Neah Evans amongst the gold medallists as Team GB have strong European Championships.
University of Glasgow student Neah Evans recently took two golds, including one in the individual pursuit, at the 2020 Union Européenne de Cyclisme (UEC) European Track Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Taking place between 11 and 15 November, the championships are the first major event of the 2020/21 track season, with the rescheduled Olympics, in Summer 2021, quickly approaching. All European champions are awarded the UEC European Champion jersey, which can be worn by the winner throughout the season when competing in the same events at other competitions.
Night two of the competition saw the GB women’s team, including Neah Evans and fellow Scot, Katie Archibald, comfortably win the gold medal by over three seconds in the team pursuit in a time of 4:10.437, beating Italy, who came second at 4:13.632, and Ukraine claimed bronze in 4:33.833. Team member and multiple Olympic gold-medallist, Laura Kenny commented very positively on the performance of the team: “That’s the fastest time we’ve done since Rio, so that shows the form that we were in going into an Olympic year. It’s good to know we are still moving forward.”
Adding to her team pursuit victory on the second night, Neah Evans went on to win her second gold of the championships in the individual pursuit on night three, having qualified with the fastest time in the heats during the day. She posted a time of 3:29.456 to beat Italy’s Martina Alzini by two seconds. Evans said after she won her second gold medal: “When it sinks in, it’ll feel very special – I’m delighted!”. She added: “It’s been a busy week; it’s been a bit bizarre as effectively we’ve had a summer of no racing and then to come to the European track champs where it’s just been non-stop. It’s been great to get back racing, and to get some really good results is just amazing.” Having finished just outside of the medals in fourth place in the women’s scratch race on night one of the competition, the University of Glasgow student was overjoyed by her performance later in the championships.
Another gold medal went the way of a Scottish cyclist, this time it was won by Katie Archibald, a former Glasgow Academy pupil. After being part of the team pursuit winning team, Archibald competed in the points race, winning the first two sprints, and then the fifth, to give her a commanding lead at the halfway stage. Archibald then attacked with 30 laps remaining, along with Maria Martins of Portugal, Poland’s Karoline Karasiewicz and the Italian Silvia Zanardi. Zanardi was less than 10 points behind her going into the final sprint, which was won by the Scot, confirming her European points race title.
The Great Britain Cycling Team finished top of the medals table with six golds, three silvers and two bronze medals. Gold medals came from the women’s individual pursuit, team pursuit and points race, and then the men’s omnium and the elimination race. With the Olympics approaching, the GB team is hopeful for a strong performance by cyclists on the track.