Amalie Winther Olsen had a 10 point gap starting the third day of the competition. However, as she learnt in the previous season, leading into the final day does not guarantee the overall win.
Click the video below to watch the final day of racing below!
A slight surprise result saw Jenny Holl eliminated first from the race. Holl rode to an impressive second place in the first Elimination Race so this was a disappointing outcome for the Brit. Taking fifth place, Jenny Hofmann was next to fall. The German slipped too far off the back and was unable to make up the metres to Machačová.
The Czech rider’s success was short-lived as Machačová had to settle for fourth place. The pink jersey looked in control coming into the home straight but a big push from Backstedt secured safety for the Welsh rider.
Deciding the podium places were arguably the strongest riders of the competition. Backstedt struck out early knowing the strength of her rivals left in the race. However, it proved to be in vein. Dronova and Winther Olsen timed their attacks to pass the tiring Backstedt in the home straight eliminating the younger rider.
If Dronova was to mount a challenge to the Dane for the title, the Russian had to take a win. Riding side-by-side with half a lap left, it was Winther Olsen that made the first move. Responding excellently, Dronova once again showed her sprinting prowess and surged past the Danish rider to secure the win.
The Russian closed the gap at the top to eight points. A sizeable gap but not irreversible coming into Points Final.
Heading into the final race, Winther Olsen chatted to Rebecca Charlton about her tactics. ‘I’m keeping an eye on Tamara, she has been very strong for the whole series. I’m going to stick to her and make sure she doesn’t get too many points. I’m hoping that one of the other girls will try and attack and get some points…then I don’t have to worry too much about Tamara.’
Showing how competitive the final race would be, the first three sprints were taken by different riders. The white jersey of Winther Olsen secured the first five points. The Dane attacked early and comfortably finished ahead of the pack, increasing her lead over Dronova to 10 points.
Playing into the Dane’s hands, it was Zoe Backstedt that took the next sprint, denying Dronova maximum points. However, crucially Winther Olsen could only manage one point reducing her lead to eight points once more.
A three-up sprint for the line decided the third sprint of the race. The orange jersey of Dronova surged through the middle taking the five points ahead of Winther Olsen and Backstedt in third. At the halfway stage, Dronova had closed the gap to six points.
With only three sprints to go, the field had split with Backstedt, Dronova and Winther Olsen riding ahead of Machačová, Holl and Hofmann. Winter Olsen took advantage of the thinned field to take the next sprint, beating Dronova to the line by less than half a wheel.
The Dane was in no mood to relinquish her lead in the next sprint and sped away to take the five points. Entering into the final sprint, Dronova had to take the double points and Winther Olsen had to fail to score in order for the Russian to draw level on first place.
Sixteen-year old Backstedt fought impressively to take the final sprint denying Winther Olsen the perfect finish. However, the Dane took the four points required to secure the title relegating Dronova to second place.
Amalie reflected on the win, ‘after a few laps we ended up in a small breakaway which made it a lot easier for me because I only had to keep an eye on those two. The sprints were so hard and so close. During the Points Race I had no idea who had won. It was very difficult!’
‘I think it’s a very good alternative to racing on the real track. There’s so much more to it than just racing in the virtual world. You have to think so much more about when to sprint and not just follow the other riders. You have to take responsibility. I think it’s really hard compared to real races because you can’t just sit in the bunch and wait for the sprint you have to take control.’
Zoe Backstedt also chatted to Rebecca Charlton on her final race. ‘It was really hard because we were all quite close. It was a few points ahead of me that I could have caught up if I’d committed to taking a lap but there was also Jenny Holl that was quite close behind me so I didn’t want to ease off too much and for her to get some points back and potentially beat me!’
Here’s the final General Classification after Day 3 of the Women’s competition. Congratulations to Amalie Winther Olsen on her win!