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2005 UCI Track Cycling World Championships - CM

Los Angeles, CA, USA, March 24-27, 2005

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Day 3 - March 26: Men's sprint qualifying through 5th to 8th final; Men's scratch 15 km final; Men's team pursuit; Women's individual pursuit; Women's sprint semi-final & finals

Evening session wrap

Record crowd sees women's sprint upset, long-awaited British team pursuit victory, Danish scratch win & all-Aussie women's pursuit final

By Eddie Monnier

In spite of the holiday weekend, a record crowd of 2,712 spectators gathered to see the best-of-the-best vie for the honor to wear the stripes of the world champion.

Women's sprint

Victoria Pendleton
Photo ©: Dana Ross
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With several upsets and relegation affecting three of the top four seeds, only fourth seed Tamilia Abassova (Russia) advanced to the semis, where she faced Kerrie Meares (Australia), while sister Anna faced Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain), the spoiler of the event so far with her two wins over faster qualifying competitors. In what would be a first in women's cycling, the Meares sisters could face off in the ride for gold if they both won their semi's.

Kerrie Meares led from the front and kept Abassova mid-track well after the bell. The finish was too close to call and both women thought the other had won. Even upon replay, it was hard to tell who won but the ruling went to Abassova. In ride two, Meares again went from the front but earlier and this seemed to be a mistake as the Russian took it by almost a bike length to advance to the finals.

In heat 2 of the semi-finals, Anna Meares (Australian) kept Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain) at the very top of the track through the bell and looked in total command. In a surprising display of speed, Pendleton powered by on the outside. The replay showed the Brit grabbing the win by almost half a wheel. In the second ride, the Australian gave Pendleton a little flick as she maneuvered her to the top of the track and again led from the front. This time Pendleton could not get around and the women would go to a tie-breaker ride to see who would advance to ride for gold.

This meant the Meares sisters would face each other for the bronze medal. The sisters maneuvered for position, neither one wanting to lead it out. Kerrie, the elder by one year, won the initial race. Again, in race two, neither wanted to take the lead but eventually Anna took the front from her sister as well as the win, forcing a third and deciding race. Unlike the first two heats, one of the two, Anna, actually wanted to be in front. Kerrie looked to give her too much rope as she circled higher up and well behind on the track, especially as the sprint was started very late. Anna took the final ride and the bronze medal.

Pendleton made the first heat win over world cup winner Abassova look easy with a 12.184 200-meter time. The second heat was much closer but the Brit claimed the world title. The British sprinter rode some endurance events in the early world cups as part of her training. Looks like the tactic paid off.

Men's scratch race

Alex Rasmussen (Denmark)
Photo ©: Mitch Friedman
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Nineteen men, including defending world champion Greg Henderson (New Zealand) and world cup leader Alex Rasmussen (Denmark), to contest the 15K (60-laps) scratch race. The first 25 laps of the race looked like a very fast paceline as the riders were single file and taking half lap and full laps pulls. Miles Olman (Australia) put in a hard acceleration just before the midway point, but gave it up quickly and field went back to status quo.

With 24 laps to go, Daubniuk (Belarus) and Ciccone (Italy) finally put in the first serious attack of the race. They were quickly caught, spurring a counter from Olman and Tamouridis (Greece) that was covered by Shmidt (Russia). This move put some pressure on the field but it caught the trio with 18 laps remaining and the entire group slowed. Ciccone gave it another go but was given no rope. Jame Carney (USA) attacked as the pack rolled slowly with about 11 laps remaining and quickly established a third of a lap lead as the sell-out crowd loudly cheered him on. The field kept the American at his third of a lap advantage. He appeared to lose steam on lap six and was back in the fold with four laps remaining.

You could cut the tension in the air with a knife as utter chaos prevailed with two laps to go when the entire field was maneuvering for position. The fans screamed as the bell clanged. Cavendish (Great Britain) led Rasmussen, Henderson and Gilmore (Belgium). With less than 200 meters remaining, Rasmussen soared by the Brit with Henderson on his wheel, which appeared to leave the Kiwi in a perfect position to defend his world championship title. The Dane proved too powerful as he added the world championship title to his world cup title. Gilmore took the bronze.

Katie Mactier (Australia)
Photo ©: Matthew Moses
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Women's individual pursuit final

Katie Mactier (Australia) opened about a 2.5 second advantage in the first kilometer versus her teammate Katherine Bates. She extended her advantage to claim the title with a 3:38.325, only a fraction of a second off her qualifying time. Bates took the silver with a 3:41.676.

