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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

Melbourne abuzz with World Championship spirit

Photo ©: Mark Gunter
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The cosmopolitan Australian city of Melbourne was abuzz with excitement today as the 2004 World Track Championships opened at Vodafone Arena.

While the world's best cyclists and a large international media contingent gathered inside, spectators filled the arena for the (unscheduled) first and second sessions of the event, which continues with two sessions a day until the grand finale on Sunday, aware they were witnessing the same line-up of talent as will grace their TV screens in August when the Athens Olympics kicks off.

The Melbourne World's are an extremely important lead up to the Games - presenting countries with their final chance to gain crucial berths for their athletes. All the countries have sent their greatest riders. And, while most are still in the build-up to peak fitness, they are all supremely fit athletes in their prime.

Today two finals were decided - the men's team sprint and the men's points races. Both went to the French, giving it a head start as the leading nation so far.

The action hots up tomorrow with keirin, individual pursuit and kilo time trials.

For bike racing fans unable to get to Athens, the Melbourne World Championships are possibly a once in a lifetime opportunity to witness the best in the world at their prime.

More Day 1 News from 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.
  • 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.