Becoming European Madison champion when not feeling her fastest means one thing for Elinor Barker – this Olympic champion is no ordinary track cyclist.
Teaming up with Ellie Dickinson, the duo delivered a tactical masterclass to take top step on the podium on the final sprint in Berlin, securing Great Britain’s fourth medal of the competition in the process.
More impressively it was the third gold of the Championships, adding to Katie Archibald’s double delight, while Barker also played her part in securing silver in the team pursuit to follow in the footsteps of the Rio gold from last year.
But for a rider who had once feared she was an eternal bridesmaid, worries of that nature have certainly been consigned to the past.
“We’re feeling pretty good,” said Barker of the Madison success.
“We worked to our strengths, personally I don’t feel too fast currently but I felt fit enough to take part in an attacking race.
“We worked really hard in that, unfortunately we couldn’t take that second lap but we managed to get enough in our sprints and spend enough time at the front of the race for that to happen.”
The pair showed their clinical nature by taking points in the early stages, while a lap was also to come their way to pick up a crucial 20 points.
But Barker and Dickinson were far from done there on the final day in the Velodrom, continuing to keep themselves in the hunt for the medal as the laps ticked down.
Their tactics were to reign supreme too, beating Ireland to the final sprint to lead the way on 58 points – eight clear of their rivals – while Netherlands took third.
Not only that, but this race laid to rest the disappointment of competitions past for Dickinson, revelling in her first European title at just 19 years of age.
“I’m really happy, especially to do it with El. We rode a Madison together in LA (at the Track World Cup) which didn’t really go to plan so it was nice for this one to go well,” she said.
The European Track Championships drew to a close on Sunday with Chris Latham and Ollie Wood finishing 13th in the men’s Madison.
Olympic bronze medallist Katy Marchant missed out on competing in the keirin after a crash on Saturday, while Jack Carlin finished 11th in the keirin.