Although Karin Thurig (Switzerland) opened with a first kilometer that was almost two seconds off the mark set by her competitor Elena Tchalykh (Russia), the Swiss rider fought back to reclaimed a third of that in the second kilometer. The Russian faded in the final kilometer and clipped a sponge badly, ultimately losing the bronze to Thurig.

Men's sprint rounds

The first upset in the 1/8 finals was when newly crowned keirin world champion Teun Mulder (Netherlands) edged out Stefan Nimke (Germany). The powerful German led out the Dutchman who accelerated to a half wheel advantage before turn 3. Nimke dug deep to draw even and the two riders were elbow-to-elbow all the way to the finish line, with Mulder winning by a matter of inches.

Jobie Dajka (Australia)
Photo ©: Matthew Moses
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Craig McLean (Great Britain) took faster qualifying Villanueva (Spain) by a wheel, in spite of the Spaniard displaying an excellent ability to keep the Brit in second position through the bell.

Jobie Dajke (Australia) and Tim Veldt (Netherlands) were shoulder-to-shoulder just after turn four as the Dutchman tried to keep the Aussie from passing over top. The photo replay looked dead even but the call went to Dajke.

The opening ride of the quarterfinals pitted defending sprint champion and new kilometer champion Theo Bos against Dajka, the world's sprint silver medalist in both 2003 and 2004. The Aussie came out on top. Circling the track as he thumped his chest, Dajka was clearly pumped to unseat the defending champion and send him to the 5-8 ride.

In another photo finish, Bauge (France) beat Ross (Great Britain).

The Dutch suffered another disappointment when new world keirin champion Teun Mulder suffered defeat by Rene Wolff. The German uncorked a 10.685 to eliminate the Dutchman.

Two Dutchman (Bos and Mulder) and two Brits (Ross and McLean) lined up to contest the 5-8 final. Mulder raced it like his Keirin efforts by attacking with 1.5 laps to go. Ross gave chase as McLean and Bos lagged behind and overtook the keirin world champion just before the line to take fifth spot.

Great Britain rode strongly
Photo ©: Matthew Moses
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Team pursuit final

Great Britain finally got its world team pursuit title with a 4:05.619. The Dutch stayed within a half second for the first kilometer, but Britain pulled away in the remaining kilometers to seal the deal.

Australia was not about to make any mistakes in the evening session and immediately opened almost a two second advantage over the Kiwis. New Zealand clawed some of its disadvantage back but lost the bronze to the Aussies. A special "good on ya, mate" goes to Greg Henderson, who represented the Kiwis in the points race, scratch race (silver medal) and team pursuit and is slated to ride the Madison with team pursuit teammate Peter Latham.

Morning session wrap

Brits fastest while Netherlands shrugs off injury; Australia certain of women's pursuit gold; Theo still the sprint Bos

By Eddie Monnier

The joy of the Netherlands leading the medal count (two gold, one silver, two bronze) was tempered by a crash that injured Dutch team pursuit rider Peter Schep. He shook off the scraps, had his wrist taped, and helped his team ride a beautifully paced team pursuit to qualify second fastest.

Women's pursuit

Katie Mactier
Photo ©: Mike Gladu
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At the December world cup, Katie Mactier (Australia) said, "I've finished with silver three times now (2003 & 2004 World Championships and Athens) and I want to go one better," she said. "I was always aware that World Championships would come up very fast after the Olympics to bite us on the backside so I made sure I organised myself to race at Oceania to get back into the swing of it."

She made good on her promise by besting her nearest qualifying competitor by over three seconds with her time of 3:38.325. She faces teammate Katherine Bates in the gold medal ride, while Karin Thurig (Switzerland) will face Los Angeles World Cup bronze medalist Elena Tchalkyh (Russia).

Erin Mirabella (USA) rode a 3:49.157, almost a full second off the pace of her Los Angeles World Cup time of 3:48.066 in December.

Men's sprint qualifying

Theo Bos (Netherlands)
Photo ©: Mike Gladu
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In spite of the missed opportunity to witness a rematch between Theo Bos, last year's gold medalist, and Ryan Bayley, the Olympic champion since Bayley is out injured, the men's match sprint promised to deliver tough competition with five world championship medalists among the field.

