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Keirin
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2002 WTC

 

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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift


World Track Championships - CM

Stuttgart, Germany, July 30 - August 3, 2003

Event program and results

Day 3 Wrap: Leontien tops; Stocher stoked; Grankovskaya gains

By Valkerie Mangnall in Stuttgart, Germany

Women's 3000m individual pursuit

Leontien Van Moorsel
Photo: © Hennes Roth
Click for larger image

The queen of women's track endurance riding Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel held onto her individual pursuit crown today, despite getting a big fright from a raw newcomer to the discipline. Former Australian road champion Katie Mactier, who has only been riding on the track since April, showed her enormous potential for Athens 2004 when she clocked an impressive three minutes 31.500 seconds in this morning's first round. Her time was just outside Olympic champion Zijlaard-Van Moorsel's world record of 3:30.16 and faster than the Dutchwoman's first round time of 3:31.736 as the pair set up a duel for the gold medal.

In the final, Mactier took off like a shot to lead the reigning world record holder and Olympic champion by more than two seconds after the first 1000m and more than one second at the 2000m mark.

Mactier admitted she had gone out too hard when the Dutchwoman fought back over the final kilometre to win in 3:32.657, compared to Mactier's 3:33.784.

And the Australian expressed mixed feelings about the result. "You go out to win but at the same time, I'm very realistic, and coming to the world championships was a thrill in itself and certainly anything that I came back with was going to be a bonus," Mactier said.

"But if you get close to the goal, that's when it becomes ingrained in your head. However, there's always next year and 2004 is really in the heads of my coaches and in my mind and that's what I'm going to be preparing and training hard for."

Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsen makes her final effort
Photo ©: Hennes Roth

While Zijlaard-Van Moorsel claimed her fourth world title for the event, she was aware she would need to improve to stay in front of Mactier. "I was really nervous in the morning because I knew that she was quicker and I knew I would have to fight really hard to the end," Zijlaard-Van Moorsel said.

"I knew my last kilometre was better and I was never watching the other side. I rode my race, watched my coach and my time and then with a lap to the end saw we were on the same time and I thought, 'now I need to sprint.'"

"I think she's a really good rider to train for three months and do those times, she is a big challenger for next year. I know I have to do 3:29 to beat her when she's in the same shape. I have to train really hard but that's good motivation."

Mactier's performance was made all the more remarkable by the fact she almost fell into the event. The 28-year-old from Melbourne was waiting for a visa to allow her to ride for professional team Saturn in the United States.

A delay meant she was going to still be in Australia during the national titles and so she entered the individual pursuit and won, earning an automatic start at the worlds as the Oceania champion.

Russia's Olga Slyusareva was third.

Men's points race

Franz Stocher (Austria) & Juan Llaneras (Spain) Photo ©: Hennes Roth

Defending champion Chris Newton of Great Britain started brilliantly but was unable to finish in the medals in the men's 40km points race. Newton won three of the first five intermediate sprints as he and Switzerland's dual scratch race world champion, Franco Marvulli, lapped the field, with the Briton leading 38 points to Marvulli's 31.

But it went wrong for the pair when eventual gold medallist Franz Stocher of Austria and Spanish silver medallist Joan Llaneras Rosello gained two laps. Newton hit the front again when he and Marvulli pulled a lap back but Stocher and Llaneras hit out to take another 20 points.

Meanwhile, Dutch rider Jos Pronk made up two laps of his own to move five points clear of Newton. He then sat on Newton's wheel for the closing stages of the 140-lap race so when Newton won the final sprint, Pronk placed second to take the bronze medal by just two points, 70 to 68.

Stocher collected 77 points to hold off Llaneras Rosello (74). "To now finally win gold after bronze in 2000 and 2001 plus silver in 2002 is simply wonderful," the Austrian said. "Especially as I've had a bad season. After the Stuttgart six-days, I caught a virus and haven't really been in form afterwards. To be honest, I was a bit afraid to fail in front of the crowd here."

Newton said the near-black boards of the track combined with signage painted on a white strip around the top half, made it difficult to keep track of his opponents. "It's hard to see across this track," he said. "It's a really dark track and the white, and everything just gets blurred. Once a rider's away you can't really see them but that's down to me, I should pay more attention."

Women's keirin

The final
Photo ©: Hennes Roth

Svetlana Grankovskaya won the women's keirin ahead of Australia's Anna Meares and fellow Russian Oxana Grishina. Meares had to fight through the repechages to earn her place in the final and was thrilled with her silver medal.

"I'm lost for words I'm so happy," she said. "I've been riding really well and my goal was to make the final so it's all worked out for me."

Men's sprint quarter finals

Frenchman Arnaud Tournant meets Australia's Jobie Dajka in a repeat of their 2002 men's sprint semifinal tomorrow. Tournant beat Jens Fiedler in three rounds after the German was relegated in race two for not holding his line during the last 200m. Dajka beat Spain's Jose Antonio Villanueva Trinidad in two races.

Tournant and Van Eijden
Photo: © Hennes Roth
Click for larger image

Tournant's teammate, Laurent Gane, beat Ross Edgar of Great Britain in straight races to set up a meeting with German Rene Wolff, who also beat his opponent, Takashi Kaneko of Japan, in two.