Emily Kay took the win in the women’s scratch race at the UCI Track Champions League in London on Saturday. This was the fourth round of the Track Champions League, in which Kay and Orla Walsh have been competing throughout recent weeks.
The UCI Track Champions League is a league format where every round will feature the same race programme. Riders score points across the five rounds in either the Sprint or Endurance category. Each category has two different types of races in which competitors can accumulate points: Sprinters will race in both Sprint and Keirin while Endurance riders will race both Elimination and Scratch.
Cycling Ireland Head Coach Neill Delahaye hailed Emily Kay’s win at the UCI Track Champions league in London on Saturday, saying that the success was very well-earned and should spur her on in the future.
“It was really good to see her get that,” said Delahaye. “She is the consummate racer. She is very astute tactically, she really has a fantastic race head and it was nice to see her pull that one off, because maybe it wouldn’t be the type of move you would associate with her style of racing. But look, she has the guts to try these things and she can sniff out the opportunities.”
Kay attacked with several laps to go, as the bunch seemed to stall. Her move was timed perfectly to open an impressive gap over the group and hold on to take one of her biggest results to date.
Delahaye continued to say that the result “should certainly hold her well, in terms of building confidence and hopefully giving her encouragement to do more stuff like that. I guess that is the level of capacity that she has.
“She wouldn’t have been in that Champions league if she didn’t have that level of ability. So for her to convert that into the win, it is hugely encouraging. I enjoyed it a lot.”
Kay was also 10th in the elimination race in the fourth round of the league.
The fifth and final round followed in the same venue on Sunday, where Kay was ninth in the elimination race and eighth in the scratch race. Her results place her 10th overall in the combined endurance category for the league with American rider Jennifer Valente securing the overall win.
Orla Walsh was also in action, contesting the sprint events, and finishing 16th overall. Her best showings were in round two in Berlin, where she placed ninth in both the sprint and the keirin races.
You can watch the final laps of Kay’s scratch race here: https://twitter.com/UCITCL/status/1598781257793650688