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Los Angeles Track World Cup - CDM
ADT Velodrome, Carson, California, USA, December 10-12, 2004
Session 4 - December 11 Evening
Tight evening peaks with nail-biting points race
By Eddie Monnier
The evening session of the second day's racing at the Los Angeles World Cup saw a wealth of tight, hard-fought racing, with the evening's high point a men's points race that came down to the very last sprint.
Men's team pursuit
Relatively close qualifying times among the four medal round contenders suggested two real duels in the team pursuit finals. The Ukrainian team faced off against Australia in the ride for bronze / 4th. The Australians opened with a slightly faster first kilometer but the Ukrainians stomped to a 1:00.824 second kilometer and move to a 1.5 second advantage. In spite of dropping to three riders well before the Aussies did, the Ukrainians 4:11.799 gave them a margin of victory of almost two seconds over the Australians.
The Germans opened with a margin of 1.3 seconds over the Kiwis in the first kilometer. The Kiwis clawed back to within a third of a second by the end of the third kilometer and before losing their fourth rider. The Germans, still powered by all four riders, eked out another half-second advantage in the final kilometer to win the Gold in a time of 4:10.998.
The quarterfinal provided only one surprise with Kazuya Narita (Japan) beating Tim Veldt (Netherlands) to advance to the semi-finals. Jose Trinidad Villanueva (Spain) rode a 10.761 to dispatch Matthias John (Germany) and set the fastest time of the quarterfinal heats.
Villaneuva continued his display of strength in the semis by forcing Mickael Bourgain (France) to a three-ride win. This set the stage for Bourgain to face his teammate Arnaud Tournant in the gold / silver ride. Unfortunately for the Spaniard, his second warning of the evening in ride three meant he would have to cede the bronze medal to Narita.
Bourgain, who qualified only 0.05 seconds slower than Tournant, took the first ride with a time of 11.080. Tournant led the second ride and kept a very slow start but once the two speedsters got it rolling, he could not hold off Bourgain who claimed the gold in two rides with an 11.664 in the second ride when Tournant seemed to concede the drag race with about 30 meters remaining.
Although tired from two back-to-back days of hard racing, living kilometer legend turned keirin rider and sprinter Arnaud Tournant was more than happy to meet promising US sprinter Michael Blatchford (current Silver Medalist, Junior Worlds and reigning Junior and Elite US Sprint Champion). Eyeing the young American, the likeable Frenchman asked we take another photo of the two with his own camera. He clearly has an eye for talent.
Women's individual pursuit
The expected close battle between Erin Mirabella (USA) and Elena Chalykh (Russia) never materialized as the Russian opened an immediate advantage of 3.5 seconds in the first kilometer over her faster qualifying competitor.
In the gold / silver ride, Katie Mactier (Australia) shrugged off post-Olympic malaise to catch Emma Davies (Great Britain) with a lap and a half remaining to close out her clear domination of the field.
"I always go out and give it my best but this meet was more a matter of getting back into it after Athens," said Mactier. "I spoke with Shane Kelly (four time Olympian) a lot about what to expect after Athens and there's no doubt it's been a mental challenge because every waking second was directed to the Olympic campaign and then it's over."
But Mactier says she also saw the Olympics as the starting point not the finishing line and says she is 'hungrier than ever' for victory.
"I've finished with silver three times now (2003 & 2004 World Championships and Athens) and I want to go one better," she said. "I was always aware that World Championships would come up very fast after the Olympics to bite us on the backside so I made sure I organised myself to race at Oceania to get back into the swing of it."
Mactier won gold in the Oceania Championships earlier this month and has firmly set her sights on gold at the World Championships being staged in Los Angeles in March. The World Championships were in May in 2004 and August in 2003 but a move by the international federation to change the scheduling of the World Cup Series and World Championships mean they now match up with the Australian summer.
"It's a huge incentive to have the worlds in March and I'd kick myself if I didn't take advantage of the Aussie summer and all the domestic racing available to be in the best possible form," said Mactier. "It's also good to have tried out the travel to LA and ridden on the track because now I can settle back in Melbourne and build my endurance base and focus on doing what I need to do to win gold."
The Los Angeles 250m track is a new one and Mactier is happy she has had the opportunity to test it out.
