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Photo ©: Schaaf

2007 UCI Track Cycling World Championships - CM

Spain, March 29-April 1, 2007

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Men's individual pursuit

Wiggins dominates pursuit final

By Shane Stokes in Majorca

Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain)
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)
Bradley Wiggins set his second fastest ever individual pursuit time of of 4í15.976 in this morningís qualifying session but any thoughts he might try to beat the PB he set at the Athens Olympics disappeared when he caught double [2005 and 2006] champion Robert Bartko in the final.

Wiggins was slightly down at the start but moved ahead after 625 metres, going faster and faster from there while his German rival wilted. After 1000 metres he was over half a second clear, and at the 2 km point Bartko was over four seconds down. Wiggins caught him just after 2750 metres, and immediately started celebrating his win.

He was very satisfied with what he achieved. "This is great, absolutely fantastic. I donít know what to say. I was surprised, I went into that final after going absolutely flat out this morning and yet he was just there in front of me [during the race]. I guess that sort of sums up the psychological battles that go on as well. I was nervous this afternoon, I didnít underestimate him, but God knows what he was thinking after having five seconds pumped into him. That is sport.

"I have never been in the position [of catching an opponent in the final], actually, I have always had to go right to the line. But it is a great feeling when you come bearing down on someone. I think he was probably already beaten going into the final."

Wigginís wife and children were there to see him win, and he said that meant a lot. "That is what puts it all into perspective. After this is over, I am back to changing nappies! But these moments are the sort of things you look back on when you get old and stop. Having your kids, your family there is just great."

Wiggins will now line out in the team pursuit on Friday and the madison on Sunday, and is chasing gold in both. "This was always going to be a triple project," he said. "Three golds is the target here.

The bronze medal ride-off was an all Spanish affair in the bronze medal ride-off and, as expected, the duel between Sergi Escobar and Antonio Tauler really got the crowd going. Escobar, champion in Melbourne three years ago, was clearly stronger and beat his rival by 6.1 seconds.

Wiggins motoring in qualifying

Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins looks on course to take gold in the pursuit this evening, after a storming qualifying session saw him go substantially quicker than his opponents. The Briton recorded a time of 4'15.976 for the 4000 metres, catching Russia's Vitaliy Popkov along the way. Defending champion Robert Bartko (Germany) was third fastest at the 3000 metre point but a very fast final kilo saw him rally to earn a place in the final, setting a time of 4'20.487.

Wiggins was clearly pleased with his ride, yelling with triumph when he saw the time. He is approaching his Athens qualification time of 4'15.165, the current Olympic record and his personal best to date, and appears to be in superb form here in Palma.

The bronze medal ride-off will be between Sergi Escobar (Spain) and his compatriot Antonio Tauler, giving the home fans a certain medal in the event. Escobar finished just .004 off Bartko's time in posting a 4'20.501, with Tauler over two seconds back.

Last year's silver medallist Jens Mouris had a disappointing ride, finishing back in sixth.

Results

Qualifying
 
1 Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain)              4.15.976 (56.255 km/h)
2 Robert Bartko (Germany)                      4.20.487
3 Sergi Escobar Roure (Spain)                  4.20.501
4 Antonio Tauler Llull (Spain)                 4.22.795
5 Jenning Huizenga (Netherlands)               4.25.020
6 Jens Mouris (Netherlands)                    4.25.094
7 Robert Hayles (Great Britain)                4.25.669
8 Mark Jamieson (Australia)                    4.26.595
9 Alexander Serov (Russian Federation)         4.27.222
10 Fabien Sanchez (France)                     4.27.614
11 Daniel Becke (Germany)                      4.27.622
12 Volodymyr Dyudya (Ukraine)                  4.28.919
13 Dominique Cornu (Belgium)                   4.29.093
14 Vitaliy Popkov (Ukraine)                    4.29.175
15 Carlos Eduardo Alzate Escobar (Colombia)    4.29.256
16 Zakkari Dempster (Australia)                4.30.125
17 David O'Loughlin (Ireland)                  4.30.595
18 Zachary Bell (Canada)                       4.34.956
19 Giairo Ermeti (Italy)                       4.35.572
20 Valery Valynin (Russian Federation)         4.38.360
21 Sergejus Apionkinas (Lithuania)             4.40.908
DNS Phillip Thuaux (Australia)                        

Gold Medal final

1 Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain) 2 Robert Bartko (Germany) (caught) Bronze Medal final 
3 Sergi Escobar (Spain) 4.23.40 (54.666 km/h) 4 Antonio Tauler (Spain) 4.29.50 (53.425 km/h)