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World Junior Track Championships - CM

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

Main Page    Results    Qualification

Men Team pursuit

Aussies win another Gold

By Kristy Scrymgeour

Aussie Rolling Thunder in LA.
Photo ©: Mitch Friedman

The Australian pursuit team harmonized their way to a gold medal tonight when they beat out the German team with a time of 4.10.439. With such a strong team in attendance, their only problem on the day was which combination of the five riders to pick for the final.

Starting fast, the Aussie's were in the lead from the gun and never looked back. With a kilometer to go, it was clear that they had it won as they could see the Germans ahead of them. In the final lap, there was almost a hiccup when the third German rider swung off after his turn thinking he still had three teammates behind him. When he realized there were only two left he came back down the track to finish the race just as the Australian team were coming up behind him. A crash was avoided, but "it was a bit dicey" for a minute according to Simon Clarke of the Australian team.

Throughout the qualifications and heats when Australia consistently posted times faster than the other teams, it was to the surprise of the crowd that they were doing this without the rider who clocked the second fastest time overall in the Individual time trial, Miles Orman. Instead, he was on the sidelines cheering them on. He did however get to ride in the gold medal winning team this evening.

The Australian men's pursuit team
Photo ©: Kristy Scrymgeour/Cyclingnews.com

"It was a very hard decision," said coach Gary Sutton when asked how he picked the final team. "I spent hours dwelling on it and I think I went through the splits fifty times."

Unfortunately for Mitch Docker, who was the rider left off the team, a rule change as of January one, states that only four riders receive a medal, regardless of whether a fifth rider participated along the way. "I don't agree with the rule," stated Sutton, "because this is supposed to be all about the kids participating and about encouraging them in the sport."

Although the day was emotional for Docker, he handled it very well. "That's the way it goes," he said. "It's character building."

The rider who did get in was Clarke who said the win today was "a dream come true" for him. "I was number five," he said. "I was the underdog and I didn't think I'd get in. When we found out in the team meeting this morning, I nearly cried. On one hand I was so happy to get in, but I felt almost as bad as Mitch did hearing that he got left out."

Of how the team felt before the race, Clarke said that they knew they were the fastest so far, "but the German's had improved six second from their qualifying to round one, so anything was possible."

The team pursuit podium
Photo ©: Kristy Scrymgeour/Cyclingnews.com

Their plan was to race to the schedule of their previous ride and then do what needed to be done in the second half of the race. "We didn't really know where the Germans were," said Orman. It wasn't until we saw them on the straight that we knew we had it."

Orman is definitely one rider who knows how it would have felt for Docker today, as the same thing happened to him in Moscow last year. "I actually didn't think I was going to ride in tonight's final," he said, "as I think the Gary was pretty happy with the way the team was riding in the heats. I don't think there would have been any difference in the end result."

When Cyclingnews caught up with the World Individual Pursuit Champion, Michael Ford after the race he was "stoked.". "Everything just went perfectly," he said.

The top three teams in the pursuit
Photo ©: Mitch Friedman

Ford added that he was confident going into the final despite the fact the Germans did a pretty quick time in the morning session. "I knew we had a good package and we'd done the training. I knew that we could put in that little bit extra if we really needed to."

Winning the ride off for the Bronze medal was the Russian team who beat out France with a time of 4.18.301. Starting very fast, they completed their second lap in 1.02.063 and continued to hold the lead to the finish.

Round One: Germans to face the Aussies in the final

By Kristy Scrymgeour

The German team made it through to the final when they lapped the Czech Republic team this morning and clocked a 4.14.889. They will face the Aussies who lapped the US team after only six laps and posted the fastest time of 4.13.059, in the final tonight.

Making it through to ride off for the Bronze medal were France and Russia, with France qualifying almost three second faster than Russia in round one.

Qualifying round: Aussies qualify fastest

By Kristy Scrymgeour

The Aussie team
Photo ©: Kristy Scrymgeour/Cyclingnews.com

The Australian team consisting of current Junior Pursuit Champion and world record holder Michael Ford along with Simon Clarke, Mitchell Docker and Matthew Goss qualified with the fastest time in the 4km team pursuit this morning with a time of 4.15.365. Their time was over five seconds faster than the defending nation Russia who broke the world record in Moscow last year.

This year the Russians have a totally new team, who today qualified in second place in front of Germany and France. Also making it through to the next round are the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Belgium and the USA.

The World record time to beat is 4'07"715.


Images by Mitch Friedman Photography

Images by Kristy Scrymgeour/Cyclingnews.com

Images by Mitch Friedman Photography



1 Australia                               4.15.365 (56.390 km/h)
2 Russia                                  4.20.731
3 Germany                                 4.21.710
4 France                                  4.21.751
5 Netherlands                             4.27.522
6 Czech Republic                          4.27.798
7 Belgium                                 4.29.495
8 Usa                                     4.32.136
9 Japan                                   4.34.579
10 Kazakhstan                             4.35.048

Round One

Through to final
1 Australia                               4.13.059
2 Germany                                 4.14.889
3 France                                  4.17.987
4 Russia                                  4.20.916
Placed 5-8
5 Netherlands                             4.26.686
6 Czech Republic                          Overtaken
7 Usa                                     Overtaken
8 Belgium                                 DNS

Final 3rd & 4th 1st & 2nd

3/4 Final
3 Russia                                  4:18.301 (55.749 km/h)
4 France                                  4:21.449 (55.078 km/h)
1/2 Final 
1 Australia                               4:10.439 (57.499 km/h)
2 Germany                                 4:20.001 (55.384 km/h)

Final Classification

1 Australia
2 Germany
3 Russia
4 France
5 Netherlands
6 Czech Republic
8 Belgium
9 Japan
10 Kazakhstan