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Matthew Richardson ends Dutch star’s cycling series streak

Matthew Richardson has ended Harrie Lavreysen's domination at the Track Champions League.

Matthew Richardson has ended Harrie Lavreysen's domination at the Track Champions League. Photo: Getty

Australian cycling star Matthew Richardson has ended Harrie Lavreysen’s perfect record in the Track Champions League, beating the Dutch ace at the Paris Olympics venue.

Richardson beat Lavreysen in an intense match sprint final at round three of the series, held at the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines velodrome near Paris.

The track will host track cycling next year at the Paris Olympics, where Richardson and Lavreysen will be among the medal favourites in the men’s sprint events.

Lavreysen, a two-time Olympic gold medallist, had won the sprint and keirin events at the opening two rounds of the league.

The Dutchman also won the keirin at round three, with Richardson third, and Lavreysen remains the men’s sprint series leader of the final two rounds next weekend at the London Olympics velodrome.

“Normally I’m not so good on the front against Harrie, so I thought I’d try something different and keep it as slow as possible, and it worked,” Richardson said.

“I kept him stuck towards the top of the track and then produced my fastest sprint possible in the last lap. I’m on a high having won that and I’d like to take this momentum forward to London now.”

Lavreysen said France had been a tough round and it was no disaster losing to Richardson.

“Losing the sprint final was actually a bit of a relief because I knew I couldn’t continue my winning streak forever, and it’s given me added motivation for London,” he said.

“Overall tonight has been good. It’s been the toughest round yet and I’m happy to still be in the lead, and I am looking forward to London.”

Richardson was in the combination that won the team sprint at last year’s world championships, also at Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines.

He will be Australia’s top hope in the sprint and keirin at the Paris Games, as well as riding again in the team sprint.

-AAP

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