Brilliant Barker wins world points race
Elinor Barker won Great Britain’s second gold of the Track Cycling World Championships in Hong Kong with victory in the women’s 25km points race.
Barker, who has also won silver medals in the madison and scratch races at the championships, produced a stunning late burst to pip America’s Sarah Hammer.
The 22-year-old gained two laps on the field to win with 59 points from Hammer (51) and Dutch rider Kirsten Wild (35).
Katie Archibald won Britain’s first gold in Friday’s omnium.
The team have won five medals in total, with the other coming earlier in the week with Chris Latham’s bronze in the men’s scratch race.
It is a first individual title for Wales’ Barker, who won team pursuit gold medals at both the 2013 and 2014 Worlds and the Rio Olympics in 2016.
“I’m incredibly happy,” she said. “Until the last lap it was looking like another silver. I’m so happy it was a gold.”
She rode a near-perfect race, teaming up with Hammer to gain a lap midway through the 100-lap race that earned both riders 20 points and moved Barker to the top of the standings.
Barker then consistently picked up points in the intermediate sprints that came every 10 laps to strengthen her position.
However, Hammer attacked with a third of the race remaining and managed to gain another lap and pick up 20 points to put her on 51, with Barker on 39 and only 10 points available for the final sprint.
With around a dozen laps remaining, Barker rode clear of the peloton but she had little support in her quest to lap the field because the other riders knew they had no chance of winning the title.
But her aggression paid off as she raced around the velodrome and caught the bunch with five laps to go to pick up the 20 points that took her to gold.
Barker still had to be watchful because a victory for Hammer in the final sprint could have been enough to win the title, but the American did not have the legs to contest it.
Meanwhile, Germany’s nine-time world champion Kristina Vogel won her third keirin title and Francois Pervis of France won the 1km time trial for a fourth time.