Only the second competitor, Rene Wolff (Germany) set a very fast time of 10.404, beating the track record of 10.445 held by Arnaud Tournant. His time remained the time to beat until teammate Stefan Nimke delivered a 10.329. Nimke's time stood until the last five sprinters, when Gregory Bauge (France) ripped a 10.279. Only two riders later, his teammate Mickael Bourgain scorched a 10.257.

In spite of winning the kilometer world title less than 15 hours ago, the young Dutch rider blazed a flying 200-meter time of 10.192 to set a new track record, take the top seed, and further establish himself as a force among the sprint events. Bos, the defending world champion, told Cyclingnews, "Yesterday I had a very good kilometer. I knew my form was good. I hoped to do the fastest qualifier here, and luckily, it happened, so I'm very happy with the result." He's not counting a second medal yet, as he warned, "Anything can happen, especially with this sprint modus, [with] no repechage. You have to be very focused."

Team pursuit

World Cup team pursuit points leaders Great Britain
Photo ©: Mike Gladu
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With only the Australians still to ride, Great Britain opened with a blistering first kilometer of 1:04.833 en route to a time of 4:08.569 to guarantee a ride in the gold medal ride.

The Netherlands rode a beautifully paced team pursuit, posting flying kilometer times of 1:00.828, 1:00.913, and 1:00.980. They then had to nervously wait to see whether they were riding for gold or bronze while defending world champions and current world record holders Australia finished their qualifying time. At the halfway point, Australia was 1.8 seconds off the mark of Great Britain but ahead of the Netherlands by 0.2 seconds. However, in a disastrous final two laps, third position rider Ashley Hutchinson blew and lost the wheel in front of him, gapping teammate Matthew Goss. Since the finishing time is taken from the third rider to cross the line, Goss had to go around and try to catch his two teammates.

New Zealand opened with a very slow first kilometer but set the best final kilometer time of 1:00.670 to advance to the finals.

Great Britain will face Netherlands in the ride for the gold medal, while New Zealand will face its Australian neighbors in the ride for the bronze medal.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Mike Gladu/www.velodrome.com

Images by Mitch Friedman/www.mitchophoto.com

Images by Matthew Moses/www.moses-images.com

Images by Dana Ross/www.danarossphoto.com

Images by Matthew Moses/www.moses-images.com

Images by Mitch Friedman/www.mitchophoto.com

Images by Mike Gladu/www.velodrome.com

Images by Russ and Nancy Wright/www.abbiorca.com


Women's sprint Finals

1 Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain)   12.184  12.284        
2 Tamilia Abassova (Russia)                                  


1 Anna Meares (Australia)                      14.341  13.146
2 Kerrie Meares (Australia)            12.600                
Full women's sprint results
Men's scratch race
1 Alex Rasmussen (Denmark)
2 Gregory Henderson (New Zealand)
3 Matthew Gilmore (Belgium)
4 Mark Cavendish (Great Britain)
5 Franco Marvulli (Switzerland)
Full men's scratch results
Team pursuit finals
1 Great Britain                        4.05.619 (58.627km/h)
2 Netherlands                          4.09.971 (57.606km/h)
1 Australia                            4.07.717 (58.13km/h)
2 New Zealand                          4.08.661 (57.91km/h)
Team pursuit qualifying
1 Great Britain                        4.08.569 (57.931km/h)
2 Netherlands                          4.09.483 (57.719km/h)
3 Australia                            4.10.072 (57.583km/h)
4 New Zealand                          4.10.698 (57.439km/h)

Full team pursuit results
Women's individual pursuit finals
1 Katie Mactier (Australia)            3.38.720 (49.378km/h)
2 Katherine Bates (Australia)          3.42.848 (48.463km/h)
1 Karin Thürig (Switzerland)           3.45.490 (47.895km/h)
2 Elena Tchalykh (Russia)              3.46.574 (47.666km/h)
Women's individual pursuit qualifying
1 Katie Mactier (Australia)            3.38.325 (49.467km/h)
2 Katherine Bates (Australia)          3.41.676 (48.719km/h)
3 Karin Thürig (Switzerland)           3.42.452 (48.549km/h)
4 Elena Tchalykh (Russia)              3.43.058 (48.417km/h)
Full women's  IP results
Men's sprint qualifying
1 Theo Bos (Netherlands)                 10.192 (70.643km/h)
2 Mickaël Bourgain (France)              10.257 (70.195km/h)
3 Grégory Bauge (France)                 10.279 (70.045km/h)
4 Stefan Nimke (Germany)                 10.329 (69.706km/h)
5 René Wolff (Germany)                   10.404 (69.204km/h)
Full men's  sprint results

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