Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Jolien D’hoore took the Gold Medal and Rainbow Jersey in the first ever Women’s Madison at the UCI World Championships on the track in Hong Kong. In the light blue colours of Belgium, with compatriot Lotte Kopecky – with whom she had taken the first ever European title in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France last year – the duo finished the 120 lap (30km) event with a total of 44 points; this was ten points ahead of the British pair of Emily Nelson and former black and orange rider Elinor Barker.
Taking her third medal of the Championships, Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Australian track specialist Amy Cure – riding with compatriot Alexandra Manly – won the Bronze Medal, just nine points behind the British.
“We are very happy and honoured to be the first ever World Champions in the women’s Madison,” D’hoore said afterwards. “Our race went almost perfectly. We timed our changes at the right times and had the speed to take enough points in each sprint.”
Great Britain took an early lead, after taking the first of 12 sprints. The Belgian pair moved ahead after the fourth sprint, however, and thereafter never looked threatened by any other team.
Into the closing laps, Barker broke away at the front of the peloton, but Kopecky and D’hoore were on the British rider’s wheel immediately. As she took the bell, D’hoore surged ahead, and rode the final lap alone to take the ten points on the line and cement the Belgian victory.
“It still feels like a dream to us,” D’hoore smiled.
Despite an early crash from Manly, the Australian team scored consistently – including wins in the third and eighth sprints – to constantly threaten the British Silver Medal, as well as holding off the challenge of Italy and New Zealand. Taking third in the final sprint for the line was enough to secure Cure a third medal of this year’s World Championships, after her silver in the Team Pursuit and Bronze in the Omnium.
Historically, a victory in the World Championship Madison for a men’s team leads to the riders being in high demand in the winter Six-Days circuit, with increased appearance fees to put the Rainbow Jersey on show. Whether D’hoore and Kopecky will experience a similar demand remains to be seen.
“I don’t know,” D’hoore laughed. “Normally they don’t do women’s Madisons in the Six-Days. But Maybe I should have a talk with them…
“Could be the right time for a change and to show the people in Belgium our stripes.”
Picture Credit: Rob Jones
1. Jolien D’hoore and Lotte Kopecky (Belgium)
2. Emily Nelson and Elinor Barker (Great Britain)
3. Amy Cure and Alexandra Manly (Australia)