Jonny Wale was triumphant in the kilo while Ella Barnwell was a double champion on day two of the HSBC UK | National Track Championships in Manchester.
Elsewhere, Hamish Turnbull won a thrilling men’s sprint competition, Rhys Britton retained his men’s points crown and Lauren Bell took the women’s keirin title.
Wale – last year’s silver medallist behind Matt Rotherham – claimed his first-ever individual national title with a stunning kilo performance, clocking 1:01.770 to claim gold.
Tom Ward (1:03.341) went fastest initially, but was eventually overtaken as the first of the HUUB Wattbike p/b Vita Coco trio, Kyle Gordon, posted 1:02.697. Dan Bigham then edged in front, setting a time of 1:02.440, guaranteeing himself at least a silver with just Wale to come.
The Scot made an excellent start, but his split times were briefly outside Bigham’s after he clipped a track pad on his second lap. However, he had enough speed to claw the time back, and crossed the line to add the kilo crown to the individual pursuit silver medal he won yesterday.
He said: “I’ve never really won a kilo – I’m known as a kilo rider, but I don’t ride good kilos! So it was a bit of a relief to actually get the gold. It’s pretty awesome; it’s a real honour. I love wearing the (national) stripes – it’s really recognisable in the sport, and hopefully I can do it justice for the next year.”
Double gold for Barnwell
Barnwell added the scratch race title to the national omnium crown she won in October, winning the bunch sprint for gold.
Amelia Sharpe and Abi Smith both made significant attacks in the mid-section of the race, but by and large the bunch stayed together until the final ten laps, when Kinga Ingram injected fresh pace at the front, stringing the field out as the laps ticked down.
Smith tried her luck again with four laps to go, but was caught by the bunch, which came back together and was headed by a sizeable Team Breeze contingent, from which Barnwell emerged to take gold ahead of Josie Knight and Jenny Holl.
She said: “It was a pretty tough race – there was so much attacking and it was full on, so to have the legs in the last lap and a half was unreal. I just gave it everything.
“Being a first year in the under-23s is a big step up from junior level, but the legs are there and I’m doing my best every time, and hopefully this year is going to be really good.”
Barnwell, Knight and Holl also picked up national champion’s jerseys in the women’s team pursuit. Team Breeze (Barnwell, Holl, Knight and Anna Docherty) dominated qualifying, recording a time of 4:32.054, and carried that dominance through to the medal rides – for which they brought Anna Shackley in for Holl – catching the University of Nottingham (Isabel Ellis, Sophie Lankford, Matilda Gurney and Charlotte Mitchell) just shy of halfway through the final.
For Knight, it was a second title of the weekend, following her individual pursuit victory yesterday.
Central Region quartet Millie Couzens, Anna Wadsworth, Eva Callinan and Libby Smithson took bronze, just about managing to hold off the advancing Team Jadan Weldtite-Vive le Velo (Ingram, Poppy Thompson, Emily Tillett and Corrine Side) to claim third by 0.151 seconds.
Britton retains points title
In the men’s points race final – which didn’t include individual pursuit champion John Archibald, after he unfortunately unclipped early on in his qualifying heat, then valiantly but unsuccessfully tried to claw his way back to the bunch – Britton got on the scoreboard early by winning the second sprint, then along with Will Perrett was involved in the first lap gain of the race.
As the leaderboard closed up again, Britton and Perrett – along with Will Roberts – were part of a group of eight riders to take a further lap with fewer than 20 laps remaining. Britton led narrowly going into the final, double-points sprint, and although he was edged on the line by Roberts, held on to win gold for the second year in a row with 61 points.
The ten points that Roberts claimed in the final sprint did affect the other medals, though, pushing his total up to 59 – enough to take silver ahead of Perrett.
In the men’s sprint, Turnbull beat his Slingshot team-mate Ali Fielding in the final, after both riders had excelled in what was a sensational day of sprint action.
Turnbull had qualified fastest in the morning, and looked unruffled before being taken to a deciding heat by Matthew Roper in the semi-final. Fielding’s path to the final was even tighter, as his semi-final with eventual bronze medallist Alex Spratt was decided by a photo finish.
In the final, Turnbull again showed the raw speed that he’d demonstrated earlier in the day, winning 2-0.
The final title of the evening went to Bell, who took keirin gold to win her first senior national title.
After taking bronze in the sprint yesterday, Bell won both her heat and semi-final to advance to the final, where she led from the front, holding off the challenge of Emma Finucane and Ellie Coster, who completed the podium.
Bell said: “I came here mainly focusing on the team sprint, so I didn’t expect this with the really strong group of girls we’ve got at the minute. Even getting to the final was an achievement, and then to win it was quite unbelievable.
“I’ve got a good group of people around me, and to achieve what I’ve achieved is down to them as well.”
Podium positions are listed below:
Women’s Team Pursuit
1. Team Breeze (Ella Barnwell, Jenny Holl, Josie Knight, Anna Docherty, Anna Shackley)
2. University of Nottingham (Isabel Ellis, Sophie Lankford, Matilda Gurney, Charlotte Mitchell)
3. Central Region (Millie Couzens, Anna Wadsworth, Eva Callinan, Libby Smithson)
1. Jonny Wale (HUUB Wattbike p/b Vita Coco)
2. Dan Bigham (HUUB Wattbike p/b Vita Coco)
3. Kyle Gordon (HUUB Wattbike p/b Vita Coco)
Women’s scratch race
1. Ella Barnwell (Team Breeze)
2. Josie Knight (Team Breeze)
3. Jenny Holl (Team Breeze)
Men’s points race
1. Rhys Britton (Team Inspired)
2. Will Roberts (Wales Racing Academy)
3. Will Perrett (HUUB Wattbike p/b Vita Coco)
1. Hamish Turnbull (Slingshot)
2. Ali Fielding (Slingshot)
3. Alex Spratt
1. Lauren Bell (Black Line)
2. Emma Finucane (Di Mascio)
3. Ellie Coster (Wales Racing Academy)
The championships conclude tomorrow, when HUUB Wattbike p/b Vita Coco will attempt to defend their men’s team pursuit title. Also up for grabs are national champion’s jerseys in the men’s keirin and scratch race, and women’s team sprint, 500m time trial and points race.