"It's different than what we're used to in that the straights seem longer and the bends are much sharper," she explained. "It means you get flipped out of the corners."
Nail biter of a men's points race
Nineteen riders lined up for the men's points race. For those new to track racing, here is a very terse primer. Points are allotted 5-3-2-1 for the first through fourth finishers every 10 laps of the 120-lap race. Any rider taking a lap over the field earns 20 points for each lap taken. Any rider losing a lap to the field loses 20 points. The winner is the one with the most points at the end.
Only a few laps into the 120-lap race, Rafat Ratajcsyk (Poland) and Yauheni Sobal (Belarus) launched the first attack of the race. The field quickly went to single file under the pressure but eased at the catch. Marc Altmann (Germany) Darren Young (Australia), and Sobal attacked and remained off the front for the first of the twelve sprints, which was taken by Young.
Several accelerations prompted the dangerous duo of Sergi Escobar (Spain) and Mikhil Ignatiev (Russia) to attack in pursuit of the second sprint. Chris Newton (Great Britain) took note of the threat with Colby Pearce (USA) in tow. Newton won the sprint to move into first with six points.
The pack survived a flurry of accelerations before Kei Uchida (Japan) won the third sprint, which was quickly followed by a make-the-race seven-rider break. Present were rainmakers Pearce, Newton, Ignatiev, Escobar and World Scratch Race Champion Greg Henderson (New Zealand). Also making the move were Marco Arriagada (Chile) and Cancio Sebastian (Argentina). This group took a lap and most of the rainmakers went straight through and off the front again. The splintered field caused the leaders to become the field.
After the 80-to-go sprint, it was a very tight race with Newton leading at 29 points, Escobar at 27 and home turf favorite Pearce in third at 25 points. Newton, Pearce, Henderson and Ignatiev took yet another lap, putting them in first (49 points), second (45 points), and tied for third (41 points), respectively.
Pearce put in a big attack just before the midway point. Ignatiev set off in hot pursuit and made the catch as the bell rang for the 60-to-go sprint, but Pearce still took the sprint to move within one point of race leader Newton. Pearce and Ignatiev hammered on to take another lap. The 20-point bonus gave Colby the lead with 70 points and a six-point advantage over the second-placed Russian. Neither scored in the next sprint that was won by Newton, so the six-point gap remained.
However, at the 40-to-go sprint, Ignatiev scored one point to move within striking distance of the American. The race became two mini-races, with Pearce and Ignatiev battling for the Gold and Newton trying to secure third place ahead of Henderson.
The Russian chipped away again at the American by taking third (2 points) versus Pearce's fourth (1 point) in the 30-to-go sprint, while Newton won the sprint just ahead of Henderson to further his advantage in the duel for the Bronze.
Escobar scooped up the 20-to-sprint ahead of Pearce who edged out the Russian's to move back to a five-point advantage. That brought on even more cheering by the vocal crowd that was clearly enjoying the World Cup event.
Ignatiev put in a strong attack to take the 10-to-go sprint ahead of Jos Pronk (Netherlands) while the American was just clipped by Newton and Escobar and finished just out of the points. This set up a storybook ending for the home country hero as the score was now tied at 74 points with one just sprint remaining. Under current UCI rules, if the race is tied at the finish the winner is decided based on finishing order on the final lap among those tied for points.
The entire crowd was on its feet screaming and banging the boards as it tried to will Pearce extra speed to finish ahead of the hard fighting Russian. The two were side-by-side fighting through traffic as they surged for the finish line. Ignatiev just slipped past the American for fifth and so won the race based on finishing position of the last lap. It was an exciting end to a fantastic race.
Scratch race world champion Greg Henderson (New Zealand) who is trying to earn a berth in the points race for the world championships, was dearly tired after his first track race since the Olympics. "My coach and I thought Ignatiev, Pearce, and Newton would be the ones to watch. Having sort of a mixed field with some very fast guys and some struggling made it really hard. We'll keep an eye on the World Cup points as far as qualifying goes. You cannot be in top condition for each World Cup event if you want to win at Worlds."
