British duo Mark Stewart and Katie Archibald won the last of a series of behind-closed-doors points races at the UCI Track Champions League in London last weekend.
There were no flashing light displays, no frenzied crowds and no celebrations over the line. Events played out late in the afternoon in front of around 50 safety stewards, huddled together in the upper tier of the stands as they waited for the first spectators to arrive.
Speaking to Cycling Weekly as he cooled down on the rollers, Stewart said: “I didn’t even try to win that.
“My objective was just to warm up, and to do that, I like to hurt. To hurt, you have to be part of the race.”
The secret events were introduced this series, following feedback from last year’s endurance cohort that there wasn’t enough racing. “You do a 20-lap scratch, and theoretically if you’re out first in the elimination, you come for 23 laps,” Stewart explained. “You’re taking three days out of your training week to do that.”
Throughout the 100-lap event, the Scot kept a low profile, leaving his compatriot Will Perrett to chip away at the sprints with Spain’s Sebastián Mora. In the closing moments, however, Stewart snuck a lap gain, pipping Perret by a single point.
“Sometimes, if you really want to win a race, you try too hard and you try and force it,” Stewart said. “All I’m trying to do in these races is be really relaxed. I don’t really chase anyone, I let people go. Then, […]
Continue reading the original article at: www.cyclingweekly.com