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Sydney Track World Cup - CDM
Sydney, Australia, May 14 - 16, 2004
Women's 10 km Scratch Race
Visser scratches in for gold after Yong Mi is relegated
By Karen Forman in Sydney
The women's scratch race at the Sydney round of the UCI Track World Cup wasn't without controversy today, with the gold medal going to the second rather than the first rider across the line - former speed skater Adrie Visser of the Netherlands.
Korean Kim Yong Mi, who crossed the line first in a frantic bunch sprint, was relegated by commissaires five minutes after the finish, for coming under the blue line while sprinting.
That pushed Visser, who had finished second, and third place-getter Gu Sung Eun from Korea, up the ladder to take the gold and silver medals while American rider Rebecca Quinn took the bronze.
Visser, 20, from the small city of Wieringeruserj in northern Holland, said it was a great race, but claimed luck rather than tactics was the key to her victory.
"For me there was no plan before the race," she said. "The Italian girl did five rounds in front. She was a derny for me. Then the Korean girl came through and she was also a derny for me. All I had to do was follow. The Korean girl followed the Australian girl and I had to follow them. And then the Korean girl was disqualified for riding under the blue line. For me it was good luck."
Visser, who was third last year in the scratch race world championship, now heads to Melbourne for the world championships, where she hopes to improve on last year's result in the scratch race. She will also contest the pursuit and the points race there. Then if she qualifies for the Olympics at the worlds, she plans to concentrate on the points race.
Visser started riding four years ago but says she wasn't good enough to compete at elite level, so decided to try cycling. Her first race was a junior world track championships.
Now her dreams are golden ones. "I hope in four years to be at my top," she said. "Now I am new and not so strong, but I am getting stronger and learning as well." She will turn her concentration to the road, signing with Farm Frites this year after riding with the national under 23 team last year.
How it played out
Feisty Australian Alexis Rhodes attacked with 14 laps to go, taking Kim Yong-Mi with her. They were joined by Eleftheria-Maria Ellinikaki from Greece and Quinn and established a 20-metre gap before allowing themselves to be swallowed up by the bunch.
French cycling stalwart Marion Clignet then had a go but was chased by Mexican Belem Guerrero Mendez who then established a solo breakaway of a quarter of a lap back to the bunch.
With seven laps to go she was still out front, the peloton bunched up about 20 metres behind and working well together. Clignet and Lyudmyla Vypyraylo of the Ukraine set the pace at the front, keeping a close eye on each other as the tension increased. The teams were starting to form up and Rhodes was well placed in the first four.
With two laps to go Italian Vera Carrara was leading the train with the Mexican on her wheel. The Mexican attacked at the bell, Yong-Mi jumped off the front, with the Mexican in second wheel. Korean Gu Sung Eun was up there as well.
When the sprint came, Yong-Mi managed to pip her rivals on the post but her victory was short lived when photos showed her misdemeanor on the line.
Women's 10km Scratch Race 1 Adrie Visser (Netherlands) 12.45.930 (47.002 km/h) 2 Sung Eun Gu (Korea) 3 Rebecca Quinn (USA) 4 Lyudmyla Vypyraylo (Ukraine) 5 Rebecca Ellis (Australia) 6 Eleonora Soldo (Italy) 7 Juliette Vandekerckhove (France) 8 Santia Tri Kusuma (Indonesia) 9 Mandy Poitras (Canada) 10 Uyun Muzizah (Indonesia) 11 Oxana Grishina (Russia) 12 Eleftheria - Maria Ellinikaki (Greece) 13 Kyriaki Konstantinidou (Greece) 14 Tatiana Shishkova (Moldavia) 15 Erin Mirabella (USA) 16 Anastasia Chulkova (Russia) 17 Yoanka Gonzalez Perez (Cuba) 18 Vera Carrara (Italy) 19 Erin Carter (Canada) 20 Belem Guerrero Mendez (Mexico) 21 Alexis Rhodes (Australia) 22 Marion Clignet (France) 23 Yong-mi Kim (Korea)