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2007 UCI Track Cycling World Championships - CM
Spain, March 29-April 1, 2007
Day 1 - March 29: Men's omnium: 200m TT, 5km scratch race, individual pursuit, 15km points race, 1km TT; Women's team sprint qualifying & final; Men's team sprint qualifying & final
By Shane Stokes in Palma
Kankovsky Takes Omnium Title
Czech rider Alois Kankovsky had a clear lead going into the evening’s final two races but had a scare before finally running out as the winner of the first world championship omnium to be held in almost forty years.
He finished a fine nine points clear of Walter Fernando Perez (Argentina), with US rider Charles Bradley Huff taking bronze. Belarusian Aliaksandr Lisouski was just outside the medals in fourth.
"I am very pleased with this result," Kankovsky said through an interpreter from the Czech team. "My performances in the scratch and pursuit [he was second in both, as well as the kilo] were crucial to this result."
After the 200 metre time trial, scratch race and individual pursuit were run off in the morning session, the omnium drew to a close with the points race and one kilometre time trial. The former was, as expected, a very aggressive affair. Lisouski (Belarus) won the first two sprints from Enrico Peruffo (Italy) and Michaël D’Almeida (France) respectively, but by the time the next gallop came round Perez, Karl-Christian König (Germany), Daniel Kreutzfeldt (Denmark) and Jessie Sergent (New Zealand) had slipped clear and crossed the line in that order. The quartet continued on and succeeded in lapping the field to net 20 points, then kept close tabs on the others to ensure they would take the first four places in the event.
Kreutzfeldt won the fifth sprint but Perez’ second and third places in gallops four and five were enough to ensure he came out best, with Sergent and König having to settle for third and fourth. Previous overall leader Kankovsky was only ninth and this obliterated his eight point advantage, putting the Czech and Argentinean riders level on points heading into the final event, the 1 kilometre time trial.
Here, 200m TT winner D’Almeida showed once again his speed against the clock, recording a very impressive 1’02.40 in the kilo and finishing almost two full seconds clear of runner-up Kankovsky. Robert Slippens (Netherlands) was third with 1’06.02. However Perez struggled, finishing back in eleventh, and this was more than enough to secure Kankovsky’s win.
American rider Charles Bradley Huff finished just .3 behing Slippens in fourth place, and jumped from eighth overall to land bronze in the final standings. The omnium may have made the opening day quite intensive in terms of the number of races run, but there was some great racing and the general consensus was that the newly-reintroduced event adds to the championships.
Gold for Great Britain's sprint duo
British duo Victoria Pendelton and Shanaze Reade delivered the fastest time in qualification earlier today and were again quicker than the Dutch team in the final of the women's team sprint. They netted gold in the first running of the race as a full championship event, going 0.34 quicker than their rivals Yvonne Hijgenaar and Willy Kanis with a time of 33.63 seconds.
Australian duo Kristine Bayley and Anna Meares secured bronze over the Frenchwomen Sandie Clair and Virginie Cueff, actually going faster than the Dutch in their ride-off for third.
Pendleton's ability has been known for quite a while, having won the individual sprint in 2005. However, remarkably, this is only Reade's second ever time racing at international track level, with the recent Manchester World Cup marking her debut. She has come to this wing of the sport from BMX and the 18 year old clearly has a big, big future ahead of her.
"What Vicky and I have achieved really hasn't sank in yet," she said immediately before the medal ceremony. "I would like to thank Anna Blythe who wasn't actually riding in the finals with us, but she played a massive part in this.
"I have been doing BMX for eight years and have been on the track for four months now, but really properly for two months. Manchester was my first ever race. I got into this due to the fact that BMX is now in the Olympics, and so I train with British Cycling. I did this [track] as kind of crossover training, just got better and better and so they said, "right, you should try the team sprint. It went from there, really."
Pendleton was delighted with the result. "I am really pleased with that, it was a strong performance. There is a lot to work on as regards technique but considering today's races were the first two me and Shanaze have done together, it is not a bad day's work!
"We know what to do and we have practiced the event separately, but I think we did a good job today. There are thing to work on, which makes it quite exciting for the future."
She has more goals here in Palma and will draw motivation from today's result. "Obviously starting off with a rainbow jersey on the first day is a big boost. My form is good, the times show that quite clearly, and I am looking forward to trying my best over the next couple of days."
