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World Junior Track Cycling Championships - CDM

Australia, August 21-25 2002

2001 Results    Preview     Team numbers    Past winners

Day 5 - August 25, 2002: Wrap Up

The final day of competition in the World Junior Track Cycling Championships in Melbourne, Australia, on the weekend featured the men's sprint finals and Madison, as well as the women's 7.5km scratch race.

Mark French, a 17-year-old from Melbourne collected the gold medal for the second consecutive year in the sprint after beating German powerhouse Michael Seidenbecher 2-0 on his home track in a crowd-thrilling final at Vodafone Arena tonight. The bronze medal went to French rider Francois Pervis, who scored two wins against favoured Cuban, Ahmed Lopez.

The French team of Tom Thiblier and Mathiew Ladagnous raced away with the Madison gold on the final night of the 2002 World Junior Track Cycling Championships, beating the Australians and the Germans. Thiblier and Ladagnous rode in a perfect illustration of teamsmanship to clinch the event.

Riders go down
Photo: © Tom Balks
Click for larger image

In the women's 7.5km scratch race, a massive crash 30 metres before the bell of tonight's women's scratch race left three riders down, a lap board almost destroyed and a French rider in hospital. However, despite the carnage littered over the track, including a snapped set of handlebars, front forks (with wheel still attached) and a saddle from the French rider's bike, there were no serious consequences and in all of the excitement, Russian rider Ekaterina Merzlikina sprinted through to win the gold medal. Korean Eun Gu Sung was second, Australian Belinda Goss third and Japanese Tomoko Endo fourth.

The host nation emerged at the top of the medal table with five gold, two silver and one bronze, with Russia in second place with three gold, two silver and two bronze, while Italy came in third on ther medal count by virtue of Elisa Frisoni's three gold medals. The Italian teenager was only one of two competitors from Italy, and her's was the stand-out performance of the championships.

Profile New Zealand Cycling Personality Bert McConnell.

By Alan Messenger

Bert meets Ahmed
Photo: © Tom Balks
Click for larger image

World Championships are just great, according to New Zealand Cycling fan and former Official Bert McConnell. And the genial Kiwi should know. He's attended about fifty six World Championships over a period of fifty four years.

The first was back in 1948. "I went over to the Olympics in London and stayed on" McConnell said. Back in those days he made his trips by sea. For Bert he'd rather go to the Worlds than to any other cycling event. "There's nothing else compares, really" he said.

Over the years McConnell has built up many friendships. He knows and is known by the top echelon in the sport and counts as his friends UCI Officials, Media people and top cyclists.

Sadly though, this year may see the end of the overseas traveling for McConnell. "I'll be in Melbourne for the Junior Track Worlds and then I'm going off to Europe for the Track and Road Championships, but after that I don't know. I would like to go to Verona in Italy next year though" he said.

Bert of course has many memories of World Championships but he regards as one of the best, Jeremy Yates' win in the Junior Road race two years ago.

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