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Track World Cup 04-05 Round 4 - CDM

Sydney, Australia, February 18-20, 2004

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Day 3 - February 20: Women's Scratch 10 km, Men's Madison 40 km, Women's Keirin, Men's Team sprint

By Les Clarke and Anthony Tan

Women's 10 km Scratch Final - Cucinotta shows how it's done

The women line up
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
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Australian Kate Bates went into this event the favourite after her strong performances in the Manchester World Cup round and the recent Australian Championships. Her main challenge came from another Australian, Rochelle Gilmore, who was looking to add another victory to her points race win on Friday night, in the process putting herself right into contention for a berth at the World Championships.

Bates stayed close to the front from the start, working hard to keep the pace high, and although Jacqueline Marshall of Great Britain established a small gap with 24 laps remaining, she was caught three laps later. It was then Catherine Sell of New Zealand who tried to escape with 20 laps remaining. She too was caught by Bates and Gilmore, staying within sight of each other, as they then settled into an easy tempo with ten laps to race.

The pace slowed considerably as the Dutch and Australian teams moved to the front looking to set themselves for a tight finish, only to be disrupted by the attack of Chinese rider Yunmei Wu with eight laps to go. She gathered and maintained a half lap lead until one lap to go when Rochelle Gilmore worked hard with Bates and Italian Giorgia Bronzini to bridge the gap. Wu was caught, and with a great position at the front of the pack Cucinotta was able to take the win ahead of Bates and Gilmore. After the race, however, Rochelle Gilmore was relegated to last place for 'dangerous riding' going into the final sprint when she was boxed in between two riders. Catherine Sell of New Zealand was the beneficiary of the decision taking the bronze medal.

The young Italian was asked post-race if she had found it difficult, replying "No, because the race was fast, I only had to look out for the other [contenders] to control the race. The two Australians [Bates and Gilmore] and I had the same interests [to control the race], so it worked out in my favour."

The sprint for the line.
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
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She thought it was possible to counter the attack of Yunmei Wu with only a handful of laps remaining, saying "I was still with the two Australians; they [Bates and Gilmore] didn't work well together, but they had the same interests as me when Wu broke away, so there were three of us working towards the same goal." Silver medallist Bates was pleased with her ride and in particular the great form she should carry into the World Championships. "It was a pretty negative race - I wanted to keep the pace high but no one seemed to work with me. I had a few digs and am pleased I got up - it should really cement my spot going into Worlds."

Questions were asked about the so called 'negative' tactics of the two Australian riders in the race, but Bates indicated that Ian McKenzie had told both women to ride their own races prior to the start, and as such they employed the tactics they thought necessary to go for the win. Gilmore said she was happy at the way the race turned out, except for the final result. "It was all going well until the closing stages when I was boxed in, and it's too hard to get out of that."

Bates said she would've laughed at anyone who had told her she would be World Cup champion in the event before today, but that's exactly what happened, and she was genuinely happy with the result. There remains one unanswered question, however - will Bates or Gilmore ride the scratch race in Los Angeles? Rochelle Gilmore is willing to concentrate on the her road programme, which includes the Geelong round of the Women's World Cup, or to race next month in the World Championships, saying that she'd be happy with either scenario.

Men's 40 km Madison - Ukraine take the strain

The winning pair
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
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Stealing the show in the points race yesterday evening, Volodymyr Rybin teamed up with Dmytro Grabovskyy to take out the Madison in another cunning but calculated display of riding. After a brisk start, the Ukrainian pair took advantage of a lull in proceedings and a touch of wheels to take a lap on the field shortly after the halfway mark, then simply rode within themselves to prevent any teams from equalling their advantage.

"It was our strategy, to try and take a lap on the field," said Grabovskyy. "Once we got [one lap] ahead, we knew that all we had to do was finish with the group."

Tipped by Cycling Australia's new High Peformance Manager, Kevin Tabotta, to Cyclingnews' Gerard Knapp as the team to beat before the start, the former Tasmanian Institute of Sport head coach singled out 19 year-old Grabovskyy as the Ukraine's secret weapon: "Look out for black 10", he forewarned.

