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Sydney Track World Cup - CDM
Sydney, Australia, May 14 - 16, 2004
Women's 500m time trial
Birthday girl Hijgenaar wins womens' time trial
By Karen Forman in Sydney
Dutch rider Yvonne Hijgenaar recorded the fastest time to win the women's 500-metre time trial - and the series crown - at the UCI World Track Cup in Sydney on her 24th birthday this afternoon.
Fast pedalling Hijgenaar, who had earlier in the day qualified fastest for the sprint with 11.517 (62.516 km/h) but was knocked out in early rounds, covered the distance in 35.100. It was a similar time to what she recorded when she won the event at the World Cup round in Manchester - the first major victory of her short career.
Lori-Ann Muenzer of Canada took the silver with 35.562 and French rider Clara Sanches the bronze with 35.708.
Hijgenaar, a former ice skater from Koedijk, was delighted with the win.
I was third in Moscow, third in Mexico, first in Manchester and now first in Australia," she said. "I am stable . . . and now I want to go up."
By "up", she means the world championships in Melbourne in 10 days time and then the Olympics, which as a World Cup winner she has automatically qualified for.
"I can't believe it," she said. "I was an ice skater; I used to ride a bicycle for training. Then I thought I would try cycling and now, here I am, three years later, going to the Olympics. It's so incredible. It feels good. It's the perfect birthday present."
Hijgenaar said the competition had been tougher in Manchester - from the Mexicans, the English and the Chinese - but that she had enjoyed racing in Australia for the second time. She finished third here last year.
"This is my dream now: To have a medal in Melbourne and then the Olympics."
She said she was pleased with her form and was feeling good. In fact, she felt so good after her time trial that she thought she might have "just one" glass of wine tonight to mark the win - and her birthday.
Women's 500m Time Trial 1 Yvonne Hijgenaar (Netherlands) 35.100 (51.282 km/h) 2 Lori-Ann Muenzer (Canada) 35.562 (50.616 km/h) 3 Clara Sanchez (France) 35.708 (50.409 km/h) 4 Daniela Larreal (Venezuela) 35.923 (50.107 km/h) 5 Tanya Lindenmuth (USA) 36.054 (49.925 km/h) 6 Antonella Bellutti (Italy) 36.073 (49.899 km/h) 7 Shuang Guo (China) 36.077 (49.893 km/h) 8 Sayuri Osuga (Japan) 36.321 (49.558 km/h) 9 Kathrin Freitag (Germany) 36.433 (49.406 km/h) 10 Anastasia Chulkova (Russia) 38.120 (47.219 km/h) 11 Evgenia Radanova (Bulgaria) 38.337 (46.952 km/h) 12 Santia Tri Kusuma (Indonesia) 38.856 (46.325 km/h)