Hong Kong return to UCI Track Cycling World Cup podium as Cheung King-lok takes silver in Minsk
Team’s first medal of the season at final meet could be springboard for next month’s world championships in Netherlands
Hong Kong returned to the podium for the first time this season in the track World Cup series after Cheung King-lok snatched a silver medal in the men’s points race in Minsk, Belarus, on Saturday morning Hong Kong time.
The Rio Olympian finished the 120-lap event with 50 points, 25 behind champion Jan Willem van Schip of the Netherlands. They were the only two riders who gained two laps over the peloton in the 19-rider field.
Third place on the podium went to Ivo Oliveira of Portugal with 41 points.
— Велоклуб МИНСК (@minskcycling) 19 January 2018
Cheung last won a gold in the same event at the World Cup series in Cali, Colombia, three years ago but has since been struggling after a disappointing run at the Rio Olympics where he was forced to retire in the road race event.
“This can be a timely morale booster for Cheung as he really needs some good results at this level,” said Cycling Association chairman Leung Hung-tak. “We will also have Sarah Lee Wai-sze and Leung Chun-wing in the same competition and hopefully they can also do well ahead of next month’s World Championships.”
Cheung, who turns 27 next month, was a double Asian champion in the road race and time trial in 2016, a result that gave him the opportunity of riding for UCI World Tour team Orica Greenedge of Australia but the disastrous result in Rio hit the rider hard.
The Minsk World Cup is the last in the five-event series of the 2017-18 season. Lee, who missed each of the previous four legs, is eager to gain match fitness before Worlds and the Asian Games this summer.
The 2012 Olympic bronze medallist will feature in her two favourite events – women’s sprint and keirin – while Leung will take part in the men’s omnium and the madison with Cheung.
The three day-event concludes on Monday morning, Hong Kong time.