After the awards ceremony, Pearce talked with several fans and signed a water bottle for an event volunteer. It was clear he enjoyed racing in a World Cup event on home country soil. And to put on a thrilling show and finish second was icing on the cake.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Mike Gladu/www.velodrome.com
Images by Mitch Friedman Photography
Images by Mike Novitch
Images by Dana Ross/www.danarossphoto.com
Women 500m time trial 1 Natallia Tsylinskaya (Bielorussia) 34.740 (51.813km/h) 2 Elisa Frisoni (Italy) 34.961 (51.486km/h) 3 Yvonne Hijgenaar (Netherlands) 35.196 (51.142km/h) 4 Tamilia Abassova (Russia) 35.318 (50.966km/h) 5 Lori-Ann Muenzer (Canada) 35.323 (50.958km/h) 6 Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania) 35.813 (50.261km/h) 7 Clara Sanchez (France) 36.036 (49.950km/h) 8 Daniela Claussnitzer (Germany) 36.131 (49.819km/h) 9 Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain) 36.182 (49.748km/h) 10 Kristine Bayley (Australia) 36.219 (49.698km/h) 11 Elizabeth Williams (New Zealand) 36.384 (49.472km/h) 12 Chrysoula Zacharioudaki (Greece) 38.484 (46.773km/h) DNS Angee Gonzalez (Venezuela) Women 3000m individual pursuit Final for 3rd & 4th 1 Elena Chalykh (Russia) 3.50.604 (46.834km/h) 2 Erin Mirabella (USA) 3.54.649 (46.026km/h) Final for 1st & 2nd 1 Katie Mactier (Australia) 3.46.745 (47.630km/h) 2 Emma Davies (Great Britain) Ovr Women 3000m individual pursuit overall classification 1 Katie Mactier (Australia) 2 Emma Davies (Great Britain) 3 Elena Chalykh (Russia) 4 Erin Mirabella (USA) 5 Lyudmyla Vypyraylo (Ukraine) 6 Adrie Visser (Netherlands) 7 Dale Tye (New Zealand) 8 Gema Pascual Torrecilla (Spain) 9 Pascale Schnider (Switzerland) 10 Charlotte Becker (Germany) Men's points race 3 laps ahead 1 Mikhil Ignatiev (Russia) 74 pts 35.44.458 (50.362km/h) 2 Colby Pearce (USA) 74 Two laps ahead 3 Christopher Newton (Great Britain) 63 4 Gregory Henderson (New Zealand) 46 One lap ahead 5 Sergi Escobar Roure (Spain) 41 6 Kei Uchida (Japan) 35 7 Jos Pronk (Netherlands) 27 8 Cancio Sebastian (Argentina) 24 Zero laps 9 Yauheni Sobal (Bielorussia) 16 10 Darren Young (Australia) 5 11 Rafat Ratajczyk (Poland) 4 12 Marco Antonio Arriagada (Chile) 13 Vasyl Yakovlev (Ukraine) One lap behind 14 Marc Altmann (Germany) -18 15 Martin Gilbert (Canada) -19 16 Damir Murzagaliyev (Kazakhstan) -20 17 Petr Lazar (Czech Republic) -20 DNF Michael Berling (Denmark) DNF King Wai Cheung (Hong-Kong) -20 Sprints 110 to go 1 Darren Young 5 pts 2 Yauheni Sobal 3 3 Marc Altmann 2 4 Christopher Newton 1 5 Rafat Ratajczyk 100 to go 1 Christopher Newton 5 pts 2 Colby Pierce 3 3 Sergi Escobar Roure 2 4 Cancio Sebastian 1 5 Mikhil Ignatiev 90 to go 1 Kei Uchida 5 pts 2 Jos Pronk 3 3 Yauheni Sobal 2 4 Mikhil Ignatiev 1 5 Rafat Ratajczyk 80 to go 1 Sergi Escobar Roure 5 pts 2 Christopher Newton 3 3 Colby Pierce 2 4 Gregory Henderson 1 5 Yauheni Sobal 70 to go 1 