EMILY KAY helped Great Britain’s cycling team end their Glasgow World Cup campaign on a high after winning the women’s omnium.
The 21-year-old from Bromsgrove showed her tactical nous, physical strength and consistency to pick up big-points scores across all four of her races.
Kay started her day of competition with an excellent fourth place in the scratch race which came down to a final lap sprint.
Tactics then came into play in the tempo race as Kay, omnium leader Kajihara and Belarussion rider Tatsiana Sharakova broke away from the bunch and took a very slow lap, picking up all but three of the sprint points between them in the intervening laps.
In the elimination race the field was whittled down until the event came down to a sprint between the last two riders standing – Kay and Belgium’s Lotte Kopecky.
Kopecky edged in front of the British rider to take the win but second place was another fantastic result for Kay who finished ahead of Kajihara which left her in a strong position going into the final points race.
As the points race began, Kajihara attempted to take a lap but Kay reeled her back in and took the five points from the second sprint in doing so.
Kay and Kopecky continued to pick up sprint points but it was the lap and five sprint points taken by Sharakova which shook the standings, as she joined Kay on 119 points at the top of the table.
The Bromsgrove racer snatched three points from the penultimate sprint and, while Kopecky managed four points from the last lap, it was only enough for silver and Kay won her first individual world cup gold.
Kay said: “It’s the first time I’ve ridden that new format, but I was really happy. I was pretty consistent through the whole day and I just took each race as it came.
“I’m over the moon, I didn’t really expect to win.”
Kay added the crowd in the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome had helped her all the way.
“Every time I get on the start line and my name was announced, the crowd backed me all the way and all the way through that race, especially that points race where it was so close,” she said.
“Every time I went for a sprint they were shouting the whole way and when I won I can’t explain how it feels to celebrate in front of this home crowd.”
Overall Great Britain won five gold medals over the three-day competition, topping the medal table at the end of the weekend.