UCI Track Champions League: GB’s Katie Archibald wins elimination race on opening night

Cycling
Katie Archibald

Olympic champion Katie Archibald won the women’s elimination race on the opening night of the first UCI Track Champions League in Mallorca.

The British rider, who won madison gold in Tokyo with Laura Kenny, beat her old rival Kirsten Wild of the Netherlands in Spain to earn 20 points.

The Scot, 27, also finished fourth in the scratch race.

Cycling’s governing body UCI launched the Champions League to boost the appeal of velodrome racing.

The format features 72 riders, with sprint and keirin disciplines for 18 male and female sprinters and scratch and elimination races for the endurance specialists, all over the space of a TV-friendly three-hour period.

Points are awarded for finishing positions in each race, tallied up over the five rounds of the series to decide the overall sprint and endurance champions.

Race winners earn 1,000 euros (£855) and the overall champions get 25,000 euros, with equal prize money for men and women.

The next round is in Lithuania at the end of November followed by two events in London and a final round in Tel Aviv on 11 December.

Olympic sprint champion Kelsey Mitchell of Canada won the women’s keirin race, but Germany’s Emma Hinze, who came second, leads the standings after winning the sprint final.

New Zealand’s Corbin Strong, the world champion in the points race, won the scratch race and the elimination race to lead the men’s standings with 40 points.

Calendar

Round 1 – 6 November: Palma, Mallorca (Velodrome Illes Balears, capacity 6,000)

Round 2 – 27 November: Panevezys, Lithuania (Cido Arena, capacity 5,000)

Round 3 & 4 – 3-4 December: London (Lee Valley Velopark, capacity 7,000)

Round 5 – 11 December: Tel Aviv, Israel (Sylvan Adams National Velodrome, capacity 600)

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