Sergi Escobar Roure 5 pts 2 Yauheni Sobal 3 3 Christopher Newton 2 4 Jos Pronk 1 5 Rafat Ratajczyk 60 to go 1 Colby Pierce 5 pts 2 Mikhil Ignatiev 3 3 Kei Uchida 2 4 Yauheni Sobal 1 5 Marco Antonio Arriagada 50 to go 1 Christopher Newton 5 pts 2 Rafat Ratajczyk 3 3 Yauheni Sobal 2 4 Martin Gilbert 1 5 Marc Altmann 40 to go 1 Kei Uchida 5 pts 2 Sergi Escobar Roure 3 3 Cancio Sebastian 2 4 Mikhil Ignatiev 1 5 Jos Pronk 30 to go 1 Christopher Newton 5 pts 2 Gregory Henderson 3 3 Mikhil Ignatiev 2 4 Colby Pierce 1 5 Cancio Sebastian 20 to go 1 Sergi Escobar Roure 5 pts 2 Colby Pierce 3 3 Mikhil Ignatiev 2 4 Cancio Sebastian 1 5 Gregory Henderson 10 to go 1 Mikhil Ignatiev 5 pts 2 Jos Pronk 3 3 Christopher Newton 2 4 Sergi Escobar Roure 1 5 Colby Pierce Final 1 Yauheni Sobal 5 pts 2 Kei Uchida 3 3 Gregory Henderson 2 4 Rafat Ratajczyk 1 5 Mikhil Ignatiev Men Team pursuit Final for 3rd & 4th 1 Ukraine 4.11.799 (57.188km/h) Roman Kononenko Volodymyr Dyudya Lyubomyr Polatayko Volodymyr Zagorodniy 2 Australia 4.13.683 (56.764km/h) Sean Finning Ashley Hutchinson Christopher Sutton Richard England Final for 1st & 2nd 1 Germany 4.10.998 (57.371km/h) Leif Lampater Robert Bartko Robert Bengsch Henning Bommel 2 New Zealand 4.11.832 (57.181km/h) Peter Latham Marc Ryan Timothy Gudsell Jason Allen Team pursuit final classification 1 Germany 2 New Zealand 3 Ukraine 4 Australia 5 Russia 6 Netherlands 7 Spain 8 Chile Men sprint Quarter-finals Heat 1 1 Arnaud Tournant (France) 11.193 (64.326km/h) 2 Ross Edgar (Great Britain) Heat 2 1 MickaŽl Bourgain (France) 10.971 (65.628km/h) 2 Stefan Nimke (Germany) Heat 3 1 Josť A Villanueva Trinidad (Spain) 10.761 (66.908km/h) 2 Matthias John (Germany) Heat 4 1 Kazuya Narita (Japan) 11.179 (64.406km/h) 2 Tim Veldt (Netherlands) 5-8th Place 1 Matthias John (Germany) 11.109 (64.812km/h) 2 Stefan Nimke (Germany) 3 Ross Edgar (Great Britain) 4 Tim Veldt (Netherlands) Semi-final Heat 1 Race #1 1 Arnaud Tournant (France) 11.115 (64.777km/h) 2 Kazuya Narita (Japan) Heat 1 Race #2 1 Arnaud Tournant (France) 11.211 (64.223km/h) 2 Kazuya Narita (Japan) Heat 2 Race #1 1 MickaŽl Bourgain (France) 10.875 (66.207km/h) 2 Josť A Villanueva Trinidad (Spain) Heat 2 Race #2 1 Josť A Villanueva Trinidad (Spain) 10.919 (65.940km/h) 2 MickaŽl Bourgain (France) Heat 2 Race #3 1 MickaŽl Bourgain (France) 11.197 (64.303km/h) 2 Josť A Villanueva Trinidad (Spain) Finals 3/4 Race #1 1 Kazuya Narita (Japan) 3/4 Race #2 1 Kazuya Narita (Japan) Final Race #1 1 MickaŽl Bourgain (France) 11.080 (64.982km/h) 2 Arnaud Tournant (France) Final Race #2 1 MickaŽl Bourgain (France) 11.664 (61.728km/h) 2 Arnaud Tournant (France) Men sprint final classification 1 MickaŽl Bourgain (France) 2 Arnaud Tournant (France) 3 Kazuya Narita (Japan) 5 Matthias John (Germany) 6 Stefan Nimke (Germany) 7 Ross Edgar (Great Britain) 8 Tim Veldt (Netherlands) 9 Lukasz Kwiatkowski (Poland) 10 Andrei Vynokurov (Ukraine)