Tabotta's premonition turned out to be spot-on. The rapid start saw many riders on edge, with Chris 'CJ' Sutton falling victim a few laps before the third sprint (km 15, lap 60) - his second in the space of a week after crashing in the national championship points race.

"It was just the Poms," said a sore-looking Sutton to Cyclingnews. "I don't think they knew what they were doing, they got in the way, and I came down. You go out that hard, people want to stay at the front and stuff like that does happen."

Admitted Great Britain's Mark Cavendish, "We're only 19 and 20 - the last time Tom and I rode a Madison together was four years ago as juniors, so it was a bit of a learning curve, this actual race."

"When the crash happened, it just happened at the worst time," said Sutton's partner Richard England. "We were second in both the first two sprints, so that means everybody starts to target you; as soon as Chris went down, everybody knew I was in there by myself - so that's when the attacks started, and everybody knows you're vulnerable.

The Australians do their stuff.
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
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"I probably spent six laps trying to get up to the top six guys - and they were all driving - and as soon as CJ got back in, that's when the 1-2 started going; New Zealand went, and the Ukraines went, and it took me a good 40 laps to recover from that effort. Even when you've got your partner back in, you're still going as hard as you can, anyway."

While the Kiwis' attack was annulled, the Ukrainian duo just kept on going and going, and by the fifth sprint (km 25, lap 100) the had comfortably made their way to the back of the field, going one up on all the others - and stayed that way for the rest of the race.

"We sort of it expected it after they took a lap in the points race last night", said Cavendish, "but apart from the Aussies in the Olympics, there's not many teams who can get a lap on their own. I think we actually underestimated how strong they actually were. When the Ukraines went, they just didn't get fatigued - they just carried on until they got [the lap]."

Despite the final sprint offering double points, it changed nothing, with Russia edging out Australia to take fourth place behind second-placed Denmark and Great Britain, who rounded out the podium.

"We always knew the Ukraines were going to be the main team to watch," said Sutton, who's still waiting to hear on the news of a possible professional road contract with French team Cofidis. "But no, full credit to [the Ukraines]; they were the strongest team out there and came away with the win."

Women's Keirin - Anna makes it a month to remember

The Keirin final
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
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Sunday's session began with the Women's Keirin first round, where Rockhampton sisters Anna and Kerrie Meares were expected to carry on their winning ways from Adelaide. There were no surprises in the riders that made the semi finals, with the strongest riders comfortably making it through and qualifying for the next round.

In the first heat of the semi final Kerrie Meares was content to sit at the back of the pack coming into the last lap, but went high in an attempt to round the pack, only to be beaten by Elisa Frisoni of Italy in the sprint to the line to take the win ahead of Meares and Shuang Guo of China. In the second round, Anna Meares and Jennie Reed were inseparable at the finish, both riders progressing to the final ahead of Dutchwoman Yvonne Hijgenaar and Elisabeth Williams of New Zealand.

In the final for 8th-12th placings, Germany's Dana Glöss took the win in the race for eighth overall, ahead of Dutch rider Willy Kanis and American Rebecca Conzelman. The German rider settled in the middle of the pack, going very hard for the sprint a long way from the finish; and although it seemed as it she would be passed by Kanis, held on for a strong victory.

The final dash for the line in the keirin.
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
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The final for first through seventh boasted a quality field, including Anna and Kerrie Meares, Elisa Frisoni and Shuang Guo. The race was restarted after Elisabeth Williams passed the derny, something not permitted in this event. With three laps to go in the restarted race, Anna and Kerrie Meares were content to sit at the back of the field, until a lap and a half to go when Anna wound up the pace to streak to the front. She was joined by Guo of China and Italian Elisa Frisoni who were able to stay close to the Olympic sprint champion until the final few metres. Frisoni was disqualified for riding on the blue line at the base of the track in order to gain an advantage, handing second place to Shuang Guo and third to American Jennie Reed.

