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World Track Championships - CM
Melbourne, Australia, May 26-30, 2004
Men's Team Sprint final - May 26
French domination continues
By Mal Sawford
Seventeen teams contested the three lap dash, with the contenders expected to come from the strong Australian, German, French and Great British teams. The pressure was on all teams to do well, as a top ten finish would earn Olympic starts in three events: the Sprint, Keirin and Teams Sprint.
The Australian combination of Sean 'Big Man' Eadie, Jobie Dajka and Shane Kelly were the early pace setters after a false start, moving into the lead in the qualifying round with a time of 45.136.
The British squad were the first to crack the 45 second barrier, with Craig McLean, Jason Queally and Jamie Staff producing a 44.482, before the French team of Mickael Bourgain, Laurent Gane and Arnaud Tournant topped the qualifying round with a 44.422.
Spain were the surprise packet, also producing a sub 45 second time to qualify ahead of Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, Japan and Poland, and setting up a Round 1 match up against the home team. Although not moving on to the next round, the Slovakian and Greek teams ranked ninth and tenth, giving them the precious Olympic qualifications.
Ryan Bailey replaced Kelly as the final rider in the Australian line up and after the bearded Eadie nudged the magic 18 second mark for the starting lap, the locals broke the 45 second mark, but were still out-gunned by the flying Spaniards. Josť Antonio Escuredo, Salvador Melia and Josť Antonio Villanueva produced a sensational 44.548 to qualify for the Gold Medal ride off. The other Round 1 match ups went as expected, with France fastest, from Spain, a slightly sluggish Great Britain and Germany.
Great Britain substituted Chris Hoy for Queally in the ride off for the Bronze medal against Germany. After a loose handle bar contributed to a false start, the British team recovered to take the Bronze, but was once again unable to match their initial qualifying time.
France has dominated the event since its inception in 1995, and with the fastest ride of the night at 44.394, claimed its sixth World Title in dominant fashion, while the second placed Spanish team, despite fading slightly and recording the slowest ride in the Finals, was delighted with their Silver Medals.
Images by Mark Gunter
Finals Bronze medal final Lap 1 (position) Lap 2 Final (Av. speed) 1 Great Britain 17.887 (1) 31.140 (2) 44.620 (60.510km/h) Craig Mclean Chris Hoy Jamie Staff 2 Germany 18.029 (2) 31.122 (1) 44.765 (60.314km/h) Carsten Bergemann Jens Fiedler Matthias John Gold medal final 1 France 17.691 (1) 30.810 (1) 44.394 (60.819km/h) MickaŽl Bourgain Laurent Gane Arnaud Tournant 2 Spain 18.030 (2) 31.193 (2) 44.824 (60.235km/h) Josť Antonio Escuredo Raimondez Salvador Melia Josť Antonio Villanueva Trinidad
Heat 1 Russia Denis Dmitriev Vladimir Kiriltsev Stoyan Vasev Heat 2 United States Adam Duvendeck Giddeon Massie Christian Stahl Czech Republic Pavel Buran Arnost Drcmanek Alois Kankovsky Heat 3 Slovakia Peter Bazalik Jaroslav Jerabek Jan Lepka New Zealand Daniel Beatson Anthony Peden Jonathan Hamlin Heat 4 Poland Rafai Furman Grzegorz Krejner Damian Zielinski Cuba Reinier Cartaya Jorge Julio Cesar Herrera Cabrera Ahmed Lopez Naranjo Heat 5 Australia Shane Kelly Jobie Dajka Sean Eadie Greece Georgios Chimonetos Dimitris Georgalis Athanasios Mantzoyranis Heat 6 Great Britain Craig Mclean Jason Queally Jamie Staff Japan Tomohiro Nagatsuka Toshiaki Fushimi Kiyofumi Nagai Heat 7 France MickaŽl Bourgain Laurent Gane Arnaud Tournant Spain Josť Antonio Escuredo Raimondez Salvador Melia Josť Antonio Villanueva Trinidad Heat 8 Germany Carsten Bergemann Jens Fiedler Matthias John Netherlands Jan Bos Theo Bos Teun Mulder