Great Britain’s Katie Archibald, who finished top of the endurance standings after the first night of UCI Champions League racing, says that failure in the earlier scratch race made it easier for her to win the elimination event later in the night.
The double Olympic gold medallist admitted to being “caught out” by a trio of riders in the first event in the endurance competition, in which Canada’s Maggie Coles-Lyster claimed a surprise victory.
“As much as you know that something might happen, sometimes you can’t fight against it,” she reflected at the close of play.
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Some thrive, some falter as pressure hits on dramatic night in Lithuania

'What a steal!' - Coles-Lyster takes upset victory in scratch race

A silver lining to the disappointment of losing, however, was that “I felt so much better afterwards. You check in with your legs and you think, ‘I have something here.’ So I could just go into the elimination and go as hard as I could.”
Archibald rode close to the perfect elimination race, barely inviting a mention from commentators until she was among the final few. In the head-to-head showdown she found herself up against Dutch veteran Kirsten Wild. She left nothing to chance, attacking from the bell, leaving Wild stranded and with no hope of bringing her back.
Eurosport’s Orla Chennaoui asked her if defeat in the first race put additional pressure on the second. On the contrary, she replied, “it made me more relaxed. Once you get riding, you know this is how it works and you don’t have to over-think. You can just let your legs do what they can.”

Archibald takes stunning elimination win

The quickfire format clearly suits the 27 year-old:
“It’s nice just to have a quick turnaround. It’s action packed, there’s no space for nerves. You just get racing.”
After one round, Archibald leads the endurance competition by three points, over Canada’s Coles-Lyster.
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The UCI Track Champions League returns for round two on November 27 and you can watch all of the action live on the Eurosport app, and discovery+. Find out more about the "mind-blowing" new era for track cycling.
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UCI Track Champions League


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