Katie Archibald retained her title as queen of Six Day London with another dominant performance on the final day to pick up a second crown in a row at the Lee Valley VeloPark.
Olympic medallists Mark Cavendish and Pete Kennaugh also finished second in the men’s event, but it was reigning women’s champion Archibald who stole the show after coming into the final day with a 53-point advantage over 2016 runner-up Neah Evans.
She rode the final Madison with professional teammate Lydia Boylan and, despite finishing second behind Evans and Emily Nelson, took the overall win by 55 points from her fellow Scot.
“The first year Six Day London was run, my teammate Sarah Storey was riding so I knew all about it, and I’ve got in on the action from there and it’s been going well,” said the 23-year-old.
“The Madison was screw up after screw up on my part. I had some really horrible moments and I could hear the commentator in my head - I’m glad for the Madison experience but there’s a lot to build on.
“Racing against your training partners doesn’t help with the training because people remember when you flipped them once and they think you’re due one back!
“And it can also be a hindrance because you know the strengths of your teammates and focus on them, often overlooking a rider you don’t race against or train with so often.
“But that’s the same with every rival, you just have to turn it off.
“And the crowd helps. It’s amazing. You get a taste for it when you go to someone else’s home track and you can tell instantly when a home rider goes on the attack.
“You feel envious of it. We had that last week at the Europeans and it feels so good this week to be on the home side of it.”
Archibald had begun the women’s competition with an exhibition of strong riding to take both the points and elimination races before finishing third in the scratch race to end her first day ahead of Canada’s Allison Beveridge.
Another strong showing came on Saturday and she did the rainbow jersey proud with a commanding win in the UCI omnium - winning both the elimination and tempo races, finishing second in the scratch race and defending her lead in the points race to secure the overall victory.
That meant she came into Sunday in a strong position and a third place finish in the 10km scratch race - won by Canada’s Jasmin Duehring - extended her lead to 61 points over Evans heading into the final Madison.
Archibald was scheduled to ride alongside fellow Olympic and world champion Elinor Barker, but the Welsh rider was forced to withdraw on the final day due to illness.
That meant she would ride with Team WNT colleague Boylan, whose partner Lydia Gurley had crashed on Saturday and could not return to the track.
But things did not go to plan as Evans and Nelson dominated the race, taking 42 points from a total of 45 as Archibald and Gurley came second with 16.
Meanwhile, in the men’s event Olympic medallists Kennaugh and Cavendish ended up second, despite a valiant effort in the final Madison chase.
“We just had to put all our chips on the table, we tried to get it back and kept getting it back but every time we went they just had us,” said 30-time Tour de France stage winner Cavendish.
“I said to Pete as soon as the lap board came down, let’s put all our chips in the centre after 20 laps and go for broke.
“We just weren’t good enough, simple as, but I’m incredibly proud because I used to babysit for this lad [fellow Manxman Kennaugh].
“Now we’re riding at the London Olympic velodrome and he won here in 2012, we’re riding against the best track riders in the world and it’s just been amazing.”