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Day 1 - 1st session
Detailed program
Ind. Pursuit
500 m.
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2001 results


First Endurance
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World Junior Track Cycling Championships - CDM

Australia, August 21-25 2002

Event program and results    Men's IP    Women's IP

Individual Pursuit

Women - Alexis takes gold for the Alice

By Karen Forman in Melbourne

THEY breed 'em tough in Outback Australia . . . and Australia's newest world champion female bike rider, Alexis Rhodes, is no exception.

The 17-year-old collected the 2002 World Junior Women's 2000m individual pursuit gold medal at Melbourne's Vodafone Arena tonight, riding her biggest-ever gear and, with German Julia Kurtzke on the other side of the track, facing her toughest-ever competition.

Alice Springs-born, Rhodes comes from a cycling fraternity of less than 30 riders, drawn from a town more famous for its tourism activities and the Bryan Brown-Rachel Ward mini-series, A Town Like Alice (based on the novel by Nevil Shute), than its sports people.

It does have a velodrome - a 333 metre concrete affair - and a heck of a lot of enthusiasm within the cycling club ranks. But it's not the kind of setting than normally leads to a world championship.

Rhodes' gold medal comes as a result of a combination of natural ability, a school introduction-to-cycling program, a coach/former bike rider called John Piper who recognised her talent, and two years' training and racing at the Australian Institute of Sport in Adelaide.

Not to mention a lot of hard work with new coach John Murray and the Australian team coaches Gary Sutton and John Beasley. "She's tough," Sutton commented after Rhodes came off the track after recording her win in 2.32.340 over the German's 2.32.456.

"We changed a few things for the final. A bigger gear . . . normally she rides 90.6 but we put a 51-15 which is the biggest she has ever ridden. We figured we had nothing to lose. She has improved. She did 2.36 at the Australian nationals (in March) and 2.34 in Sydney the Saturday before we came. And she was taking no shortcuts. "

The Australian was very strong out of the saddle and rode low on her handlebars, never hinting at the inevitable fatigue that comes after a fast start.

Both girls appeared evenly matched in the first minute, then the Australian took the lead at 1.34. With two laps to go, the audience was roaring and wondering if Rhodes could possibly maintain her sizzling pace.

She still held a slender lead at the bell, but the German was visibly picking up the pace with the line in sight. Rhodes, however, had enough left in her legs and held on for the win.

"I feel good," she said, back in the in-field. "I had nothing to lose and everything to gain, so I just went for it. The gear was bigger than I normally ride but it felt OK. I didn't really notice it, to be honest.

"The game plan was just go out and see how much lead I could get and then keep it . . like Jamo (gold medallist Mark Jamieson) did in the men's pursuit. The crowd lifted me, it was so great to have my folks, coach, brothers, all sitting there in the stands."

Competing in her first world championships, Rhodes said she had had no idea what to expect, but was glad her first international experience was on home turf. "The atmosphere was really positive," she said.

She said she had had an injury and illness-free preparation and was now looking forward to heading to Belgium to contest the junior world road championships. So does that make her a trackie or a roadie? She was without doubt. "Both," she said. After than, she will start university next year to study podiatry.

Bronze medallist in tonight's pursuit was Netherlands rider Miranda Vierling who beat out Luise Keller of Germany with 2.32.490. Evenly matched at first, it was difficult to split the two riders. However, the German took the upper hand with three laps to go. Vierling pushed back hard to even the stakes and then snatch and retain the lead for the win in 2.33.028.



1 Julia Kurtzke (Germany)             2.29.975 (48.008 km/h)
2 Alexis Rhodes (Australia)           2.31.400
3 Fu Shimei (China)                   2.32.272 
4 Luise Keller (Germany)              2.32.702 
5 Belinda Goss (Australia)            2.33.649 
6 Miranda Vierling (Netherlands)      2.33.734 
7 Monica Huerta (Mexico)              2.34.811 
8 Mei-Yu Hsiao (Taiwan)               2.40.288 

Quarter Finals

Quarter final 1
                                        1 km       2 km
1 Luise Keller (Germany)              1.17.764   2.34.949 (46.467 km/h)
2 Belinda Goss (Australia)            1.17.127   2.35.268

Quarter final 2

1 Miranda Vierling (Netherlands)      1.17.752   2.32.490 (47.216 km/h)
2 Fu Shimei (China)                   1.18.379   2.33.770

Quarter final 3

1 Alexis Rhodes (Australia)           1.16.030   2.31.800 (47.431 km/h)
2 Monica Huerta (Mexico)              1.18.225   2.35.323

Quarter final 4

1 Julia Kurtzke (Germany)             1.16.132   2.29.342 (48.211 km/h)
2 Mei-Yu Hsiao (Taiwan)               1.23.804   2.51.873

Final results

1 Alexis Rhodes (Australia)           1.17.474   2.32.340 (47.294 km/h)
2 Julia Kurtzke (Germany)             1.17.076   2.32.456 (47.227 km/h)
3 Miranda Vierling (Netherlands)      1.17.474   2.33.028 (47.050 km/h)
4 Luise Keller (Germany)              1.17.076   2.35.091 (46.424 km/h)         






Wednesday 21 / 8

Men's Individual Pursuit



12.40 - 13.50


Men's Individual Pursuit

1st Round


19.30 - 20.00


Men's Individual Pursuit

Finals 3-4 & 1-2


21.15 - 21.30


Men's Individual Pursuit

Award Ceremony


21.50 - 22.00

Thursday 22 / 8

Women's Individual Pursuit



12.00 - 12.45


Women's Individual Pursuit

1st Round


19.50 - 20.15

Friday 23 / 8

Women's Individual Pursuit

Final 3-4 & 1-2


21.15 - 21.30


Women's Individual Pursuit

Award Ceremony


21.45 - 21.55