The usual Italian dominance was not confirmed on day four of the European Junior and U23 Track Championships. Instead, balance reigned, with five different winners in the seven finals and two nations celebrating a gold medal for the first time at this edition of the event.
The day was marked by the men’s and women’s junior omnium races, which involved the usual four different races of the discipline: scratch, tempo, elimination and points race.
In the women’s race, Hélène Hesters (Belgium) was crowned European champion with 139 points, ahead of Cat Ferguson (Great Britain), who collected 131 points, and Clemence Chereau (France), who totaled 130 points. The Belgian was second in the scratch (38 points), fifth in the tempo race (32 points) and fourth in elimination (34 points). In the final race, she came out on top with 35 points between sprints and a lap over the peloton.
In the men’s race, Hector Alvarez Martinez (Spain) was the winner, making the Spanish anthem ring for the first time in this European Championship after collecting 147 points. The Spanish rider was first in the scratch (40 points), 10th in the tempo race (22 points), fourth in elimination (34 points) and managed to collect 51 points in the points race. He took the podium ahead of Matteo Fiorin (Italy), who recorded 143 points, and Dawid Latkowski (Poland), who totaled 142.
Other main events of the day were the under-23 points races. In the women’s, Lara Gillespie (Ireland), with 49 points, also gave her country a gold debut, finishing ahead of Maike van der Duin (Netherlands) and Tetiana Yashchenko (Ukraine). In the men’s, Noah Vandenbranden (Belgium) became European champion with 49 points to give the Belgians their second gold medal, ahead of Niccolo Galli (Italy) and Maximilian Schmidbauer (Austria).
The individual speed races were dominated by Germany, who won both gold medals. Pete-Collin Flemming (Germany) won the junior men’s race, finishing ahead of Oliver Pettifer (Great Britain) and Etienne Oliviero (France), and Alessa-Catriona Pröpster (Germany) claimed the gold medal in the women’s race ahead of Emma Finucane (Great Britain) and her compatriot Clara Schneider (Germany).
Finally, the women’s junior 500m time trial was won by Viorica Georgette Rand (Great Britain) with a time of 35’520 and an average of 50.675 km/h, ahead of Marie Louisa Drouode (France) and Bent Henriette Lürmann (Germany).
Saturday will be the fifth and penultimate day of the European Junior and Under-23 Track Championships, which will be held until Sunday at the Sangalhos National Velodrome in Anadia.