The worldwide panic over Coronavirus has begun to affect sporting events, but Germany were determined hosts, and the UCI Track Cycling World Championships went ahead.
Dutch racer Kirsten Wild took the first gold medal of the opening day, followed by the German sprint team, as the two nations began their week-long battle. There were 20 events, ranging from team pursuit to keirin, and all of the 21 nations that took part achieved at least one medal.
Two athletes particularly stood apart from the crowd, as they both won three gold medals. The feat was achieved by Dutchman, Harry Lavreysen, and the German youngster, Emma Hinze. Their individual prowess went a long way towards helping their countries, as they went toe to toe until the final day.
However, with the Tokyo Olympic Games only months away, this event served as a taster of what we can hope to see from individuals. This might prove alarming to fans of Team GB, as they took home only one gold medal.
This came from an impressive performance by two-time World Champion, Cardiff-born, Elinor Barker. At the age of 25, the MBE-holding cyclist will be hoping that she can build on her points race victory this summer.
When talking to the BBC, Katie Archibald claimed that Team GB’s underachieving is nothing to be concerned about. She stated the “margin for error is so small,” and that, by the time Tokyo rolls around, things will have been put right.
However, Sir Chris Hoy is not so convinced. He argues that Team GB have stagnated, whereas the “rest of the world have moved on.” He went on to claim that this is not a feeling which the cyclists will be used to, as Britons have always been the ones to “raise the bar”.
Just how justifiable these concerns are will be revealed in July, it’s certainly one to keep an eye on!