The European Junior and Under-23 Track Cycling Championships kicked off this Tuesday at the Sangalhos National Velodrome in Anadia. Germany, with three gold medals (four in total), and Great Britain, with two gold medals (four in total) were the two most outstanding teams on the first day of competition.
The German team was the first to celebrate in the women’s junior scratch race, with Magdalena Fuchs (Germany) taking the gold medal ahead of Vittoria Grassi (Italy) and Laerke Expeels (Belgium). The race was marked by a fall that caught Patricie Müllerová (Czechia), preventing her from finishing first place.
Germany’s anthem was once heard again after the men’s under-23 elimination race, won by Tim Torn Teutenberg, followed by Gianluca Pollefliet (Belgium) and Elmar Abma (Netherlands), as well as in the junior team sprint races, where the German team overcame France and Belgium.
Great Britain heard their anthem for the first time after the women’s under-23 individual pursuit event, in which Kate Richardson overcame Poland’s Olga Wankiewicz and Austria’s Leila Gschwentner. Gold narrowly escaped in the men’s race, won by Belgium’s Noah Vandenbranden, with Britain’s Josh Charlton and Joshua Tarling finishing second and third respectively. But it came back in the junior women’s team speed event, with the British team getting the best of Germany and Italy, who completed the podium in that order.
In the women’s under-23 elimination race, gold went to the Netherlands, with Maike van der Duin holding on to the finish. Katrijn de Clercq (Belgium) took silver and Nora Tveit (Norway) bronze. Finally, the junior men’s scratch race was won by Italy’s Davide Stella, with Turkey’s Ramazan Yilmaz finishing second and France’s Pablo Laruelle third.
Final note for Belgium, the team that won the most medals on this first day (five), although only one was gold, and for the Italian pursuit team, who broke the junior world record in qualification.