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Sydney Track World Cup - CDM
Sydney, Australia, May 14 - 16, 2004
Men's 40 km Madison
Argentineans too good in Madison
By Karen Forman in Sydney
The Madison at the Sydney round of the 2004 UCI Track World Cup didn't disappoint too many people at Dunc Gray velodrome today.
With the riders traveling at an average speed of 54kmh and completing the 40km in around 43 minutes, the crowd was happy. The Australian home team comprising Mark Renshaw and Chris Sutton - who finished seventh - was happy too, particularly considering Renshaw, in his first year as a pro with FdJeux.com in France, only flew in from Europe on Friday.
But happiest of all were the Argentineans - Juan Esteban Curuchet and Walter Perez, who won the event from the Spaniards Miguel Alzamora Riera and Joan Llaneras Rosello, with whom they had taken a lap with 44 to go.
The Swiss - Franco Marvulli and Bruno Risi - were pretty happy with their bronze medal, too, given they won it on count back from France (Jerome Neuville and Franck Perque), both finishing on 14 points (having not taken a lap like the gold and silver medallists).
The Madison was, from start to finish, a brilliant display of teamsmanship, bike handling skill, tactical nous and fitness. It was a perfect indication of what lies ahead in elite international cycling at the upcoming world championships and Olympics.
How it panned out
France won the first sprint, but got an official warning for not keeping a straight line in the sprint. The pace was on with the Uruguayan team (Tomas Margalef and Milton Wynants) on the attack.
Great Britain won the next sprint, so that meant they were leading the point score with France. France then went one up, leading out and winning the third sprint, flying to the top of the leader board with 10 points. GB was on four and Switzerland third.
Chris Sutton led out the next sprint for Australia and executed a perfect sling to get a hot to trot Renshaw, waiting in the back straight, into position to win the sprint for Australia. The Argentineans then attacked out of the sprint with the Danish and won the sprint.
By this time, two riders were off the front and trying to lap the field - the eventual gold and silver medallists - Argentina and Spain. The South Africans, meanwhile, had found the pace too much and pulled out of the race.
After sitting on 57kmh for 25 laps, the two leaders joined the back of the field with 44 laps to go, sending the crowd into an approving frenzy.
Argentina led with five points, Spain was next on three and both were a lap up. France was third on 10 points.
With 40 laps to go, Uruguay was attacking again, riding an aggressive race. The Aussies were doing their bit at the front of the train. Renshaw appeared tired but recovered quickly with 23 laps to go. The Swiss led out for the sprint world champion who then took the line honours. Argentina and Spain remained the leader and France stayed in third.
As the counter indicated 14 laps or 3km to go, the race because a tactics-fest as all eyes were on the two leading teams.
With five laps to go only the minor medal was up for contention - and everyone was intent on giving it a fair shot. With three to go and leading the bunch was Russell Downing of Great Britain with Franco Marvulli on his tail. The Brits led out the final sprint, the Swiss went around them to take the final sprint.
Curuchet said he was very happy with the result, which was his second gold in a Madison this year. "It was very important, this, as it qualified us for the world championships," he said through a translator.
Curuchet, who is the face of the newly re-established Argentinean cycling federation, said it was very nice to qualify for the Madison. "I am focused on the Olympics but first we go to Melbourne and I hope that the result will be the same podium as today. For Argentina this is very important because it is a South American country with a lot of problems and politics, et cetera, so very success in sport is important for the people and our country."
1 Argentina 5 pts Juan Esteban Curuchet Walter Perez 2 Spain 3 Miguel Alzamora Riera Joan Llaneras Rosello One lap behind 3 Switzerland 14 Franco Marvulli Bruno Risi 4 France 14 Neuville Jérôme Franck Perque 5 Belgium 12 Matthew Gilmore Ilzo Keisse 6 Germany 11 Guido Fulst Sven Teutenberg 7 Australia 7 Christopher Sutton Mark Renshaw 8 Great Britain 6 Dean Downing Russell Downing 9 Netherlands 6 Robert Slippens Danny Stam 10 Uruguay 3 Tomas Margalef Milton Wynants 11 United States 3 James Carney Colby Pearce 12 Ukraine 2 Volodymyr Rybin Vasyl Yakovlev 13 Austria 2 Roland Garber Franz Stocher 14 Hungary 0 Attila Arvai Aurel Vig 15 Denmark 0 Michael Morkov Alex Rasmussen 16 Colombia 0 Alexander Gonzalez Jose Serpa 17 Italy 0 Francesco Giuliani Stefano Marenco DNF South Africa 0 Robert Dale Jean-Pierre Van Zyl Time: 43.54.539 - Speed: 54.658 km/h