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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti


World Track Championships - CM

Melbourne, Australia, May 26-30, 2004

Event program and results

Day 3 wrap-up:

It's a Commonwealth affair

By Gerard Knapp

Josť Antonio Escuredo Raimondez (Spain)
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
Click for larger image

May 28, 2004: Queen Elizabeth II would be proud - her subjects are kicking global backsides in the 2004 World Track Cycling Championships as day 3 turned into something of a showdown among Commonwealth nations with Great Britain and especially New Zealand having a great day on the boards at the Vodafone Arena, held in yet another Commonwealth country, Australia.

The morning/afternoon session turned into a five and half hour epic and finished at 3.30 in the afternoon - it was a packed agenda and to follow the action, see our trackside description of the session, then detailed post-race reports of qualifying from the men's teams pursuit, qualifying and the first rounds of the women's sprint, the first round of the women's individual pursuit and finally the action got underway in the men's keirin.

Natallia Tsylinskaya (Bielorussia)
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
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In the evening (see the trackside report) the star of the championships shone brightly when the final of the women's 3km individual pursuit was held - a ride-off for gold that inspired another exceptional effort in the men's scratch race.

The keirin was - well - the keirin. A protest was dismissed after the men's keirin second round (see report) as complete mayhem and unpredictability ruled, but somehow a deserving winner usually emerges, and this time, the Brits got into the act in the final and more gold went to one of Betty's subjects.

Team Australia
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
Click for larger image

In the mammoth morning/afternoon session, the local heroes - Australia's world-record holding teams pursuit squad - lived up to local expectations and smoked the field in qualifying, putting out what one team member described as only 90% of max.

At the other end of the day's racing, it was an inspired final ride by the young British sprinter Victoria Pendleton that almost raised a smile on Australian-born manager Shane Sutton's face, but a thumbs-up would have to do.

Victoria will return tomorrow, as will the other three remaining sprinters in contention for gold, with Anna Meares (Aust) looking very strong. Other races to be decided tomorrow in front of a sell-out crowd tomorrow include the men's teams pursuit and the women's points race in addition to the women's sprint.

Anna Meares & coach Martin Barras
Photo ©: Shane Goss
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And although she was bundled out of the sprint quarter-finals, the USA's Jennie Reed did more than enough to help secure her country a second Olympics berth for a female sprinter - after she'd crashed in a earlier qualifying round. A tough day at track ended when she faced Meares in the quarter finals, but she certainly didn't walk away empty-handed.

Also see:
Day 3 morning/afternoon session trackside report
Day 3 evening session trackside report