England’s Laura Trott claimed her first Commonwealth Games gold medal after winning the points race at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome on Monday evening in Glasgow. The 22 year old from Harlow overcame a kidney infection over the weekend to add to her two Olympic gold medals. She won the event from Wales’ Elinor Barker and Scotland’s Katie Archibald.
The 100 lap race began quietly as expected with riders taking turns to lead from the front. A strong field that included scratch race winner Anette Edmondson, points race world champion Amy Cure and Commonwealth Sprint gold medallist Joanna Rowsell prepared themselves for sprints every ten laps, forcing endurance and strategy to make it to the finish.
As Rowsell hit the front, the pace started to increase before the first sprint. When the bell rang it was Australia’s Edmondson and Laura Trott who battled it out, with Australia’s Melissa Hoskins and New Zealand’s Rushlee Buchanan. Edmondson took it from Hoskins and Buchanan, with Trott fourth.
The second sprint was set up by New Zealand with Lauren Ellis at the front and Buchanan following in her wheel tracks. They would finish second and third respectively behind Barker who took the five points for the sprint win. This sprint also saw Katie Archibald make her move and she eased herself over the line in 6th, winding herself up. At this stage, Barker and Edmondson were tied at the top; early days still.
The first breakaway came in the form of Canada’s Laura Brown with 75 laps remaining but with Edmondson and Dani King closing her down and reducing the threat. Next it was Stephanie Roorder to try and break away – Canada’s tactic really showing early on. Once again however this attack was cancelled out but there was a group of seven that broke away.
A lap away from the next sprint and it was Trott who made her presence felt as she headed to the top, followed by King, Archibald and Roorder. Archibald made a break for it as the bell rang once more and led round the lap to a roaring home crowd, but was just beaten to the line by Trott who move up to six points, one point clear of Edmondson and Barker to move into gold medal position.
In between the third and fourth, it was Laura Brown of Canada who broke away once more and again was shadowed by Edmondson. A more relentless attack ensued as Buchanan joined in too. A chasing group were forced into closing the breakaway down and it was Amy Roberts of Wales and Eileen Roe of Scotland who did the work. The peloton seemingly slow to react to this breakaway finally got into gear thanks to the lead of Rowsell and King.
60 laps to go and the fourth sprint was a low key affair with no real attack; Edmondson taking the five points from Brown and Buchanan. The peloton then started to close the gap with a fierce burst of pace. Dani King leading the peloton and the other riders had no chance but to follow. Archibald made a breakaway from Barker and Buchanan. The only one not responding to the breakaway group was leader Edmondson. The next sprint saw the crowd noise levels increase even more as Archibald challenged for the win. Amy Cure took it and Archibald beat Trott to second.
Now the breakaway group caught and passed the peloton and with the extra twenty points, Laura Trott took the lead overall. Katie Archibald, thanks to her impressive sprint performance in the previous two sprints moved into bronze. Australia was next to make a move but it was still Brown from Canada who headed the field.
Sprint number six saw Elinor Barker take her second sprint win, from Canada’s Jasmin Glaesser, Lauren Ellis of New Zealand and Trott in fourth – Trott having to exert further due to Archibald sprinting again. Barker was now the overall leader with 30 points, one ahead of Trott and Buchanan on 27. Archibald was fourth and one point away from a medal.
Amy Cure broke away, looking to gain a lap and with it an additional twenty points to take the overall lead. The chasing group lead initially by Archibald looked to reel her in, despite the Australians looking to block the peloton. The seventh sprint eventually saw the peloton close right up on the spinter group and it was Jasmin Glaesser of Canada who stormed by to take the win, from breakaway rider Cure and Dani King.
As the race was hotting up, the peloton was reeling in the leader once more. The leader board changing almost as often as the leaders in the sprint saw the top three covered by just two points and home favourite Archibald two from a medal. As the bell resonated rounded the velodrome one more time, Trott took the win comfortably after avoiding being boxed in by the Australians and Kiwis. Trott now led by four points from Barker heading into the final twenty laps.
The peloton closed up a lot as the penultimate sprint loomed; the pace picked up and Trott seemed to back off in preparation for the final sprint. It was Elinor Barker who took a close sprint win to go back into gold medal position by a single point over Trott. Cure finished second and remained two points off gold in bronze and Katie Archibald who finished third.
The final five laps saw Lauren Ellis make a break before being closed down by the peloton. The final sprint saw Barker attempt to make a significant break but was followed close by Archibald and Trott. With half a lap to go, it looked for all money that Barker would take the win and with it the overall victory. But Trott found extra speed and pipped her Welsh opponent by the smallest of margins to second; with it taking the gold medal at the death. Barker finished third and took the silver medal. Archibald won the final sprint comfortably to take the five points and took the bronze medal to the crowd’s delight. Early leader Anette Edmondson tailed off as the race wore on and eventually gave in to aid Amy Cure’s cause. Cure would miss out on the medals however in fourth.