Matthew Richardson was left practically speechless at finally finding himself in the blue leader’s jersey after the fourth round of the 2022 Track Champions League in London.
Richardson achieved the milestone thanks to a victory in the early evening keirin final, where rival Harrie Lavreysen could manage no better than fourth place.
Despite losing to Lavreysen on a photo finish in the sprint final, Richardson now leads the competition by two points.
Asked what the result meant to him, for Richardson it had clearly still to sink in: “I don’t even know at the moment, to be honest.
“I said before I came here I was hoping for a top 5 finish and to gain as much experience as possible.
“To be sitting here in blue is, I don’t really know how to describe it, It’s awesome.”
‘A huge moment!’ – Richardson wins kerin as Lavreysen is only fourth
For the young Australian rider, his achievements to date in the Track Champions League have massively exceeded his original expectations.
Lavreysen and Richardson have shared the victories in the men’s sprint competition equally between them, which has made for a compelling contest, even as no other riders have had much of a look-in. They are the only two to make the final of the sprint itself, across the four rounds.
“I hope we’re making it exciting for everyone at home and everyone who comes to watch,” said Richardson, adding that he is “definitely having fun,” and hopes his great rival is similarly enjoying the experience.
Looking to the second night of racing in London on Saturday, Richardson believes that he always felt that consistency would be the key factor.
“I said before today that I thought it was going to come down to whoever made the first mistake,” he explained. “I think that came in the keirin a little bit, and I think it’ll be the same tomorrow. It’s just trying to be consistent. I’ve been [in the] top three the whole time. I’ll try and get two top two finishes tomorrow and hopefully that leaves me on top.
Regardless of which of the two riders sneaks it Richardson will be, he said, “super happy. It’s super surreal.”
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