As for Reade, she will also do the 500 metre time trial on Saturday. She says that she will continue to focus on BMX in the run up to the Olympics, but doesn't rule out a greater emphasis to track racing in the years to come.
"BMX is what I am about right now but being world champion on the track, I don't think I can put that bike away just yet! I can't say right now what is going to happen for me the future, as regards doing a lot more track racing, but being world champion is going to open so many doors."
France edge men’s team sprint
They don’t come any tighter than this. The French trio of Gregory Bauge, Mickaël Bourgain and Arnaud Tournant successfully defended the team sprint title they won in Bordeaux last year, beating fastest-qualifiers Great Britain by a miniscule two thousandths of a second.
GB riders Ross Edgar, Chris Hoy and Craig Maclean were down from the very start and were 0.239 back with just 100 metres remaining. Hoy pulled out the fastest final lap of all the teams in the competition to bring that gap right back, but ran out of time before hitting the line.
It was a repeat of the top two placings from 2006, but this time it was Germany who netted third after a young Australian team finished fifth in the qualifiers. Robert Forstemann, Maximilian Levy and Stefan Nimke beat Dutchmen Theo Bos, Teun Mulder and Tim Veldt by .046" in their scrap for the medal.
The earlier qualifiers had seen Great Britain finish .12" clear of France, with Germany and the Netherlands third and fourth.
Wiggins dominates pursuit 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 don’t 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 didn’t 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."
Wiggin’s 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.
Kankovsky leads omnium
Kankovsky finished fourth in the opening race, the 200m time trial, then took second in both the scratch and pursuit events. That earned him a points total of 8, precisely half that of Perez. Huff is on 21, with Alexey Shmidt (Russia) and Dimitri De Fauw (Belgium) a point further adrift in fourth and fifth. The winner will be the rider with the lowest total score, one point going to the winner in each round.
The newly-reintroduced championship got underway first thing this morning with the 200 metre time trial where France's Michaël D'Almeida was quickest with 10.278". Australian Ben Kersten and the Pole Pawel Kosciecha were next with 10.480" and 10.709" respectively, while Konkovsky and Huff (USA) were also in the top five.
Following a break while the women's team sprint qualifiers were being run off, the scratch race was next for the omnium competitors and was aggressive from the start. Four riders - Perez, Kankovysky, Shmidt and Aliaksandr Lisouski (Belarus) - went clear early on and, despite the efforts of some of those behind to bridge, gained a lap on the rest of the field. They finished in that order, giving Perez the win, while De Fauw scorched away with two laps to go to hit the line first. It looked dramatic but as he was a lap down, he ended up fifth.
The combined results meant that Kankovsky, Perez and D'Almedia were sitting on top of the points standing going into the third round, the omnium individual pursuit.
Kankovsky set the second fastest time to hold onto his place at the top of the classification, recording 3'22.686 for the 3000 metre distance, but quickest of all was Jesse Sergent (New Zealand) with a time of 3'21.875.
British rider Jonathan Bellis was third in 3.22.863. Perez, who had started second to Kankovsky in the overall standings, dropped from four to eight points behind due to his sixth place in the test. Huff was two places further back in eighth, but moved from fourth to third overall as a result.
The American caught his opponent D'Almeida during their pursuit, but was actually then dropped by the Frenchman, who surged when Huff was alongside him and pulled out the fastest final kilometre of all the competitors, 1'03.576. However his slow start meant that he finished back in 14th place and consequently dropped from third to ninth in the standings.
There are two events remaining in the omnium's quintet of races and these will be run off later today. The points race gets the evening session off to a start, and will then be followed approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes later by the kilometre time trial.
British duo top team sprint qualifiers
Former world individual spring champion Victoria Pendleton and BMX competitor-turned-trackie Shanaze Reade were the only duo to go under 34 seconds in the women's team sprint this morning, posting a time of 33.630 seconds and making sure of their place in the final.
They will square up against Yvonne Hijgenaar and Willy Kanis this evening, the Dutch pair recording 34.071" to finish .084 seconds quicker than the third-placed duo of Kristine Bayley and Anna Meares.
The Australians will fight it off with Sandie Clair and Virginie Cueff of France for bronze.
