Katie Archibald wins 14th Euro crown on penultimate day at the 2020 track cycling euros

Archibald amazing as Germany's Max Levy makes it two European titles in two days in an action-packed session at the 2020 Track Cycling European Championships in Plovdiv

By Ken Browne

We saw joy, pride, and plenty to take away from the penultimate day of the 2020 Track Cycling European Championships in Plovdiv.

Olympic champion Katie Archibald won a staggering 14th European title in the women's points race on Saturday, to add to her team pursuit title on Day 2 alongside GB teammates Laura Kenny, Josie Knight, and Neah Evans.

Archibald won in style too earning 57 points, 18 points clear of second place Silvia Zanardi (Ita) on 39, and Polish rider Karolina Karasiewicz on 35.

"Growing up, everything I wanted to be as a track cyclist, it was the character of a points racer," Archibald told British Cycling afterwards.

"The speed, the tactics, the technical, and the strength, you can't win a points race by luck, and you also can't win it if you're... Silly, we'll say!"

"With the madison in the Olympics, madison and points racing are my true loves."

But the British champ wasn't 100% happy, she came flying out of the blocks but felt vulnerable at times during the race.

"Anything that's blessing also comes with a curse, I get drawn into sprints and it puts me in danger so, in different fields I think I could have been kicking myself, I was really in danger in parts of that race, the right attack could have done me in so I'm glad I kept my head on and didn't let the wrong move go, so I was there to contend at the finish."

Dejavu on dream day for Max Levy

Germany's Maximilian Levy celebrated his second title in two days, winning the men's keirin on Saturday to add to his men's sprint victory on Friday.

Levy, a three-time Olympian and three-time Olympic medal winner, was the only cyclist that Germany sent to these Euros amid precautions during the COVID pandemic, single-handedly bringing his country to the top of the podium on two occasions.

What was also impressive was who he beat - Rio 2016 sprint bronze medallist and 2017 world champ Denis Dmitriev, Greek rider Sotirios Bretas finished third.

And there was elation too for Elena Starikova who took first place in the women's keirin to cap off a fine championships having already finished on the podium twice in the team sprint and the individual sprint, both in the bronze medal position.

The Ukranian finished ahead of 22-year-old Sara Kankovska from the Czech Republic in second place, and there was more celebration for Spain as Helena Casas completed the podium for Spain.

Mora claims Spain's first Euro 2020 title

The Spanish may have had to wait until the final day of action to claim their first podium finish, but had two in a row with Sebastian Mora triumphing in the men's points race.

The 2016 scratch world champion claimed victory in Bulgaria with 51 points, holding off the challenge of Italy's Matteo Donega who scored 42 points, and Romanian Daniel Crista who finished third with 40 points.

Portugal top individual pursuit podium

There was more joy for Portugal in the men's individual pursuit, 24-year-old Ivo Oliveira topping his first European Championship podium after he claimed silver in the same event at the 2018 Worlds in Apeldoorn.

Oliveira clocked 4:08.116, just 6 tenths of a second ahead of Italy's Jonathan Lev (4:08.772) and Russian rider Lev Gonov in third.

Gonov was part of Russia's team pursuit victory on Day 1, meaning he takes home two medals, and at just 20 years of age proved that he's part of Russia's cycling future.