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Sydney Track World Cup - CDM
Sydney, Australia, May 14 - 16, 2004
Men's Scratch Race
Slippens wins as junior from Down Under sets the field on fire
By Karen Forman in Sydney
The gold medal honours went to in-form Dutchman Robert Slippens, but it was Australian junior Miles Olman who had the crowd cheering in the men's scratch race at the UCI World Track Cup in Sydney tonight.
The 18 year old from country Rockhampton, competing against far more hardened and experienced international riders, lapped the field with 15 and a half laps to go after breaking away with 29 year old Slippens, from Spanbroek, 50km from Amsterdam, and English rider Dean Downing earlier in the race.
Australian coaches Martin Barass and Mike Flynn watched ecstatically as the dyed blond haired junior showed astonishing strength to hold off the field for lap after alp.
"He's not going to win this but how good is this kid?" said Barass.
With a lap to go, Olman was showing signs of tiring. Not surprisingly. "He's dead," said Flynn, without removing the smile from his face. And then watched as the hardest working rider of the event slipped back into the bunch with just a half a lap to the finish. So close…yet so far.
"I was pretty happy with that, happy to get a lap up," Olman said pragmatically on the rollers at the finish. "I tried to keep the bunch under control, and it's disappointing that I got tired. There are no words to describe it. Just unlucky. But I am only a junior. I am really happy. I had a plan to get away and it worked. Unfortunately I got caught. It was my first World Cup and I am still a junior."
He has the points race tomorrow morning and when the World Cup is all said and done, will start training for the junior word championships.
Slippens, meanwhile, said the race had been a difficult and tactical one. "A scratch race is hard because there is only one sprint and anything can happen," he said. "A points race, there are a lot of sprints and you can choose which ones to go for, for the points."
He said he had broken away with 35 laps to go with the Australian and the Briton. "I did most of the work for the group at first," he said. On his ninth visit to Australia, he is now looking forward to the world's in a fortnight, where he hopes to qualify for the Olympics in the Madison and scratch race.
Heat 1 1 Kyung Bang Song (Korea) 9.19.809 (48.231 km/h) 2 Vasileios Anastopoulos (Greece) 3 Walter Perez (Argentina) 4 Dean Downing (Great Britain) 5 Kam-Po Wong (Hong-Kong) 6 Miguel Alzamora Riera (Spain) 7 Ilzo Keisse (Belgium) 8 Miles Olman (Australia) 9 Roland Garber (Austria) 10 Juan Pablo Forero Carreno (Colombia) 11 Franco Marvulli (Switzerland) 12 Radoslav Konstantinov (Bulgaria) DNF Dean Edwards (South Africa) Heat 2 1 Mathie Ladagnous (France) 9.19.365 (48.269 km/h) 2 Alex Rasmussen (Denmark) 3 Sven Teutenberg (Germany) 4 Robert Slippens (Netherlands) 5 James Carney (USA) 6 Ilya Chernyshov (Kazakhstan) 7 Antonio Roberto Cabrera Torres (Chile) 8 Prajak Mahawong (Thailand) 9 Siarhei Daubniuk (Bielorussia) 10 Vygantas Kaminskas (Lithuania) 11 Nikita Smirnov (Russia) 12 Tomas Margalef (Uruguay) 13 Martin Gilbert (Canada) 14 Volodymyr Rybin (Ukraine) Final 1 Robert Slippens (Netherlands) 17.41.68 (50.862 km/h) 2 Dean Downing (Great Britain) 3 Mathie Ladagnous (France) 4 Ilya Chernyshov (Kazakhstan) 5 Siarhei Daubniuk (Bielorussia) 6 Miles Olman (Australia) 7 James Carney (USA) 8 Ilzo Keisse (Belgium) 1 lap 9 Vasileios Anastopoulos (Greece) 10 Sven Teutenberg (Germany) 11 Juan Pablo Forero Carreno (Colombia) 12 Roland Garber (Austria) 13 Prajak Mahawong (Thailand) 14 Vygantas Kaminskas (Lithuania) 15 Walter Perez (Argentina) 16 Miguel Alzamora Riera (Spain) 17 Kam-Po Wong (Hong-Kong) 18 Antonio Roberto Cabrera Torres (Chile) 19 Kyung Bang Song (Korea) 20 Alex Rasmussen (Denmark)