Four gold medals won by British riders in the last hour of racing at the European track championships on Sunday ensured that Great Britain finished on top of the medal table.
Victoria Pendleton made up for her disappointment in the sprint by winning the keirin while Ed Clancy and Laura Trott won the men’s and women’s omniums respectively, giving those three riders two golds each.
The fourth gold came courtesy of Matt Crampton who rescued the three day competition for Britain’s male sprinters. After the slip up in the team sprint, Sir Chris Hoy going home with a chest infection and then Jason Kenny missing out on a medal in the sprint it looked like being a disasterous competition for them.
If there was a dose of bad luck going around, no one told Crampton. He rode through the keirin rounds without fuss, winning the first, and coming third in the second round. In the final he took no chances, taking the derny’s wheel from the start and not letting anyone past him.
It was the tactic that brought Hoy such success up to and including the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, but it’s not one that many are strong enough to copy.
Of the four gold-medal-winning performances, perhaps Laura Trott’s was the most noteworthy. After winning the team pursuit on the first day she set about riding a near perfect omnium over the next two. She won the elimination race on Saturday to put her in third with her best events to come.
Today she won two more, first the individual pursuit, where she set a time that would be world class done in isolation, then the 500m time trial in which she was favourite anyway.
Trott – who is still only 19 – is now almost certain to ride these two events at the Olympics next year, as is Clancy.
See this week’s Cycling Weekly magazine for a full report and analysis from the European Track Championships.
Victoria Pendleton tops the keirin podium
Ed Clancy on his way to winning the men’s omnium
Belgium in the madison
Matt Crampton clinches the men’s keirin
Laura Trott in the women’s omnium
Photo gallery: Euro track champs day three
Photo gallery: Euro track champs day two
British sprinters miss out on medals on frustrating day in Apeldoorn
British sprinters miss out on medal ride in team sprint
Great Britain’s hattrick of gold on opening night
Euro track champs, day one gallery
Hoy pulls out of Euro track champs with chest infection
Around Apeldoorn velodrome