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World Track Championships - CM

Melbourne, Australia, May 26-30, 2004

Event program and results

Tales from the track

News and gossip from day 1 of the Melbourne World Track Championships

By Karen Forman in Melbourne

World Cup gold medalists have to be content with bronze at World's

Craig McLean was cautiously optimistic after his British team qualified second fastest in the first round of the men's team sprint, just 0.6 seconds behind the French leaders, at Melbourne's Vodafone Arena velodrome today.

Having won the Sydney World Cup a fortnight ago in a smashing time, he thought the team had what it took to take the gold medal today. What he didn't anticipate was a false start in the first round and a mechanical problem, which led to a stressful false start in the final, resulting in a bronze rather than a coveted gold medal.

McLean told Cyclingnews after he, Jason Queally and Jamie Staff recorded 44.482 to the French (Mickael Bourgain, Laurent Gane and Arnauld Tournant) team's 44.22 in qualifying that he had been very happy with the ride.

"Normally qualifying is a bit slower, but normally you qualify in the morning, so we had all day to wake up," he said. "I think Sydney was a good indicator, doing 44.3 in the final. You always expect then to go out a bit faster the next time."

McLean said Queally had struggled a bit, just missing the start. "But the main point of being here is to qualify for the Olympics," he said. "A win isn't our major goal tonight. It's just practice. We're qualified for the teams sprint now and a top 10 also gets us into the sprint, the kilo and the keirin. Now we can sit back and enjoy it."

He said he wanted to finish top four in the kilo on Thursday, with the goal of attaining a second kilo spot for Athens for Great Britain.

Still, having said qualification was the main goal, he admitted to being disappointed with first round ride, which they completed in 44.705 and then bronze medal ride-off against Germany (44.765).

"It was all right," he said. "I guess my expectations were higher. It's not like us to go slower the next ride. Probably the mechanical problem - Jamie's bars came loose and they wouldn't stop the clock but classified it as a false start which mean we would be disqualified if there was another false start - was a contributor. It added to the pressure really.

"And then sitting around in the gate for so long didn't help."

McLean said he hadn't felt particularly bad, but not particularly good either, during the final. "It's hard to judge how you are going, you are always doing your best. It's a bit sad when you think the Sydney World Cup winning time was quicker than the winning time here today.

"But the job is done, we have qualified for the sprint. That's the main thing."

More Day 1 News from the Melbourne World Track Championships

By Karen Forman in Melbourne

  • Melbourne abuzz with World Championship spirit - The cosmopolitan Australian city of Melbourne was abuzz with excitement today as the 2004 World Track Championships opened at Vodafone Arena.
  • Australia qualifies for Olympic team sprint - but knocked out of the medals - Host country Australia has achieved its goal to qualify for the Olympics in the team sprint, but failed to made it through the second round and into the medals tonight.
  • "It's a crazy feeling" says new World Points Champ - New World Points Race Champion Franck Perque didn't have a minute to absorb the news that he was indeed champion of the world before he was surrounded by French speaking journalists tonight, wanting to know just how he felt about the whole thing.
  • Unlucky day for Renshaw - Australian first-year FdJeux.com roadie Mark Renshaw had had high hopes for the points race at the World Track Championships in Melbourne tonight, but bad luck intervened.
  • Cesario beats viral infection to get on track for Athens - There was a time that doctors feared Chilean team pursuit specialist Enzo Cesario wouldn't ride his bike again - let alone achieve his goal to ride at an Olympic Games.