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Track World Cup 07-08 Round 3 - CDM
Los Angeles, California, January 18-20, 2008
Session 4 - January 19: Men: Keirin, Kilometre TT, Team pursuit, Scratch race; Women: Points race, 500m TT, Team Sprint
Aussies get double gold on night two
By Laura Weislo in Los Angeles
Sunderland blazes to kilo crown
Australian Scott Sunderland (Toshiba) blitzed the competition in the men's kilometre time trial final, setting a time four tenths of a second faster than Ukrainian Yevgen Bolibrukh. The 19 year-old set the track on fire with an opening 18.3 lap, and then held onto the fastest splits throughout the race to take gold with a 1.02.7.
"I went more like I did as a junior - hard at the start and try to hang on," Sunderland said of his new racing strategy. "Previously I've been going out hard at the start and then trying to pace a bit too much. It's more pain and more spewing at the end of it, but it worked."
The time was a full eight tenths under his previous personal best, something Sunderland credits to changes in his training. "I've done things a bit different than I'm used to - a bit longer rides, which paid off a bit. I'll just keep doing more of the same to get more out of the time."
Yevgen got off to a slow start, and was fifth fastest on the first lap, but his subsequent rounds were fast enough to send him across the line with a time of 1.03.1 to take silver. Bronze medallist Wen Hao Li of China was nearly a second slower in 1.04.0.
Australian anthem resounds after men's team pursuit
The Australians made their way back up onto the top of the team pursuit podium after a run of bad luck, taking out the final in Los Angeles in a nail-biting battle against a quick starting Danish squad. While the Danes set the fastest time in the first and second kilometres, the Aussies turned on the after-burners for the second half of the race to pull even just before the last 1000 metres, and then dropped the hammer, ending the race a full three seconds and change up on the Danes with a time of 4'06.17.
"The last kilometre was hard, but we managed to bring it back," said Jack Bobridge.
The experienced Brad McGee was part of the gold medal winning team in the 2004 Athens Olympics, and made his first appearance at the World Cups to shepherd his younger teammates. "The game plan was always to start even and hold it," explained McGee. "We knew that the Danes would more than likely blow to bits, but we just had to make sure we didn't. It was a very smart ride."
Mark Jamieson was at both previous World Cup rounds, and was pleased with the improvement. "We've had an average start to the World Cup classics, a solid start with bronze in Sydney, in Beijing we were all a bit sick, but it's certainly good to get back up on the top step," he said. "Both Peter and Jack were with me in Sydney, and Brad's come in for this one which made for a really good team. It was a good combination for tonight."
Peter Dawson sees the result as a warning to the British team, who won both previous rounds but chose to skip the American World Cup. "This is a big step for us toward the World Championships, and then obviously Beijing. We've been on the back foot with the British guys swatting some fantastic times, and we're going to go to their home turf now with a bit of confidence.
"I think the last time we won a World Cup, we actually went on to win the Worlds," said Jamieson. "I'm sure we'll put them away in Manchester, but I guess the Olympics is our number one goal, and this is a good step. We got a good measure out of this one - it gives them a bit of a scare because they don't know what they could have done here. This track is traditionally really slow, and the Ukraine's time would have won the Worlds here in 2005. On a track like Sydney you're looking at a 4'00, 4'01 - and so the British know we're coming for 'em."
The Ukrainian team put in a very fast time in the bronze medal final, going four tenths under the Australian's time. They soundly defeated the Dutch team, who were more than four seconds back.
Guerra sizzles in 500m time trial
World Cup leader Lisandra Guerra Rodriquez earned the title of 'Cuban missile' as she put the crowd on its feet with a whopping 33.955 time trial to take the win ahead of Dutch rider Willy Kanis. Not only was Guerra the only rider to break the 34 second barrier, her time was just four tenths of a second shy of the world record held by Australian Anna Meares.
Guerra was pleased to ride a personal best time, but shied away from saying that she can break Meares' record. "I have a lot of respect for Anna Meares. She was my idol when I started cycling. When I saw her win the Olympic Games in 2004, I said that's what I want to do with my future. Now that I am here and I see that I have a chance to get close to that record, I'm very happy."
Meares was on the sidelines watching her competitor take the gold. Her coach Martin Barras explained that the 500m is no longer a priority for the world champion. "As the 500 is no longer an Olympic event, the race is not a priority for Anna," Barras explained. "She raced in Sydney in order to wear the rainbow bands in front of the home crowd, but she won't do the event in the World Cup." Meares will instead focus her efforts on the match sprint, which is the only Olympic event for women sprinters.
Tournant returns to keirin gold
Frenchman Arnaud Tournant added to his chest full of gold medals, stacking the men's keirin title on top of the team sprint title he helped achieve this weekend. The keirin victory came as a bit of a surprise to the many-time world champion. "I'm surprised because when I arrived I was sick (bronchitis), so I had to make some changes in my training to save some energy," the Cofidis rider said.
