On the final day of the European track championship, Amalie Dideriksen has won the European title on the madison together with fellow Dane Julie Leth. Amy Pieters took the bronze medal together with Kirsten Wild.
"This feels great," Dideriksen exclaimed. "I'm so happy!"
The victory in the madison comes after a rough start to the European championships for Dideriksen, who had had a successful world championship earlier this year. She won worlds silver in the omnium and a bronze medal on the scratch. Last weekend, she finished at the thirteenth in the points race and tenth in the omnium.
"I’m not sure why I performed under my normal level," Dideriksen looks back. "The points race was my first event and I took that as a bit of a 'bonus' race with the omnium and madison being my real goals. But for sure I had hoped for better anyway."
"In the omnium, I missed some power and couldn’t make a difference in the races where I normally have my forces," she continued. "The European championship isn’t normally held this time of year, so my preparations hasn’t been the same."
"By racing RideLondon on the road with the team, I missed some track training sessions and did a little different build up than normal, but I’m not entirely sure why it didn’t go as hoped - I will try to figure that out as we go forward."
With the points race and omnium behind her, Dideriksen had one chance left in the madison, a recent addition to the women's track events.
"I took the madison as a new chance, and was really motivated to finish it well," said Dideriksen. "We actually thought no-one could take a lap in this field, but suddenly we had a gap and went for it. You need a plan beforehand, but you also need to be ready to adjust and adapt to the situation."
"It was a great start towards Tokyo," Dideriksen concluded. "Julie and had had just two trainings before traveling to Glasgow and then a few on the track there, so we still have some places to improve."
"In two years everyone is also going to be better and we won’t be able to win if we make mistakes in the race. Sometimes we missed a chance and didn’t time every sprint perfect, so we need to see what we did today both good and bad and use that."
Bronze for the Dutch duo
Pieters, with Wild as a companion, took to the start of the madison as the top favorite. Wild won the European title on the scratch and in the omnium earlier this week, disciplines in which she also holds the world title. Pieters and Wild were already madison partners at the world championships and won silver then. This time they had to do it with bronze.
"This was such a hard race!", Pieters reacted after the race. "We contested a lot of sprints and you can see that in the number of points we took. Denmark and Russia took a lap, and with that twenty extra points."
Until Dideriksen and Leth plus the duo from Russia took a lap on the field, Pieters and Wild were on their way to victory. But the tactic changed when Pieters and Wild saw the two duos take that lap and twenty points.
"From that moment, we went for podium and it is great that we have succeeded in that," she said. "Compared to other races, this was our best race tactically. Of course you want to win, especially after we have been on the podium several times, but we are also happy that there is progress."
Just like her Danish teammate, Pieters also has her eyes on the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020, for which she and Wild hope to qualify in the madison.
"Kirsten and I started together from scratch," she said. "Leading up to Tokyo, we will ride more and more track races together, for now it is important that we gain experience. We're constantly improving and it's really good that we beat the English and Italians this time."