunch, Matt Bostock got off to a disastrous start as the Brit was unable stay with the field crossing the line in 6th place.
Anders Fynbo fought to keep himself in the race, marginally scraping ahead of Arne Birkemose to relegate Six Day partner to 5th place. Next to be eliminated was Prokopyszyn. The white jersey was beaten to the line by a late surge from Fynbo, ending his race in 4th place.
With the podium places up for grabs, it was the German rider, Max Beyer, that powered ahead of the others to ensure his place in the final two. Experienced Dane, Marc Hester, then bested younger compatriot, Fynbo, in a fight for the line to challenge Beyer for the win.
Beyer surprised Hester as the black jersey kicked hard down the back straight. It looked like the Dane might have been able to claw it back coming round turn three, however it wasn’t enough. Beyer cruised to the Elimination win and took first blood in the competition.
Beyer commented, ‘it was pretty much better [sic] than the first time when we did it before a few weeks ago…it is difficult to a normal elimination race when you can see just behind you, and you see a little but earlier when someone acts.’
The first of the Scratch races meant a fast and furious ten laps of the virtual track. With a few riders needing to still get to grips with the virtual platform, this was a great opportunity for them to test themselves. At the halfway stage the pace started to increase and it was Filip Prokopyszyn that dropped off the back. However, with four laps to go the 20-year old battled hard to re-join coming down to the business end of the race.
As the final bell sounded, once again, it was Bostock that appeared to struggle and had little left in the legs to mount a challenge. Five-wide coming into the final straight, it was a mad dash for the line. In a reversal of the previous result, Marc Hester took the win ahead of Beyer with third place going to Arne Birkemose.
‘I just try to time the sprint a little bit. On the normal velodrome, you have so many other factors to think about and here basically you only have to see where you are on the track and do a sprint to come around the other guys in the right moment. I managed to do that again so that was good!’
Here’s how the General Classification looks after Day 1!