Wiggins motoring in pursuit qualifier
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.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Mitch Friedman/www.mitchophoto.com
Images by CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net
Images by AFP
Points race 1 Walter Fernando Perez (Argentina) 30 pts 2 Daniel Kreutzfeldt (Denmark) 27 3 Jesse Sergent (New Zealand) 23 4 Karl Christian König (Germany) 23 One lap behind 5 Aliaksandr Lisouski (Belarus) 18 pts 6 Enrico Peruffo (Italy) 8 7 Alexey Shmidt (Russia) 5 8 Dimitri De Fauw (Belgium) 3 9 Alois Kankovsky (Czech Republic) 3 10 Jonathan Bellis (Great Britain) 2 11 Robert Slippens (Netherlands) 1 12 Charles Bradley Huff (USA) Two laps behind 13 Michaël D'Almeida (France) -20 14 Panagiotis Keloglou (Greece) -20 15 Pedro Jose Vera Alcaraz (Spain) -20 Three laps behind 16 Pawel Kosciecha (Poland) -40 DNS Ben Kersten (Australia) Kilometre time trial 1 Michaël D'Almeida (France) 1.02.40 2 Alois Kankovsky (Czech Republic) 1.04.18 3 Robert Slippens (Netherlands) 1.06.02 4 Charles Bradley Huff (USA) 1.06.32 5 Aliaksandr Lisouski (Belarus) 1.06.49 6 Jonathan Bellis (Great Britain) 1.06.66 7 Daniel Kreutzfeldt (Denmark) 1.06.69 8 Pawel Kosciecha (Poland) 1.07.11 9 Pedro Jose Vera Alcaraz (Spain) 1.07.16 10 Dimitri De Fauw (Belgium) 1.07.50 11 Walter Fernando Perez (Argentina) 1.07.68 12 Karl Christian König (Germany) 1.08.08 13 Panagiotis Keloglou (Greece) 1.08.08 14 Alexey Shmidt (Russia) 1.08.24 15 Jesse Sergent (New Zealand) 1.08.63 16 Enrico Peruffo (Italy) 1.09.66 Final standings 1 Alois Kankovsky (Czech Republic) 19 pts 2 Walter Fernando Perez (Argentina) 28 3 Charles Bradley Huff (USA) 37 4 Aliaksandr Lisouski (Belarus) 37 5 Daniel Kreutzfeldt (Denmark) 38 6 Dimitri De Fauw (Belgium) 40 7 Michaël D'Almeida (France) 41 8 Jonathan Bellis (Great Britain) 42 9 Robert Slippens (Netherlands) 42 10 Jesse Sergent (New Zealand) 43 11 Alexey Shmidt (Russia) 43 12 Karl Christian König (Germany) 45 13 Enrico Peruffo (Italy) 59 14 Pawel Kosciecha (Poland) 61 15 Pedro Jose Vera Alcaraz (Spain) 63 16 Panagiotis Keloglou (Greece) 63 DNF Ben Kersten (Australia)
Women's team sprint
Qualifying 1 (Great Britain) 33.630 Victoria Pendleton Shanaze Reade 2 (Netherlands) 34.071 Yvonne Hijgenaar Willy Kanis 3 (Australia) 34.155 Kristine Bayley Anna Meares 4 (France) 34.314 Sandie Clair Virginie Cueff 5 (Germany) 34.578 Jane Gerisch Christin Muche 6 (People's Republic of China) 34.676 Fang Tian Jinjie Gong 7 (New Zealand) 34.799 Fiona Carswell Jocelyn Rastrick 8 (Russian Federation) 34.862 Swetlana Grankowskaja Oksana Grishina 9 (Poland) 36.159 Renata Dabrowska Magdalena Sara 10 (Spain) 36.354 Leire Olaberria Dorronsoro Ainhoa Pagola Alvarez 11 (Czech Republic) 37.348 Lada Kozlikova Lenka Valova Gold Medal final
Men's individual pursuit 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
Men's Team Sprint
Gold Medal final 1 France 0.43.830 (61.601 km/h) Gregory Bauge Mickaël Bourgain Arnaud Tournant 2 Great Britain 0.43.832 (61.598 km/h) Ross Edgar Chris Hoy Craig Maclean Bronze Medal final 3 Germany 0.44.240 (61.03 km/h) Robert Forstemann Maximilian Levy Stefan Nimke 4 Netherlands 0.44.286 (60.967 km/h) 5 Australia 6 Spain 7 Japan 8 China 9 Poland 10 Russia 11 Ukraine 12 Czech Republic 13 Greece 14 Malaysia