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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini


World Junior Track Championships - CM

Los Angeles, USA, July 28-August 1, 2004

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Men Points race 24 km

Barth makes the perfect move

By Kristy Scrymgeour

Action from the men's points race
Photo ©: Mitch Friedman

Marcel Barth of Germany rode a very smart race today to take his first ever rainbow jersey in a race that had the whole crowd on the edge of their seat from lap one. After the race Barth was lost for words. "I don't believe it yet," he said. "Maybe tomorrow when I wake up I will believe it but not yet."

Barth beat out defending champion Miles Olman (Australia) who rode an impressive race to take the silver. Olman was disappointed to get so close after such an exciting race, but still very happy with the silver medal. "I don't think there's a lot of riders who can come back and win it two years in a row," he said."Especially in the points race which can be a bit of a lottery."

The race got exciting at 70 laps to go when a breakaway of three riders eventuated consisting of Belgian Tim Mertens, Rafaa Chtioui (Tunisia) and Matthew Haydock (New Zealand). After only ten laps the trio had lapped the field and Mertens became the new race leader.

Joo Hyunwook (Korea) was unhappy with this situation as he was leading on points before the break lapped the field. He attacked and Haydock went in pursuit with Charly Vives (Canada). In pursuit of them went Kota Nishimura (Japan) and Sergy Kolesnikov (Russia). The two pairs of chasers became one and group and worked well but Orman was chasing hard and a hard pull by the Czech rider Jiri Hochmann brought the five leading riders back. Immediately the move was countered by Alexandru Pliuschin (Moldavia) and Hochmann, as the race hit the 45 laps to go point.

When they were caught, Kyle Swain (South Africa), Jeremy Besson (France) attacked and got away. They were later joined by Marcel Barth and eventually by Orman, who sat in no man's land for at least five laps, but fought to eventually make it to the group. These four worked hard together and lapped the field with 36 laps remaining in the race. As they were lapping the field the Tunisian, Chtioui from the first break made a move that kept the bunch strung out. He got a slight lead with Hyunwook but later was dropped and both were eventually caught. Mertens attacked again but was immediately caught and the attacks continued.

Barth got himself slightly off the front in a sprint lap and took vital points making him the man to beat.

Points race medallists show off their medals
Photo ©: Kristy Scrymgeour/Cyclingnews.com

With 17 laps to go a potentially dangerous break went which contained a few of the riders who had lapped the field including Orman and Haydock but it was all brought back together and with only ten laps remaining it was bound to come down to a sprint. With Barth already seven points ahead of both Olman and Besson and only the final sprint remaining worth five points, the final sprint came down to a battle for second between the pair. Olman made his move early to get to the front and the Frenchman moved up with him but it was Olman who was able to take the sprint and confirm his silver medal, with Besson taking home the Bronze.

Barth, who started racing in 1999 on the road, was thrilled after the race and explained his race plan. "I really just made my own race," he said "and I listened to my coaches instructions. I wasn't watching out for anybody else because usually everybody wants the same wheel and it doesn't work."

Barth's move to take a sprint shortly after lapping the field was the decisive move of the race. "The plan was to take as many points as I could take at every possible moment," he said.

Orman explained that he knew that move was a good one. "He slipped in that other break after we had lapped the field and that was it. It's hard that it only came down to two points in the end, but it was a good race and the Germans worked well together."

Of the torturous move to make it to the break midway through the race Orman said, "The break went and I knew I had to go. I ended up half way between the break and the bunch and I was alone but I had nothing to lose and I really wanted it, you know.

"At the end I knew I was equal with the French guy and I knew he had followed me from the back of the bunch in the last few laps, but again I had to go for it."

Besson, who has been racing for eleven years, was happy with third place. "I tried to cover the Australian but another rider moved up on me and I lost the wheel."

Nimishura and Pliuschin look strong for the points race

Morning heats

By Kristy Scrymgeour

The men's points race this morning saw Kota Nimishura (Japan) take out the first heat when earned 10 points during the race and placed second in the final sprint to take the win from Australian Miles Orman. Orman also finished with 10 points, but placed third in the final sprint.

In heat two Alexandru Pliuschin (Maldavia) took the win with 26 points over Sergey Kolesnikov (Russia) and Alain Lauener (Switzerland). 10 riders from each heat will advance to the Points race final which takes place tonight.

Photography

Images by Mitch Friedman Photography

Results

Final

1 Marcel Barth (Germany)           38 pts
2 Miles Olman (Australia)          36
3 Jrmy Besson (France)           32
4 Rafa Chtioui (Tunisia)          27
5 Tim Mertens (Belgium)            26
6 Joo Hyun Wook (Korea)            25
7 Kyle Swain (South Africa)        23
8 Matthew Haydock (New Zealand)    23
9 Alain Lauener (Switzerland)      11
10 Sergey Kolesnikov (Russia)       5
11 Charly Vives (Canada)            2
12 Kota Nishimura (Japan)           1
13 Kim M. Nielsen (Denmark)         1
14 Chris Ruhl (Usa)                  
15 Juan Bravo (Chile)                
16 Alexandru Pliuschin (Moldavia)    
17 Geraint Thomas (Great Britain)    
18 Jiri Hochmann (Czech Republic)    
19 Lars Jun (Netherlands)         -20
20 Yevgeniy Maximov (Kazakhstan)  -40