- - UCI Track World Championships 2023 Day 4

UCI Track World Championships 2023 Day 4

photo credits @ UCI

Filippo Ganna and Lotte Kopecky got everyone on their feet in a fourth day also marked by UCI World titles for Ellesse Andrews and Iuri Leitao.


A week ago, Lotte Kopecky (BEL) impressed in the final stages of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, where she finished on the overall podium and conquered the green jersey as the winner of the points standings. “I have my first event on the track next Sunday at the UCI Worlds, I’ll try to recover as well as possible,” she said, delighted with her achievements but already focusing on the next targets.

Her strength and resilience on French roads were signs of an extraordinary run of form. And she clearly didn’t suffer from the immense efforts on the French roads as she powered to the rainbow jersey in the elimination race, retaining the UCI World Champion title she had claimed last year.

Nerves were high, as always when destiny hangs in the balance every two laps. Elinor Barker (GBR) and Italy’s Rachele Barbieri were eliminated just outside of the podium. Then, Jennifer Valente (USA) couldn’t keep up with Kopecky and Valentine Fortin. The Frenchwoman tried to anticipate the final sprint but she couldn’t resist and eventually took silver between the Belgian and American stars.


The morning session set the stage for thrilling action in the afternoon when Filippo Ganna (ITA) and Daniel Bigham (GBR) set the best times of qualification in the men’s individual pursuit (4:01.344 vs 4:02.961). The final thus opposed the owner of the hour record, Ganna, to his predecessor, Bigham!

The British expert went all out from the start to try and overthrow the reigning UCI World Champion. Halfway through the 4 km, Bigham had built an advantage of one-and-a-half seconds… and the gap went over two seconds with 1 km to go! It would be an impossible lead to overcome for almost any rider, but Ganna is an outstanding champion. With one lap (250m) to go, he was still trailing by 0.558 of a second. But on the line, the Italian star took his sixth UCI World Champion title in the individual pursuit by only 0.054 seconds (4:01.976 vs 4:02.030).

The final for bronze was much more one-sided. Jonathan Milan (ITA) led at every checkpoint against Ivo Oliveira (POR), again joining Ganna on the podium following their silver medal in the team pursuit.


What a duel between Ellesse Andrews (NZL) and Martha Bayona (COL) in the six-up final of the women’s keirin!

The two sprinters were neck and neck in the last two laps until the photo finish gave the UCI World Championship title to the Kiwi, with a difference of only 0.010 seconds on the line. The four-time defending UCI World Champion Lea Sophie Friedrich (GER) rounded out the podium.

A silver medallist in the keirin at the Olympic Games, Andrews had never claimed a medal at the UCI Worlds, but she rose to the occasion. Not only does she take her maiden Elite rainbow jersey, she’s also the first sprinter from New Zealand (male or female) to win the individual sprint at the UCI World Championships.


Iuri Leitao (POR) burst into tears as he clinched the UCI Omnium World Champion title after a full day of competition. The Portuguese went into the final event with a commanding lead. He had amassed 118 points with two victories- in the scratch and tempo races – and second in the elimination race. Dylan Bibic (CAN) trailed by 34 points but everything was still at play with many hungry chasers and the opportunity to score big in the points race.

Experience showed with the likes of Sebastián Mora (ESP) and Benjamin Thomas (FRA) increasing the pressure on the Portuguese leader. The Frenchman scored no less than 100 points in the final race. But Leitao reacted well to secure victory with a total of 188 points, 8 more than Thomas. Japan’s Shunsuke Imamura took bronze with 171 points.


Fast men also ignited a fire in the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome with the quarter-finals of the individual sprint. Harrie Lavreysen (NED), Mateusz Rudyk (POL), Nicholas Paul (TTO) and Jack Carlin (GBR) all progressed to the semi-finals in two straight rounds against their opponents. They were intense battles nonetheless, especially between Lavreysen and Australia’s Matthew Richardson, silver medallist in the individual sprint last year, eventually eliminated with a very small gap in the second round (+0.040sec).

This battle for the rainbow jersey will be settled today, with two more UCI World Champion titles will be up for grabs in the men’s elimination race and the women’s Madison.

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