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Track World Cup 07-08 Round 1 - CDM

Sydney, Australia, November 30-December 2, 2007

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Session 4 - December 1: Men: Keirin, Team pursuit, Scratch race; Women: Points race, 500m TT, Team Sprint

Men's Team Pursuit: Great Britain delivers

By Paul Verkuylen in Sydney

The British pursuit team
Photo ©: John Veage
(Click for larger image)

After setting the fastest time in qualifying this afternoon with a team that had never ridden together before, Great Britain came out again this evening to again show why they are the world's number one at the moment in this discipline, by clocking the fastest time once again to take out the final against New Zealand.

Like clockwork, the team produced consistent kilometre times that saw them almost in the same straight as New Zealand by the time the finishing gun fired.

"4:01 with this team with no particular preparation is pleasing this time of year," Britain's high performance manager Dave Brailsford told Cyclingnews shortly after they finished.

Bradley Wiggins was also happy but felt they have a lot more in them. "I wasn't brilliant, but it felt controlled really, we were all pretty flat out towards the end. We are all in different phases, I arrived here on Thursday morning after doing Gent Six Day, Chris Newton just came out as well and a couple of the guys were in Perth training," he said.

"It was nice to come together like that for the first time and put two rides together like that," Wiggins continued.

The winning team only came together two days ago and have had little time together on the track, "We did a standing two km in the afternoon [Thursday] on race pace, it was the only sort of preparation we had really," Wiggins said.

For the bronze medal ride-off, The Australian Toshiba team showed the huge crowd that Australia has plenty of depth of talent for the Beijing Olympics. The young squad went a further three seconds faster than their qualifying time to claim the final podium place. The time of 4.03.248 would have secured the silver medal should they have qualified just four hundredths of a second faster.

"Today I think we have shown that we are real contenders to be at the Olympics and not just ride for Australia, but contend for medals," Zac Dempster said after receiving his medal.

With so many Australian riders vying for a place on the teams pursuit squad, each riders will be under considerable pressure to prove they are worthy for their spot. Something Coach Ian McKenzie doesn't consider a bad thing. "Pressure builds diamonds," he said.

D'Almeida delivers France's first gold in kilo

By Paul Verkuylen in Sydney

Michaël D'Almeida (France)
Photo ©: John Veage
(Click for larger image)

MichaŽl D'Almeida went out strong in the one-kilometre time trial, and held his speed to take a classy win from Hao Li Wen of China and Yevgen Bolibrukh of Ukraine.

The Frenchman was the only rider to go under the 1.03 mark and did so by going out hard from the start of his heat.

"My best quality in this event is to go out strong but I wasn't supposed to do that," he told Cyclingnews via a team-mate who kindly translated.

D'Almeida is not scheduled to race the next World Cup in Beijing. "I am supposed to remain relaxed in preparation for L.A. and the final in Copenghagen," he explained.

Reigning world champion Chris Hoy opted not to compete in the event, presumably due to it's proximity to the Keirin, which left the event wide open.

German wins scratch after four take lap

By Karen Forman in Sydney

Roger Kluge (Germany)
Photo ©: John Veage
(Click for larger image)

It's often said that the best should be left until last and the men's scratch race at tonight's Sydney Track World Cup proved there is definitely some truth in the adage.

The event had it all Ė not the least a three-man breakaway which resulted in German rider Roger Kluge (Team Focus), Canadian Zachary Bell and Czech Milan Kadlec taking a lap with 34 laps (from 60) to go. That of course meant all they had to do was maintain their lead to be in contention for the medals. If they did, the only decider was who would take what medal. Naturally, the rest of the field wasn't going to make it easy and the result was a race with plenty of speed, attacks, and tactical riding. And the crowd loved it.

It was Bell who made the big move with two laps to go, going around the outside in a burst of power and speed. He was leading at the bell, with French rider Jerome Neuville and Australian Leigh Howard on his wheel.

The Frenchman crossed the line first but Kluge just pipped Bell for the gold. Kadlec picked up the bronze .

Kluge was justifiably happy with his result. "It is very important to get the lap, so that at the end of the race I only had to look at four guys," he said. "I had good legs at the finish, very fast so I am very happy that I got first. I didn't know that it was Zac that was with me when I took a lap, so I was looking at the wrong guy. I guess it was luck that I won."

The Canadian, meanwhile, was over the moon with both his race and his silver medal. "I had a very good preparation," he said. "Normally I am stuck in the north in 10 degrees and snow at this time of the year, but we have been training down in Melbourne since October and that was probably the key."

He said he hadn't planned on going for a lap when arriving in Sydney, but based on the qualifying and the way guys were riding, he knew it could be a factor. "I figure they were a good group to take a lap with and I felt really good taking the lap. The German guy really just got the better of me in the end."

Bell said he knew he had good turn of speed and could bridge a gap. "Once we had it, I took another opportunity with that Greek guy (Ioannis Tamouridis) and if I had the race over again I would have given up on him four or five laps earlier. But I know I raced to the best of my ability."

The Beijing World Cup is next on the Canadian's agenda, where he will focus on the pointscore and scratch race. He was seventh in the point score here in Sydney.

How it unfolded

Plenty of fans were on hand
Photo ©: John Veage
(Click for larger image)

The pace was on from the starter's gun but the fall-out was starting to show with 44 to go when Moscow rider Kikita Novikov attacked off the front, doing a lot of damage at the back of the field.

The pivotal attack was instigated by American Bobby Lea who was then chased by Kluge, Kadlec and Bell. Even early, it looked like a break that would result in a lapping and it did. With 34 to go, they were on the back of the bunch.

There were a few attempts to prevent the breakaway from getting too far, but it was too late; they only had to retain their positions to take the medals.

