Less than one week after settling for silver in the women's UCI Road Race World Championships in Doha on her 34th birthday, Kirsten Wild stood atop the podium at the European Track Championships in Paris as the elimination gold medallist. On day 1 of the championships, held on the Vélodrome de Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines where she won Scratch world title in 2015, Wild beat Briton Katie Archibald, and Frenchwoman Laurie Berthon to the gold.
"I had hoped for here" Wild said according to the Dutch federation. "Of course I barely had time to really prepare. I arrived on Monday and I was briefly on the job on Tuesday. I was very curious how I would go on the first day, but I actually went very well."
The medal was Wild's first at the European track championships in the scratch race following on from her gold medal in points race at the 2013 championships, and silver in the omnium in the 2011 and 2013. The gold medal was also one better than her silver medal at the London Worlds where Laura Trott got the better of the Hitec Products sprinter.
For Wild, the championships where her first return to the velodrome since August's Rio Olympic Games where she was sixth in the omnium. She will contest the omnium this week for the first time since the sweeping changes made by the UCI that has seen the timed events - the flying lap, 500m/1000m time trial and individual pursuit - removed and replaced with a new mass-start event, the tempo race.
"I'm curious to see how it goes in the new-style omnium, which is here held for the first time in this form. In any case, I won the first title, and that's what counts for me," she added.