"During the qualifying I just tried not to push too much, just to qualify. In the final, I didn't think at all - I just took advantage of an opening a lap and a half before the end. Then I just gave everything I had."
The victory confirmed the form of the soon to be 30 year-old, who is fighting against a large contingent of strong French sprinters for the Olympic berth. "It's very hard because there are six or seven riders for three or four places for the Olympic Games," he said. "It's a very hard qualification. For me for the moment it's good because I took my fifth podium in three World Cups."
Former junior world champion Christos Volikakis (Greece) was able to get the better of Australian Ryan Bayley to take silver. The 20 year-old confirmed his ascension to the elite ranks with the results, but was honoured to be on the podium with his more experienced competitors. "I have a great amount of respect for Tournant and Bayley," he said through the translator. "But I was not afraid."
Bayley, the Olympic gold medallist in the discipline was not as pleased with his result. "It was a little disappointing I won the heat and the semifinals, but I made two small mistakes in the final. It was only a crafty little move in the final that got me into third."
His poor luck began with taking the wheel behind the motor pacer. "I was in front when the bike came off, and I let one person come past and another person come past," he explained. Coming into the critical final lap, his luck worsened. "I ended up last wheel, and I tried to make a move when everyone else made the move and ended up on the outside," Bayley continued. "Coming into the last corner the only place to go was underneath, so I went under, knocked someone out of the way and took third. But at the end of the day thirds better than last, but I don't come here to get third, I come here to win races, so it was a bit of a disappointment."
Czech Republic takes first gold in women's points race
The Czech Republic has been ever-present off the front of the endurance events, but their efforts hadn't paid off until Jarmila Machacova succeeded in lapping the field to win the women's points race. "It hasn't been my strategy to attack, but today in the qualifier I attacked, and tonight I wanted to again," Machacova said after the podium ceremony.
Machacova followed the attack of the young Korean Min Hye Lee early in the race ahead of the third sprint of the 80 lap race. Lee, who has never before won a medal in a UCI event, was thrilled to make the move, even if it was very difficult. "It was about a ten out of ten on the pain scale," she said. The pair succeeded in lapping the field, gaining a 20 point bonus apiece.
Machacova was happy to have Lee as a companion off the front, and felt her presence was an advantage. "I thought that maybe the Korean girl isn't so well known, so the bunch might hesitate. She wasn't quite as strong, so I pulled a bit more than half a lap, but she worked well with me," the new World Cup leader explained.
The race was aggressive from the gun, with China's Yan Li taking the first sprint. American Rebecca Quinn had placed third in the opening sprint, but was relegated for going onto the 'blue band' on the inside of the track, giving World Champion Katherine Bates the final point.
Lithuanian Svetlana Pauliukaite attacked before the second sprint to take the points, setting up Lee to make her move. The two leaders took their lap quickly, taking out the maximum points on the third sprint, and then gaining the field before the fourth sprint started.
Bates took sprint four, and then Cuban Yoanka Gonzales won the fifth sprint before disaster struck. Gonzales went down in a mass crash in turn three, and was taken from the track on a stretcher. American Shelly Olds also abandoned the race, while French rider Cathy Moncassin Prime got up to finish along with Korean Song Hee Han.
In the ensuing chaos, Charlotte Becker slipped away to take the sixth sprint, while Dutch rider Marianne Vos gave a go at bronze by taking the seventh sprint. However, the Chinese proved too strong, and with a strong lead-out from Jianling Wang, Li was able to take the final sprint to win the bronze.
World Champ pounces on scratch race
World scratch race champion Wong Kam-Po is a patient man. He waited and waited as attack after attack flew away in the final of the event on Saturday night, biding his time until the perfect opportunity arose with six laps to go to escape the field. After a brutal start to the 60-lap race, the peloton was heading into the final two kilometres all together. As riders nervously awaited the inevitable attack, it was Belarus' Vasili Kiryienka who made the move, diving from the center of the group down into turn three and powering away. The World Champion sensed that this was the winning move, and quickly reacted, making his way up to the wheel of Kiryienka and then working together to stay clear.
The rest of the bunch now had a choice: chase and sacrifice the chance to win or wait and hope that someone else would. Fortunately for the pair out front, the vast majority of the riders chose to wait. It was clear with two laps to go that the group was riding for bronze, and Dutchman Wim Stroetinga was keen to take that final podium spot. He launched his attack coming into the final lap, while up ahead, the first Chinese world champion was able to outsprint Kiryienka for the gold. The Dutch rider stayed clear for the bronze.
