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Kilo gold for Hoy and PB for Kersten; USA takes gold in Women's 500m
By Karen Forman
SCOTTISH rider Chris Hoy surprised himself in his first race of the year to set a time just .100 off his personal best and take the gold medal in the kilo at the second round of the 2002 UCI Track World Cup in Sydney today.
Meanwhile, Australian Ben Kersten - back after a year's sabbatical and a frustrating battle with a niggling leg injury - set a new PB for himself to score the silver medal and a definite spot in the team for the Commonwealth Games.
All in all, the men's kilometre time trial final provided some very fast cycling action for the near capacity crowd of spectators who ventured out on a Sunday afternoon to watch some of the best riders in the world performing on Sydney's 2000 Olympic velodrome.
Hoy, 26, who lives in Edinburgh and trains mostly with the British cycling team in Manchester, said he had not expected to do so well.
"It was my first race of the year . . . and I have not raced since the Anthwerp world championships in Belgium seven months ago," he said, "so I am really happy."
He said his time of 1.02.516 was just .100 outside his personal best of 1.02.499, set in Colombia (at altitude) last year.
Now he's hoping it will mean a ride four him for Scotland at the Commonwealth Games.
"There is a lot happening this year with the Commonwealth Games and World Championships, whereas last year was the first after the Olympics . . . there is a lot of enthusiasm this year." He said he started to feel good when he arrived in Sydney and the feeling had endured through the kilo.
Kersten, meanwhile was rapt with his silver medal and his 1.03.351 , which relieved a great deal of anxiety about his comeback and his future. The former junior world champion, who had a year off after the Sydney Olympics, hasn't had it easy since getting back on the bike.
"2000 was a disappointing year for me," he said. "I missed selection for the team after all the preparation . . . in the two years leading up to it I was no happy with the way things were, with (former head coach Charlie) Walsh and (Gary) West and the only reason I stayed with the AIS was to make the Olympics.
"So, as soon as they were over, I got out. I never intended to stay away permanently, though."
With both Walsh and West moving on last year, Kersten, who has set himself very high goals for the future, felt it was time for a comeback. But it hasn't been easy on either the mind or the body.
"I was definitely anxious about making the Commonwealth Games team and I had a disappointing performance at the Australian nationals three weeks ago, so although I was on the squad (from which the racing team would be selected) I wasn't on the team," he said.
"Also, I have a spur in my quad and I hurt my knee in the gym, which aggravated it and I had trouble with it for three months.
"It is feeling better now, although it still niggles me. Before the nationals I was totally off the bike and only had a few weeks of raining, but since then I have had some proper training, which took a second off my time...just by being on the bike." He said he had felt under a great deal of pressure to justify his presence on the squad.
"I felt like the odd one out in the team, because I was unsure if I could make it back," he said. "But now I have proven to myself that I can. The pressure is off and everyone is happy."
Kersten said he felt very comfortable during his kilo ride today, unlike his nationals effort. "I knew there was something special happening because I felt so comfortable," he said. "Now I have a sure spot on the Commonwealth Games and worlds teams and nobody can take it away from me."
From here Kersten will compete in the third round of the World Cup and then to Europe for some more racing in the Games lead-up. He has some hard work ahead. "I want a world championship. An Olympic gold and a world record," he said, "and I am not stopping until I have got them."
by Karen Forman
AMERICAN Tanya Lindenmuth stormed home to collect the gold medal in the women's 500 metre time trial on the second night of the second round of the 2002 UCI Track World Cup in Sydney tonight.
Lindenmuth covered the distance in 35.838. The silver medal went to Julie Paulding of Great Britain with 35.996 and the bronze to Nancy Llarely-Conteras of Mexico in 36.160. Australia's Kerrie Meares, was fourth with 36.370. Interestingly, Meares' younger sister Anna, who rode in the event but was not in the competition for medals, due to Australia's solo spot being taken up by Kerrie, rode a time that would have given her the silver.
Anna covered the 500 metres in 35.849, a time which should put her into serious contention for selection for the Australian team for the Commonwealth Games to be held in Manchester later this year.
Photography by Tom Balks
1km Time Trial - Sunday, May 12th, afternoon session
1 Chris Hoy (GBr) 18.414 32.289 46.874 1.02.516 2 Ben Kersten (Aus) 18.730 32.720 47.448 1.03.351 3 Garren Bloch (Rsa) 18.900 33.004 47.945 1.04.035 4 Arnaud Duble (Fra) 18.957 33.471 48.466 1.04.522 5 Grzegorz Trebski (Pol) 19.087 33.421 48.689 1.05.327 6 Wilson Meneses (Col) 19.000 33.100 48.486 1.05.679 7 Matthew Sinton (NZl) 19.421 33.938 49.433 1.06.449 8 Athanasios Mantzouranis (Gre) 19.439 34.055 49.591 1.06.544 9 Sebastian Baanders (Ned) 20.032 34.721 50.395 1.07.602 10 Mario alberto Sanchez (Mex) 20.544 36.012 52.152 1.09.103 Nikoloas Aggelidis (Gre) 19.442 33.865 49.291 1.05.937 Justin Grace (NZl) 20.252 35.154 50.600 1.06.620 Lennart Van Drimmelen (Ned) 21.025 36.263 52.146 1.08.783
500m Time Trial - Saturday, May 11th, evening session
1 Tanya Lindenmuth (USA) 35.838 2 Julie Paulding (GBr) 35.996 3 Nancy Liarely Contreras (Mex) 36.160 4 Kerrie Meares (Aus) 36.370 5 Lori-Ann Muenzer (Can) 36.600 6 Fiona Carswell (NZl) 36.966 7 Szilva Szabolcsi (Hun) 37.300 8 Marielle Van Scheppingen (Ned) 40.602 Anna Meares (Aus) 35.849 Rosealee Hubbard (Aus) 36.985