Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Olympic Champions made a triumphant return to London’s Lee Valley VeloPark Velodrome, as Laura Trott took a clean sweep of victories in the opening three events of the Women’s Omnium on the first night of the Revolution Series Round 5. Alongside teammates Dani King and Elinor Barker, Trott took first place in the Flying Lap and Points Race, and was poised to take victory in her specialist Elimination event.
The race was down to just three riders, with Trott up against King and Pearl Izumi Sports Tours’ Katie Archibald, when those two crashed out on their final lap to hand the Olympic champion her victory.
“Obviously it’s not finished yet, we’re only halfway through, but it went well,” laughed Trott. “Three out of three’s not bad eh?
“I started to do what I normally do, at the back, because I thought ‘let’s make a show of it,’ and then the last one was a bit ‘carnage!’” she exclaimed. “I’m just glad those two are alright, because they went down so bad.
“That’s twice now that I’ve missed out on the fun bit. Because obviously at the Worlds I was fourth so I didn’t get to do the bit when you’re just racing against one person, then they both crashed so I couldn’t do it there either!”
The Revolution event was Trott’s first race since returning from February’s UCI Track World Championships in Cali, Colombia, where she was part of Great Britain’s Team Pursuit winning squad, and took Silver in the Omnium.
“I hadn’t ridden my bike to be honest,” she said of the post-World Championships period. “I took a week completely off, and I’m just getting back into it now, so I didn’t really know how I was going to feel getting back on the track. My legs obviously hurt, but you remember how to ride well when you’re not feeling good.”
King came down hard on the track after her crash with Archibald, with her Lazer Helium helmet saving her from head injury. The Olympic champion also suffered a blow to her hip, but should be okay to start Saturday’s second session.
“I was quite pleased with how it was going,” she said. “I’m third overall, even after the crash. I was second in the Elimination, third in the Points, and fourth in the Flying Lap. But it was nice to get stuck in and ride on the track again; it’s just a shame about the crash!”
The Revolution round was the first event to be held at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park since the Games of 2012, and both King and Trott found themselves inspired by memories of their greatest triumphs to date.
“It was incredible,” said King. “I didn’t know how I was going to feel walking back into the velodrome to be honest, and the first time I walked in I just got goosebumps and I got a bit emotional.
“It was just nice to have no pressure, and to enjoy racing my bike and thing it all in for what it was.”
“It was silly things, like walking down the stairs to get into the velodrome, like we used to do, that brought back all the memories,” echoed Trott. “Me and Jason [Kenny] went for a night out after the Games, and we drove past the pub that we stopped at; it’s just things like that. It’s weird that the little things bring the memories flooding back.”
Photo credit (pictures 1 & 2): Luke Webber/Revolution Series