The action began from the gun, with Colombian Juan Esteban Arango hitting out with Belgium's Tim Mertens and Spaniard David Muntaner. They were joined by Frenchman Jérôme Neuville and Italian Gianpaolo Biolo. But as the fresh legs in the peloton closed down the gap, Neuville attacked again, but was getting no leeway. Jose Aravena (Chile) was struck by an untimely flat tyre and was forced to withdraw.
Next it was time for the Americans Bobby Lea and Colby Pearce (Slipstream) to get the crowd up on their feet. Lea put in a strong attack which lined out the field. He then took a moment's rest and put in a second attack, this time shooting out the front like a rocket. Pearce saw a good opportunity, and joined his compatriot off the front much to the delight of the crowd.
When the pair were joined by Spaniard Toni Tauler (Illes Balears), the move continued to gather steam ahead of a calculating field. After another few laps, they were made a foursome when Arango came across. The breakaway lasted a good three kilometres, but with four strong men up the road, the peloton finally decided to chase with more vigor. Finally, with two-thirds of the race behind them, the four were once again back in the field.
"That was like the American LA velodrome dream come true," Pearce said after the race. "Everyone [in the crowd] was freaking out and I thought, 'this is kinda cool'." Pearce insisted that the two did not plan for the ultimate American breakaway. "Bobby made the move and I found myself floating off the front, so I just gave it a shot."
Lea put in a great deal of effort into the move and was disappointed that it didn't work out. "It's a little frustrating, but so much of the scratch race is having luck on your side. To a certain extent you can make your own luck, which is what I tried to do: trying to read the race and figure out maybe when people are trying to crack and hoping maybe the right move would sneak away. But sometimes the one you don't go in is the one that gets away."
Women's sprint team hands Netherlands LA gold
The Dutch sprint team of Willy Kanis and Yvonne Hijgenaar confirmed their status as the fastest duo in the world right now. The pair handily defeated the French team of Sandie Clair and Virginie Ceuff to earn the first gold medal of the meet for the Netherlands, despite the French team's fast start.
The World Cup leaders are now undefeated in the series. "We are doing very well," said Hijgenaar, happy to give her Dutch team a victory in Los Angeles. "It's not a big team, but it's been a good weekend."
In the bronze medal final, the Australian pair of Kaarle McCulloch and Kerrie Meares defeated Germans Jane Gerisch and Dana Glöss, leading throughout the race to finish in 34.79, more than three-tenths faster than Germany.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Mitch Friedman/www.mitchophoto.com
Images by Mitch Clinton/www.clintonphoto.com
Women's 500m Time Trial 1 Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez (Cuba) 0.33.96 (53.011 km/h) 2 Willy Kanis (Netherlands) 0.34.49 3 Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania) 0.34.76 4 Jinjie Gong (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling 0.34.88 5 Lulu Zheng (People's Republic of China) 0.35.11 6 Lyubov Shulika (Ukraine) 0.35.17 7 Kaarle Mcculloch (Australia) 0.35.21 8 Diana Maria Garcia Orrego (Colombia) 0.35.82 9 Virginie Cueff (France) 0.35.88 10 Nancy Contreras Reyes (Mexico) 0.36.11 11 Lenka Valova (Czech Republic) 0.37.38 12 Angee Gonzalez (Venezuela) 0.37.47 13 Joanne Van Der Westhuizen (South Africa) 0.39.33 14 Monika Alango (Estonia) 0.41.60 Men's team pursuit final 1 Australia 4.06.17 Jack Bobridge (Australia) Bradley McGee (Australia) Mark Jamieson (Australia) Peter Dawson (Australia) 2 Denmark 4.09.38 Casper Jorgensen (Denmark) Alex Rasmussen (Denmark) Michael Morkov (Denmark) Jens-Erik Madsen (Denmark) 3 Ukraine 4.05.77 Lyubomyr Polatayko (Ukraine) Vitaliy Shchedov (Ukraine) Vitaliy Popkov (Ukraine) Maksym