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World Track Championships - CM
Melbourne, Australia, May 26-30, 2004
Keirin first round - May 28, 2004
The big boys come back, minus Jobie
By Mal Sawford
May 28, 2004: The big engines were back in action at Vodafone Arena during the morning/afternoon session, with four heats of seven riders contesting the first round of the Men’s Kierin. Most of the favorites went straight through to the second round, but 2002 World Champion Jobie Dajka had to wait for a second chance in the repecharge round.
Predicting a winner in the Kierin is never easy, or as Shane Kelly put it: “In this field, today, there’s anyone who could win – the French, the Germans, Australians, it could seriously be anyone”.
Huge South African Dean Edwards followed the derny in the opening heat, with Jamie Staff and Laurent Gane queued up behind. There was no jostling for position as the derny wound up, with all riders seemingly content with their positions. Staff laid off the wheel of Edwards just before the derny left the track, and Edwards was quick to capitalize, setting sail for home with two and a half laps to travel, opening a thirty-etre lead.
Staff and Gane dragged race to the line, catching the plucky Edwards metres from safety, with Staff ultimately victorious. Slovakian rider Jaroslav Jerabek picked up the derny in the second heat, while Dajka slotted in second last. Andy Lakatosh (USA) moved up around the outside looking for a better position, but with nowhere to go eased back to last wheel to follow the Australian.
French rider Mikhael Bourgain moved into the lead as soon as the derny swung off, but as the pace lifted in the final two lap dash Czech rider Ivan Vrba powered home to take the win ahead of Teun Mulder (Netherlands). Dajka was stuck wide and was unable to make an impact in the mad dash home.
Shane Kelly (Australia) was a clear winner of heat three, powering past two-times World Champion Jens Fieldler to win by two lengths. Kelly had time to ease off after checking his healthy lead in the final bend and was pleased with the hit out. “Good to open my lungs up. Got a bit of the cobwebs out from last night. I was happy with that.”
In the final heat, 2001 World Keirin Champion Ryan Bayley won the hard way. After pouncing on the derny at the start, the Australian was swamped when the derny left the track and found himself in last position. With the word of head coach Martain Barras ringing in his ears, Bayley charged down the back straight two laps out and rode the field off his wheel.
French legend Florian Rousseau clawed his way back onto Bayley’s wheel at the finish, but had to survive a late burst down the inside from Spain’s Jose Villanueva, who incurred the wrath of officials and was relegated to last position.
Bayley told Cyclingnews, “It’s always good to have a decent hit out to open the legs up. I wasn’t expecting to do two laps on the front though! The first round is usually the one I screw up, so it was a case of nail it and go from there. When the derny peeled off I went from the front to the back in half a lap, and I went ‘ I’m in bit of trouble here, and Marv (head coach Martin Barras) said before the race ‘don’t go from the back’ and I’m just sitting at the back going ‘alright, so he said it and I’ve done it, now I’ve got to change it’. So I went to the front and didn’t stop!”
Four repechage rounds were held only an hour after the heats, with the winners to progress. Jan Van Eijden (Germany) was too strong in the first heat, coming over the top of Andriy Vynokurov (Ukraine) at the start of bell lap to take a clear win.
Mikhael Bourgain (France) led out strongly in the second heat and was never seriously challenged. US rider Andy Lakatosh was well positioned on Bourgain’s wheel, but didn’t have the horsepower to attempt a pass in the final half lap. Spaniard José Escuredo found himself facing two riders from Japan and two from Poland in the third heat.
Yuji Yamada settled in behind the derny, and then promptly allowed Toshiaki Fushimi in front. When the derny peeled off, Fushimi accelerated, giving his team mate a perfect lead out. Escuredo had Yamada’s wheel, and the vocal crowd behind him, the underdog chased hard all the way to the line, snatching the win in the final inches, much to the crowd’s delight.
Escuredo remarked after the heat that, “I felt I had the others covered in terms of strength, physically I feel incredibly good, but tactically it was always going to be hard. Anything is possible from here, although I feel Gane is the most powerful Kierin rider.”
The final heat saw Dajka bundled out, with smiling Spaniard José Villanueva bolting a lap and a half from home, and holding off a late charge from Pavel Buran (Czech Republic). Dajka looked like making a move in the final half lap, but faded slightly to finish third. Villanueva was a finalist in 2003, and a Silver Medalist in 2002 and feels “I have the necessary form to win, but in the Keirin, anything can happen. Bayley and Kelly are riding very powerfully, and I expect them to be in the final”.
First round Heat 1 1 Jamie Staff (Great Britain) 2 Laurent Gane (France) 3 Dean Edwards (South Africa) 4 Pavel Buran (Czech Republic) 5 Yuji Yamada (Japan) 6 Lazaros Skoumpas (Greece) 7 Andriy Vynokurov (Ukraine) Heat 2 1 Ivan Vrba (Czech Republic) 2 Teun Mulder (Netherlands) 3 Mickaël Bourgain (France) 4 Lukasz Kwiatkowski (Poland) 5 Andy Lakatosh (USA) 6 Jaroslav Jerabek (Slovakia) 7 Jobie Dajka (Australia) Heat 3 1 Shane Kelly (Australia) 2 Jens Fiedler (Germany) 3 Damian Zielinski (Poland) 4 Anthony Peden (New Zealand) 5 Keiichiro Yaguchi (Japan) 6 Tim Veldt (Netherlands) 7 José Antonio Escuredo Raimondez (Spain) Heat 4 1 Ryan Bayley (Australia) 2 Florian Rousseau (France) 3 José Antonio Villanueva Trinidad (Spain) 4 Jan Van Eijden (Germany) 5 Giddeon Massie (USA) 6 Toshiaki Fushimi (Japan) 7 Hee Chun Yang (Korea)
Heat 1 49 Pavel Buran (Czech Republic) 75 Laurent Gane (France) 97 Jamie Staff (Great Britain) 121 Lazaros Skoumpas (Greece) 140 Yuji Yamada (Japan) 182 Dean Edwards (South Africa) 218 Andriy Vynokurov (Ukraine) Heat 2 9 Jobie Dajka (Australia) 55 Ivan Vrba (Czech Republic) 74 Mickaël Bourgain (France) 155 Teun Mulder (Netherlands) 178 Lukasz Kwiatkowski (Poland) 206 Jaroslav Jerabek (Slovakia) 225 Andy Lakatosh (USA) Heat 3 14 Shane Kelly (Australia) 66 José Antonio Escuredo Raimondez (Spain) 103 Jens Fiedler (Germany) 139 Keiichiro Yaguchi (Japan) 161 Tim Veldt (Netherlands) 171 Anthony Peden (New Zealand) 179 Damian Zielinski (Poland) Heat 4 8 Ryan Bayley (Australia) 72 José Antonio Villanueva Trinidad (Spain) 82 Florian Rousseau (France) 112 Jan Van Eijden (Germany) 130 Toshiaki Fushimi (Japan) 144 Hee Chun Yang (Korea) 226 Giddeon Massie (USA)