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Sydney Track World Cup - CDM
Sydney, Australia, May 14 - 16, 2004
Pearce gears high and takes the gold
By Gerard Knapp in Sydney
Colby Pearce found his legs on Saturday night at the Dunc Gray Velodrome in Sydney with a comprehensive victory in the men's 30km points race, taking the USA's first gold medal in the Sydney round of the UCI Track World Cup.
The American rider came to Australia after riding in the Tour de Georgia in the USA last month and although he didn't finish the road race, it seems the road miles certainly didn't hinder his endurance on the track as he secured his convincing victory by lapping the field twice.
Despite two riders lapping the field very early on in the race, Pearce stayed within the main field. He didn't start the race in an aggressive mood, as "my usual strategy is to follow the race and shoot the odds, just check out what's happening. It's only when I'm really sure I will go for it, as I normally just like to let things happen.
Then with one third of the 120-lap race completed, Pearce and Kam Po Wong (Hong Kong) took off and 13 hard laps later, they'd caught the rear of the field and both picked up 20 points with 62 laps to go, around half-race distance.
"In the first three sprints (of the race) I still didn't feel that great, but then as the race went on I started to feel better."
Pearce had one or two attempts to break away, and then finally when he joined Wong the pair worked well together.
With a class field that included reigning world points race champion Franz Stocher, Juan Llaneras (Spain's gold medallist in the points race from the Sydney Olympics) and Belgium's Six Day star Matthew Gilmore, the pace was kept high throughout. Several riders attempted to break free after Pearce went into the lead on points, but it wasn't until Gilmore finally broke free with 36 laps to go that another lap was there for the taking.
Pearce joined Gilmore and the pair worked their way ahead of the field, their effort assisted by Japanese rider Makoto Iijima. Gilmore stayed in second wheel behind Pearce as the trio went across the line for the tenth intermediate sprint, giving the American maximum points.
The trio continued to work together for the lap and was caught by Llaneras and another rider who'd attacked off the front. With five riders away, they caught the back of the field with only eight laps to go and Pearce moved up to 50 points and the race was his. He cruised across the line for the final sprint, arms raised aloft.
"It got really hard with 25 (laps) to go to when I was working with Gilmore, but those other guys joined and we were able to take another lap."
Pearce told Cyclingnews after the race that he had "felt like crap during the morning qualifying session, but then when I rode over to the track for the evening session my legs started to feel better.
"I would have been happy to be top four or just pick up some points, so I'm really happy with this win," he said.
Although Pearce abandoned the Tour de Georgia with stomach problems, he certainly gained some benefit from the hard road miles. Pearce completed the 30km event using a 49x14 gear; he thought at the outset it may have been slightly too high, but it seems to have worked well on the night.
Men's 15km Points Race Qualifying Heat 1 1 Radoslav Konstantinov (Bulgaria) 25 2 Marco Antonio Arriagada (Chile) 20 3 Kam-Po Wong (Hong-Kong) 20 4 Milton Wynants (Uruguay) 10 5 Sergey Lavrenenko (Kazakhstan) 8 6 Joan Llaneras Rosello (Spain) 8 7 Alexander Aeschbach (Switzerland) 8 8 Sven Teutenberg (Germany) 6 9 Vasyl Yakovlev (Ukraine) 5 10 Franz Stocher (Austria) 5 11 Juan Pablo Forero Carreno (Colombia) 5 12 Miles Olman (Australia) 4 13 Ioannis Tsakouridis (Greece) 2 DNF Alexey Usov (Russia) Men's 15km Points Race Qualifying Heat 2 1 Yauheni Sobal (Bielorussia) 25 2 Colby Pearce (USA) 23 3 Angelo Ciccone (Italy) 22 4 Juan Esteban Curuchet (Argentina) 21 5 Christopher Newton (Great Britain) 13 6 Matthew Gilmore (Belgium) 8 7 Mathie Ladagnous (France) 7 8 Makoto Iijima (Japan) 7 9 Kyung Bang Song (Korea) 6 10 Gregory Henderson (New Zealand) 6 11 Jos Pronk (Netherlands) 5 12 Morten Voss Christiansen (Denmark) 2 13 Vygantas Kaminskas (Lithuania) 1 14 Prajak Mahawong (Thailand) Final 1 Colby Pearce (USA) 50 (2 laps) 2 Christopher Newton (Great Britain) 36 (1 lap) 3 Joan Llaneras Rosello (Spain) 35 (1 lap) 4 Makoto Iijima (Japan) 34 (1 lap) 5 Kam-Po Wong (Hong-Kong) 30 (1 lap) 6 Matthew Gilmore (Belgium) 24 (1 lap) 7 Marco Antonio Arriagada (Chile) 21 (1 lap) 8 Angelo Ciccone (Italy) 20 (1 lap) 9 Gregory Henderson (New Zealand) 10 10 Sven Teutenberg (Germany) 10 11 Alexander Aeschbach (Switzerland) 7 12 Vasyl Yakovlev (Ukraine) 6 13 Juan Pablo Forero Carreno (Colombia) 6 14 Franz Stocher (Austria) 5 15 Milton Wynants (Uruguay) 4 16 Sergey Lavrenenko (Kazakhstan) 4 17 Yauheni Sobal (Bielorussia) 3 18 Kyung Bang Song (Korea) 2 19 Mathie Ladagnous (France) 2 20 Juan Esteban Curuchet (Argentina) 2 21 Jos Pronk (Netherlands) 1 22 Radoslav Konstantinov (Bulgaria) 0 DNF Morten Voss Christiansen (Denmark) DNS Miles Olman (Australia) Time: 35.29.750 Speed: 50.710 km/h