Meares was exhausted after the race, grateful to have a few days rest at home to relax after her extremely busy schedule which included big performances at the National Championships. On the race itself, Meares said she'd "hoped to get Kerrie up the front, but it didn't work out." In terms of her form she said "I was little sluggish, but everything should be alright for the World Championships."

Men's Team Sprint - France blast past

The French trio on their victory lap.
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
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In qualifying for the Men's team sprint, France, as expected, went through to the Gold medal race with the fastest time of 44.822 seconds; Japan qualifing as their opponents with a time of 46.258 seconds. The large time difference between the two teams displayed the great rhythm and teamwork of the French riders at this meet and became evident in the final. Minus the services of the injured Ryan Bayley, Australia were pitted against the French outfit and qualified for the third place hit-out against China.

In the battle for third place, Ben Kersten gave Australia the start it needed to claim bronze, which they did convicingly. Jobie Dajka, fresh from his strong showing last night in the Men's sprint final, took the reigns from Kersten with a flying lap, setting up Joel Leonard, who brought it home to defeat the Chinese men.

In the final for first place, Gregory Bauge blistered his way around the track for the French men, putting over one second into the Japanese team's time over the first lap. Arnaud Tournant, who ahs ridden solidly throughout the meet, maintained the rage, allowing Francois Pervis the lead he needed to stop the clock at 44.837 seconds, 1.689 seconds ahead of Japan.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Mark Gunter/Cyclingnews.com


Women's Keirin

1st Round
Heat 1
1 Elisa Frisoni (Italy)               12.547 (57.381 km/h))
2 Yvonne Hijgenaar (Netherlands)
3 Elisabeth Williams (New Zealand)
4 Dana Glöss (Germany)
5 Yawei Gao (China)
Heat 2
1 Jennie Reed (USA)                   12.527 (57.476 km/h))
2 Kerrie Meares (Australia)
3 Annalisa Cucinotta (Italy)
4 Magdalena Sara (Poland)
5 Chrysoula Zacharioudaki (Greece)
Heat 3
1 Shuang Guo (China)                  11.997 (60.015 km/h)
2 Anna Meares (Australia)
3 Rebecca Conzelman (USA)
4 Willy Kanis (Netherlands)
Heat 1
1 Rebecca Conzelman (USA)             12.098 (59.514 km/h)
2 Elisabeth Williams (New Zealand)
3 Willy Kanis (Netherlands)
4 Chrysoula Zacharioudaki (Greece)
5 Dana Glöss (Germany)
6 Yawei Gao (China)
7 Magdalena Sara (Poland)
2nd Round
Heat 1
1 Elisa Frisoni (Italy)               12.548 (57.380 km/h)
2 Kerrie Meares (Australia)
3 Shuang Guo (China)
4 Rebecca Conzelman (USA)
5 Dana Glöss (Germany)
6 Willy Kanis (Netherlands)
Heat 2
1 Anna Meares (Australia)             12.318 (58.451 km/h)
2 Jennie Reed (USA)
3 Yvonne Hijgenaar (Netherlands)
4 Elisabeth Williams (New Zealand)
5 Chrysoula Zacharioudaki (Greece)
6 Yawei Gao (China)
Final 8-12
8 Dana Glöss (Germany)                12.438 (57.887 km/h)
9 Willy Kanis (Netherlands)
10 Rebecca Conzelman (USA)
11 Chrysoula Zacharioudaki (Greece)
12 Yawei Gao (China)
Final 1-7
1 Anna Meares (Australia)             12.418 (57.980 km/h)
2 Shuang Guo (China)
3 Jennie Reed (USA)
4 Yvonne Hijgenaar (Netherlands)
5 Kerrie Meares (Australia)
6 Elisa Frisoni (Italy)
DQ Elisabeth Williams (New Zealand)
Final Standings
1 Anna Meares (Australia)             12.418 (57.980 km/h)
2 Shuang Guo (China)
3 Jennie Reed (USA)
4 Yvonne Hijgenaar (Netherlands)
5 Kerrie Meares (Australia)
6 Elisa Frisoni (Italy)
7 N/A
8 Dana Gloss (Germany)
9 Willy Kanis (Netherlands)
10 Rebecca Conzelman (USA)

