Katie Archibald picked up where she left off at Six Day London as the defending champion stole a march on her competitors with two wins on the first day of the women’s competition.
The 23-year-old won both the points and elimination races before finishing third in the scratch race to lead her closest rival by 40 points.
And the men’s standings also have a sense of familiarity about them after Belgium’s Kenny de Ketele and Moreno de Pauw retook the lead by the narrowest of margins from Australia’s Callum Scotson and Cameron Meyer.
But it was Rio 2016 Olympic team pursuit champion Archibald who stole the show and with fellow Scot Neah Evans once again pushing her hard, the reigning champion has a sense of deja vu.
“I drove down with Neah Evans again this year so we’ve got that familiar sensation of being sat next to each other and tussling for the top spot,”said Archibald, who became ten-time European champion just last week.
“It’s cool to have the Canadians over as well, they’ve made their mark on this first night and I’m ready to give it everything on Saturday.
“This is possibly one of the hardest races we’ll get all season, and that’s no exaggeration because you don’t usually get multiple riders per nation in other races.”
Archibald began the night by taking a lap in the opening points race and, despite an attempt at a second lap failing, she held on to win the final sprint and the race.
The Scot was then living dangerously in the elimination race, walking a tightrope between saving her legs and risking disaster in the early stages but she responded brilliantly to beat Allison Beveridge in the final sprint for a second win in a row.
She could only manage third in the final women’s race of the night, the scratch race, as Canada’s Jasmin Duehring led the field for the duration of the race and held off Ireland’s Lydia Boylan in the final lap.
That left Archibald leading the field home to take third and establish a 40-point lead over Beveridge in the standings, with housemate Evans a further five points back in third.
But while Archibald dominated the women’s first day, the men’s racing continued its even nature with the world Madison champions Morgan Kneisky and Benjamin Thomas showing why they wear the rainbow bands with the only lap taken in the opening Madison.
And Mark Cavendish got his customary daily victory, but by just 2mm as he was nearly beaten to the line in the 10km scratch race by Spain’s Albert Torres.
“It doesn’t get much closer than that - I was too busy worrying about the others we were lapping to think about the guys coming round for the win,” said Cavendish.
“But that’s how I’ve always been, push all my chips into the middle of the table, go all in. I knew I’d be bringing guys from behind but without doing that you don’t catch the front.”
Cameron Meyer and Callum Scotson then got their first win of the week, the former surging through the field in the final three laps for a confident victory in the 40-lap derny - a result that put the Australians level at the top of the standings with Yoeri Havik and Roy Pieters.
But not even a win in the final 45-minute Madison could see the Aussies remain at the top of the standings.
Defending champions Kenny De Ketele and Moreno de Pauw took the first lap of the race, with the Australians hitting back with one of their own.
But with the Belgians finishing second behind Scotson and Meyer it was enough to cross the 300-point threshold and gain a lap back on the field.