Track cycling – European Championships: Melvin Landerneau crowned, Mathilde Gros and Clara Copponi in silver

A breath of fresh air envelops a reinvigorated French team at these European Championships in Munich. Chief craftsman of this revival, Melvin Landerneau went to seek the title on the kilometer, Monday. In an effort against the clock, the Frenchman, last to start, won gold ahead of the Italian Matteo Bianchi (silver) and the German Maximilian Dörnbach (bronze). A confirmation for the 24-year-old track rider, already silver during the team sprint on Friday.

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The best for last, as the usage suggests. An expression that has not been overused by Melvin Landerneau, author of a supersonic time at the end of the startlist (59”975). The Martiniquais (24) does not come out of nowhere, since he took second place in the exercise during the Nations Cup in Glasgow and third in Cali last June. Landerneau offers France its third gold medal (after the titles of Benjamin Thomas and Sebastien Vigier), and will try to complete an already well-stocked collection during the keirin on Tuesday. Whatever happens, his championships are already a success.

Trapped Copponi

The final twist didn’t go down well with everyone. Comfortably in the lead before the last round of the omnium, the points race, Clara Copponi (171 pts) saw the title slip through her fingers, overtaken on the wire by the Italian Rachele Barbieri (174 pts).

In the fight with the Polish Daria Pikulik (third, 167 pts) during a test interrupted 45 minutes after a violent fall, the Aixoise (23 years old) lost the title after a last chance offensive by Rachele Barbieri. The latter grabbed 20 points after taking a lap lead in the peloton, and crowned herself gold for three small points.

Gros has nothing to be ashamed of

When your opponent wears the iridescent tunic, the mission is bound to be tricky. Impressive throughout the competition, Mathilde Gros came across stronger in the individual sprint final. Beaten for the gold medal by the German Emma Hinze, the track rider went for a silver medal with a taste of gold.

Superb finish, cruel denouement: Gros fails a few millimeters from gold

The Lensoise (23) gave in only during the decisive round, and this for a gut against the reigning world champion. Bronze medalist at the Pruszkow Worlds (2019) and triple French champion in the discipline (2017, 2018, 2019), Gros reacted perfectly a year after a mixed Olympics (9th). L’ArtĂ©sienne is now on familiar terms with the summits.

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