Men's Team Sprint

Heat 1
1 Canada                                 47.885
2 Argentina                              48.400
Heat 2
1 China                                  47.402
2 Greece                                 47.746
Heat 3
1 Japan                                  46.258
2 Great Britain                          48.030
Heat 4
1 France                                 44.822
2 Australia                              47.750
Finals order
1 France                                 44.822
2 Japan                                  46.258
3 China                                  47.402
4 Greece                                 47.746
5 Australia                              47.750
6 Canada                                 47.885
7 Great Britain                          48.030
8 Argentina                              48.400
3-4 Final
1 Australia                              46.267 (58.357 km/h)
2 China                                  47.757 (56.536 km/h)
1-2 Final
1 France                                 44.837 (60.218 km/h)
2 Japan                                  46.526 (58.032 km/h)
Final standings
1 Grégory Bauge (Fra)                    44.837 (60.218 Km/h)
  François Pervis (Fra)
  Arnaud Tournant (Fra)
2 Kazuya Narita (Jpn)
  Yusho Oikawa (Jpn)
  Kazunari Watanabe (Jpn)
3 Jobie Dajka (Aus)
  Ben Kersten (Aus)
  Joel Leonard (Aus)
4 Xinzhu Cheng (Chn)
  Zhiguo Gao (Chn)
  Liheng Yan (Chn)
5 Kleanthis Bargas (Gre)
  Athanasios Mantzouranis (Gre)
  Panagiotis Voukelatos (Gre)
6 Cam Mackinnon (Can)
  Yannik Morin (Can)
  Travis Smith (Can)
7 Edward Clancy (GBr)
  Matthew Crampton (GBr)
  Jonathan Norfolk (GBr)
8 Leandro Botasso (Arg)
  Sergio Guatto (Arg)
  Jose Ruschansky (Arg)

Women's 10km Scratch

1 Annalisa Cucinotta (Ita)              13.22.6
2 Katherine Bates (Aus)
3 Catherine Sell (NZl)
4 Alena Prudnikova (Rus)
5 Yunmei Wu (Chn)
6 Alias Norazian (Mas)
7 Anna Webb (USA)
8 Giorgia Bronzini (Ita)
9 Katarzyna Jagusiak (Pol)
10 Leow Hoay Sim Uracca (Mas)
11 Wan Yiu Wong (HKg)
12 Yvonne Hijgenaar (Ned)
13 Tatsiana Sharakova (Blr)
14 Marlijn Binnendijk (Ned)
15 Dale Tye (NZl)
16 Jaquelinne Marshall (GBr)
17 Rochelle Gilmore (Aus)

Men's Madison

1 Dmytro Grabovskyy (Ukr)               45.30.6    5 pts
 Volodymyr Rybin (Ukr)
1 lap behind
2 Michael Mřrkřv (Den)                             23
 Alex Rasmussen (Den)
3 Mark Cavendish (GBr)                             13
 Thomas White (GBr)
4 Konstantin Ponomarev (Rus)                       12
 Alexey Shmidt (Rus)
5 Richard England (Aus)                            12
 Christopher Sutton (Aus)
6 Ilya Chernyshov (Kaz)                            11
 Yuriy Yuda (Kaz)
7 Levi Heimans (Ned)                                9
 Wim Stroetinga (Ned)
8 Martino Marcotto (Ita)                            3
 Claudio Masnata (Ita)
9 Gregory Henderson (NZl)                           0
 Marc Ryan (NZl)
3 laps behind
10 Alain Lauener (Swi)                              0
 Ralph Zimmermann (Swi)
11 Michael Freidman (USA)                           0
 Joshua Kerkhoff (USA)

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