Kirsten Wild (Wiggle High5) brought home three medals from the fifth round of the UCI Track World Cup that concluded on Sunday in Minsk, Belarus. The powerful Dutchwoman claimed gold medals in the Points Race and the Omnium, and a silver medal in the Madison.
Although pleased with her two gold medals, Wild expressed disappointment at not winning a third gold in the Madison with her partner Amy Pieters. The pair lost to Italian youngsters Letizia Paternoster and Maria Giulia Confalonieri by four points.
"I think it was a good weekend, starting with the Points Race on Friday, and the Omnium on Saturday was nice as well!" Wild said. "But our main focus on this event was the Madison on Sunday.
"We trained a lot on the technical part of the Madison in the last weeks, so that was our focus point, and that worked quite well. We only missed a bit of good communication in the end, and we missed the last sprint, so yeah … We were a bit disappointed in the end."
Wild kicked off the racing on Friday with a win in the Points Race, beating Confalonieri and Norwegian Anita Yvonne Stenberg. On Saturday, she only managed fifth place in the Scratch Race in the opening round of the Omnium, and then third in the Tempo Race. She went on to win the Elimination Race and finished the four-round event with fifth in the Points Race.
She won the gold medal with 122 points, enough to beat Great Britain's Elinor Barker, who also races for Wiggle High5 on the road. She earned the silver medal with 119 points. American Jennifer Valente finished third with 114 points.
"It was really strange," Wild said of racing against her new road teammate Barker. "I said afterwards that it's not really nice to have your own teammate as your biggest rival.
"We know each other from track races for years, but I don't know her really well as a person. I think the track world is like a family; everyone is really nice to each other. There's not really much competition - of course there's competition, but not really a rivalry competition."
After winning the Omnium, Wild said she is confident in her form ahead of the World Championships in Apeldoorn, in the Netherlands, which take place from February 28 to March 4.
"Always with track racing you can't count on one event to go for the medals in Worlds," Wild said. "Because all the girls are strong and one mistake and you're out of the medals. But yes, it feels good and gave me some confidence.
At the 2017 UCI Track World Championships, Wild claimed the silver medal in the Omnium, bronze medal in the Points Race and was fifth in the Scratch Race. Last year, Belgian duo Lotta Kopecky and Jolien D'hoore won the world title in the Madison.
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