Barker claims Britain’s first gold at Track Cycling Championships in Berlin

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Track Cycling World Championships: Elinor Barker wins GB’s first gold in Berlin

Elinor Barker was crowned world points race champion as she collected Great Britain’s first gold medal of the Track Cycling World Championships in Berlin.

Barker, 25, was the only rider to gain two laps, on her way to a winning total of 50 points.

Jennifer Valente of the United States won silver and Norway’s Anita Yvonne Stenberg took bronze.

“It felt surreal after gaining the lap. There were still 15 laps to go,” Barker told BBC Sport.

Victory in the points race – a non-Olympic discipline – gave Barker her second medal in the German capital after the team pursuit silver on Thursday.

“It always feels pretty good [to win a world title],” she said. “It’s not irrelevant that it’s not an Olympic event, but it doesn’t make it feel any less incredible.”

Asked whether she felt in the form of her life ahead of Tokyo 2020, Barker, who won team pursuit gold at the Rio 2016 Olympics, replied: “Pretty close.”

Barker’s success comes three years after she won the points race title in Hong Kong, while she was GB’s only gold medallist at the 2019 World Championships in Pruszkow, Poland, where she won scratch race gold.

“I wanted to have some more energy to at least get involved in another sprint after I got a lap, but I had absolutely nothing left, I was seeing stars,” she added.

“I couldn’t even entirely tell who the four at the front were, I just had my fingers crossed that they didn’t get the lap or anything.

“The plan would have been to have a few more beans at the end but it went as well as it possibly could.”

Elsewhere on the final day of the championships, Katy Marchant reached the semi-finals of the women’s keirin, while Ethan Hayter and Ollie Wood finished ninth in the men’s madison.

Great Britain finished the championships with four medals, matching their haul from last year’s edition.

UCI announces new-look calendar

Meanwhile, cycling’s governing body the UCI has announced that a new World League will feature on its track calendar from the 2021-22 season as part of a drive to attract larger TV audiences with a fast-paced, short format.

The league, which will run from November 2021 to February 2022, will have six rounds, each running for around two hours.

The competition programme will feature four events for men and women riders – individual sprint, keirin, elimination race and scratch race.

The UCI also said a Nations Cup would replace the multi-race World Cup tournament, with three rounds between March and September. The World Championships will be moved from February to October.

UCI president David Lappartient said: “With this new UCI circuit, the discipline will have a packed and attractive annual calendar that offers variety and will meet the expectations of new audiences while also appealing to existing cycling fans.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/51697773

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