Polischyuk (Ukraine) 4 Netherlands 4.09.91 Levi Heimans (Netherlands) Wim Stroetinga (Netherlands) Geert-Jan Jonkman (Netherlands) Jenning Huizenga (Netherlands) Women's points race final 1 Jarmila Machacova (Czech Republic) 27 pts 2 Min Hye Lee (Hong Kong, China) 23 3 Li Yan (People's Republic of China) 12 4 Katherine Bates (Aus) Team High Road 9 5 Leire Olaberria Dorronsoro (Spa) Cespa-Euskadi 8 6 Marianne Vos (Ned) DSB Bank 8 7 Rebecca Quinn (USA) South Bay Wheelmen 7 8 Belinda Goss (Australia) 6 9 Svetlana Pauliukaite (Lithuania) 5 10 Vera Carrara (Italy) 5 11 Charlotte Becker (Germany) 5 12 Eleonora Van Dijk (Netherlands) 2 13 Lada Kozlikova (Czech Republic) 2 14 Lauren Franges (United States of America) 1 15 Eugeniya Romanyuta (Russian Federation) 16 Jianling Wang (People's Republic of China) 17 Pascale Jeuland (France) 18 Debora Galvez Lopez (Spain) 19 Martina Rusickova (Cze) ASC Dukla Praha 20 Eleonora Soldo (Ita) Safi Pasta 21 Cathy Moncassin Prime (France) 22 Song Hee Han (Korea) -20 DNF Yoanka Gonzalez Perez (Cuba) DNF Shelley Olds (USA) Proman Cycling Team Men's Keirin Round two Heat 1 1 Roberto Chiappa (Italy) 2 Arnaud Tournant (Fra) Cofidis 3 Christos Volikakis (Greece) 4 Ben Kersten (Australia) 5 Maximilian Levy (Germany) 6 Josiah Ng Onn Lam (Malaysia) Heat 2 1 Ryan Bayley Team Toshiba 2 François Pervis (France) 3 Teun Mulder (Netherlands) 4 Sergey Borisov (Russian Federation) 5 Cam Mackinnon (Canada) 6 Hodei Mazquiaran Uria (Spain) Final 1-6 1 Arnaud Tournant (Fra) Cofidis 2 Christos Volikakis (Greece) 3 Ryan Bayley Team Toshiba 4 Teun Mulder (Netherlands) 5 François Pervis (France) 6 Roberto Chiappa (Italy) Final 7-12 7 Maximilian Levy (Germany) 8 Josiah Ng Onn Lam (Malaysia) 9 Sergey Borisov (Russian Federation) 10 Hodei Mazquiaran Uria (Spain) 11 Ben Kersten (Australia) 12 Cam Mackinnon (Canada) Men's kilometre time trial 1 Scott Sunderland Team Toshiba 1.02.70 2 Yevgen Bolibrukh (Ukraine) 1.03.11 3 Wen Hao Li (People's Republic of China) 1.04.01 4 Kamil Kuczynski (Poland) 1.04.74 5 Tomas Babek (Czech Republic) 1.05.13 6 Myeong Hyeon Lee (Korea) 1.05.46 7 Athanasios Mantzouranis (Greece) 1.05.78 8 Hodei Mazquiaran Uria (Spain) 1.06.41 9 Alex Cull (New Zealand) 1.06.83 10 Tobias Wachter (Germany) 1.06.88 11 David Alonso Castillo (Spa) Illes Balears 1.06.95 12 Michael Faerk Christensen (Denmark) 1.07.13 13 Azikiwe Kellar (Trinidad and Tobago) 1.07.13 14 Dominique Cornu (Belgium) 1.07.74 15 Pablo Seisdedos (Chile) 1.07.83 16 Roman Kononenko (Ukr) Arda Natura Pinarello Ukraina 1.08.26 17 Morgan Fox (Irl) Pezula Racing 1.08.52 18 Jiren Wei (Chn) Hong Kong Pro Cycling 1.08.59 19 Stephen Pelaez (Philippines) 1.09.03 20 Martin Yankov (Bulgaria) 1.11.22 DNS Jenning Huizenga (Netherlands) DNS Sergey Polynskiy (Russian Federation) Women's team sprint final 1 Netherlands 0.34.03 Yvonne Hijgenaar (Netherlands) Willy Kanis (Netherlands) 2 France 0.34.77 Sandie Clair (France) Virginie Cueff (France) 3 Australia 0.34.79 Kaarle Mcculloch (Australia) Kerrie Meares (Australia) 4 Germany 0.35.12 Jane Gerisch (Germany) Dana Glöss (Germany) Men's scratch race final 1 Kam-Po Wong (Hong Kong, China) 2 Vasili Kiryienka (Belarus) 3 Wim Stroetinga (Netherlands) 4 Robert Hayles (Great Britain) 5 Roger Kluge (Germany) 6 Juan Esteban Arango Carvajal (Colombia) 7 Angel Dario Colla (Argentina) 8 Glenn O'Shea (Australia) 9 Gianpaolo Biolo (Italy) 10 Oleksandr Martynenko (Ukr) ISD-Sport Donetsk 11 David Muntaner Juaneda (Spain) 12 Blazej Janiaczyk (Poland) 13 Georg Tazreiter (Austria) 14 Colby Pearce (USA) Team Slipstream 15 Roman Kononenko (Ukr) Arda Natura Pinarello Ukraina 16 Tim Mertens (Belgium) 17 Bobby Lea (United States Of America) 18 Kenneth Williams (USA) Cody Racing team 19 Antonio Tauler Llull (Spa) Illes Balears 20 Jérôme Neuville (France) 21 Jonathan Bellis (GBr) Team 100% Me 22 David O'loughlin (Irl) Pezula Racing DNF Jose Aravena (Chile) DNF King Wai Cheung (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling