The UEC Juniores and U23 Track European Championships started this Thursday at the Sangalhos Velodrome, with Belgium, Italy, France and Germany – this team with the most gold medals – winning the first titles in dispute.
It was the belgians who got off to a strong start in the afternoon session, when the first medals were up for grabs. Lani Wittevrongel was the best among the juniors in the scratch race. The race was carried out at a relatively calm pace until the final part. When there was an acceleration, the belgian managed to overcome the polish cyclist Maja Tracka and the israeli Ori Bash.
While this victory was still being celebrated among the belgian delegation, Shari Bossuyt showed all her class in the under-23 elimination competition. When it came time to discuss gold with Sophie Lewis, the british rider was unable to react to her opponent’s attack. The French Kristina Nenadovic took the bronze.
Italy would also win two titles: in the individual pursuit, through Vittoria Guazzini – with the British Ella Barnwell and the Italian Silvia Zanardi closing the podium – and with Davide Boscaro becoming champion in the elimination, both in under-23 . In this race, the german Tim Torn Teutenberg and the polish Filip Prokopyszyn, took silver and bronze, respectively.
France also got gold on this first day, with Rafael Delhomme being the junior scratch champion, relegating the italian Lorenzo Anniballi to second and the british Jed Smithson to third.
However, it was Germany that won the most, proving once again to be one of the strongest teams on the Track. In the individual pursuit (under-23) there were two germans fighting for the gold. Tobias Buck-Gramcko won, with Nicolas Heinrich taking silver. Italy took the bronze, through Manlio Moro.
The german team then dominated the junior team sprint events. Torben Osterheld, Luca Spiegel and Danny-luca Werner won in the men’s category and Lara-Sophie Jäger, Stella Müller and Clara Schneider in the women’s.
The remaining medals went to Poland and Italy (silver and bronze, respectively) and in the other race to the Czech Republic and one more to Poland.
The second day, this friday, of the Track Europeans will start at 10 am with the qualification of speed by under-23 teams. The morning session is scheduled to run until around 2:30 pm, with the afternoon session starting at 4 pm.