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Sydney Track World Cup - CDM
Sydney, Australia, May 14 - 16, 2004
Women's 3000m Individual Pursuit
Ulmer wins women's individual pursuit in near world record time
By Karen Forman in Sydney
She says she doesn't really know how she did it, but New Zealander Sarah Ulmer rode just three tenths of a second outside the world record of 3.30.816 to win the UCI Track World Cup women's individual pursuit in 3.31.157 in Sydney tonight.
"I really haven't been doing much different - maybe just staying at home in New Zealand to train rather than travelling so much and doing the little things right rather than trying to change the big things," the 29 year old from Cambridge told Cyclingnews.
"I am stoked, yeah, but it's not a world record, so I am just taking it in my stride."
Ulmer said she believed it would take a world record time to win the gold medal at the worlds in Melbourne in 10 days time. "It's nice to think other people think coming close to the world record is a big thing but for me, it's personal best, yeah."
Her ride against Swiss Karin Thürig was nothing short of brilliant. She lapped her opponent before the bell rang to signal the final lap and rolled home smoothly and seemingly easily.
Asked if her ride meant she might have peaked too early for the worlds, Ulmer said: "Certainly not. This is just the start of the campaign. It is where I want to be at the moment."
The ride means the Kiwi has qualified herself for the Athens Olympics . . . which she described as "wicked!" But returning to discuss the near world record breaking ride tonight, she reiterated: "I am not even thinking about it. I am taking it as it comes."
Ulmer has based herself at home for much of the year to train for Athens rather than head overseas as in the past and she believes that has been instrumental to her success in Sydney. "I think not travelling so much has been good," she said. "I will keep training in New Zealand till the weather turns to absolute custard and then head to Europe to do some road races with the New Zealand national team and one with TBS in America."
She said she wasn't like a lot of other riders today in that she had no big plans and took each year as it came. She did her first international race in Cairns in northern Australia (the Coral Coast Cycling Classic) in 1996 and hasn't really stopped since.
"I just basically ride and do a bit of work as well . . . like I did some sports work with kids and worked in a bookshop last summer as well. You could say that I am enjoying life. I am probably not as forward thinking as some of the other girls." She said she didn't know what she had done tonight to achieve the gold medal, but was "definitely happy with it, whatever it was."
Ulmer had qualified fastest during IP qualifying this morning.
Australian rider Alexis Rhodes added to her gold points race medal from Friday night by taking the IP bronze medal in 3.43.330 from Emma Davis of Great Britain in 3.43.819. "I am definitely happy," the Australian told Cyclingnews. "I went faster than ever - it was a personal best by one second, since the nationals (two weeks ago).
She said, however, the race was "pretty tough" and that she had been nervous "as always" before the start. "You always think before the start whether you will be able to do it or not," she said. "And it always hurts…but it's worth it. It takes half an hour before you start to feel better after the finish."
She said she believed she had done all she could in the race and was "stoked". "Sarah is so smooth and controlled," she said. "She is awesome." Rhodes will back up for the scratch race tomorrow but isn't aiming too high. "I would be happy just to finish and stay out of trouble," she said. "And not crash."
Women's 3km Individual Pursuit Qualification 1 Sarah Ulmer (New Zealand) 3.33.046 (50.693 km/h) 2 Karin Thürig (Switzerland) 3.37.632 (49.625 km/h) 3 Emma Davies (Great Britain) 3.40.449 (48.991 km/h) 4 Alexis Rhodes (Australia) 3.41.865 (48.678 km/h) 5 Marion Clignet (France) 3.44.808 (48.041 km/h) 6 Erin Mirabella (USA) 3.46.175 (47.751 km/h) 7 Adrie Visser (Netherlands) 3.46.609 (47.659 km/h) 8 Tatiana Shishkova (Moldavia) 3.48.297 (47.307 km/h) 9 Yoanka Gonzalez Perez (Cuba) 3.51.703 (46.611 km/h) 10 Sofiya Prychshepa (Ukraine) 3.53.240 (46.304 km/h) 11 Erin Carter (Canada) 3.55.031 (45.951 km/h) 12 Uyun Muzizah (Indonesia) 4.08.480 (43.464 km/h) Three-quarter 1 Alexis Rhodes (Australia) 3.43.330 (48.359 km/h) 2 Emma Davies (Great Britain) 3.43.819 (48.253 km/h) Final 1 Sarah Ulmer (New Zealand) 3.31.157 (51.147 km/h) 2 Karin Thürig (Switzerland) Ovr