Bell, who dominated the race from the start, showed signs of wanting another lap, attacking strongly. His fellow runaways, however, were resting back in the field and weren't planning on going with him at this point.

With 10 to go Bell was brought back into the main field and reverted to second last wheel. It was time to move up Ė and he did, with two laps to go. Driving around the outside, the Canadian stormed ahead, but didn't quite manage to stop the German from taking the gold.

Women's 500m time trial: Meares doesn't disappoint

By Paul Verkuylen in Sydney

Meares, the reigning World Champ
Photo ©: John Veage
(Click for larger image)

World and Olympic champion, Anna Meares, once again showed the world why she holds the world record for the 500m time trial by again being the only women to go under the magical 34-second mark to win the event from Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez of Cuba.

The build-up to the final heat was nothing short of electric, with Dutch woman Willy Kanis coming oh so close to going under 34 seconds to take the lead with only two heats remaining. The second to last heat didn't provide a faster time and it came down to the final heat between first and second from the 2006 world championships.

Once again Meares got the better of Guerra Rodriguez to claim the title. "I am feeling very painful at the moment. I didn't get any sleep [despite her saying yesterday she planned to sleep like a log - ed.]. I was up every hour, I don't know why," she explained after the event.

"My body was aching from all the racing yesterday. I had some extra sleep today and felt better for that."

Meares' game plan for the race was simple. "There was no plan for the time trial, there never is for the 500. You just go flat out and hope for the best. I felt I was slow out of the gate. Marv [coach Martin Barras - ed.] said later I was slow till the last half lap. After taking that into consideration, I am really happy with the way it worked out.

"It's nice to say goodbye [to this World Cup in Sydney] with a gold medal, particularly riding in my World Champion stripes in front of a home crowd."

Meares will now head to Beijing for the second round of the to the World Cup next up, then home to Queensland for Christmas with her family.

Coach Martin Barras was pleased with Meares' ride. "This is what it was all about," he said, pointing at Meares' World Championship jersey. "This, the stripes, and the home crowd."

Italian takes women's points after Chinese relegated

By Karen Forman in Sydney

Giorgia Bronzini (center)
Photo ©: John Veage
(Click for larger image)

Italian Giorgia Bronzini was mid-interview, commenting on her silver medal win in the women's pointscore event; when suddenly an announcement came that changed everything Ė possibly her whole future. Winner on points, Chinese Yan Li, had been relegated to second and Bronzini, who had been five points behind on 10 and in second place, was now the gold medal winner and therefore a contender for the Beijing Olympics.

"I am sorry for the last sprint, but the Chinese girl was the very best. I am alone and it was very difficult. My form is 50 per cent... oh, I am the winner? Oh! I am very happy!"

Bronzini, the sole Safi-Pasta Zara Manhattan rider in the points race, and one of the fastest sprinters in women's cycling this year, was proclaimed the winner with 11 points, with Li taking the silver on 10 points and Czech rider Jarmila Machacova taking the bronze with nine points.

Officially, Li, without a doubt the strongest rider in the race, was relegated for "incorrect behaviour." Team-mate Jianling Wang was disqualified for incorrect behaviour after earlier being warned for moving outward "with the intention of forcing the opponent up in the sprint."

Li declined to comment after the presentation ceremony, saying her English was not good enough.

Twenty four riders of the world's best lined up for the 80-lap (20km) event in front of a near capacity crowd. Ahead of them with eight sprints Ė and therefore eight chances Ė to collect points towards a medal.

How it unfolded

Yan Li took the sprint
Photo ©: John Veage
(Click for larger image)

The women's points race was a fast-paced event characterized by plenty of attacks, chases and strategic moves. Li, Dorronsoro Olaberria (EUS) and New Zealander Joanne Kiesanowski set the speed early, swapping turns evenly.

Li showed her hand right from the start, leading out into the first sprint with half a lap to go, followed by American Rebecca Quinn close on her wheel. The points went to Li, Quinn, French woman Pascale Jeuland and Olaberria.

American Sarah Hammer defied speculation the previous night that perhaps the back injury which resulted in three months off the bike was troubling her, taking the lead with 64 to go, but wisely tucking back in to conserve some energy after a lap at the front.

With the second sprint imminent, there was a lot of looking over shoulders and guarding going on. Dutch rider Marlijn Binnendijk tried to break away, was reeled in, and then showed she wasn't easily intimidated, attacking off the front at the bell for the second sprint. The points went to Dutch rider Adrie Visser, Machacova, Pascale and Australian Katherine Bates.

A post-sprint attack saw two riders including Olaberria, touch wheels and hit the deck. The pack never slowed while they picked themselves up and Visser, Machacolva, Jeuland and Bates picked up the points in the third sprint. Two riders Russian Eugeniya Romanyuta and Inga Cilvinaite (AGS) then attacked and grabbed a third of a lap. Olaberria, recovered from her crash, rejoined the pack with 52 to go.

Charlotte Becker (RAD) became the breakaway's third rider just before the bell for the third sprint, powering off the front to scoop up the five points for first place. Visser at this point was leading the pointscore ahead of Li and Jeuland. Becker stayed out the front with Visser chasing hard, swinging up the track and going around into the lead. Becker smartly grabbed her wheel and the pair frantically swapped turns, trying to gain distance on the bunch.

Machacova worked very hard and managed to close the gap, with the bunch trailed out in single file, starting to feel the effects of the pace. Bates was obviously marked in her rainbow jersey. The fourth sprint went down to eventual winner Bronzini after a huge effort off the front.

Jeuland, Becker, Quinn, Visser and Bronzini were all equal leaders with five points apiece. The fifth sprint belonged to Li, with Slyusareva, Hammer and Olaberria also grabbing points. With 15 points still up for grabs Hammer was looking very strong, but the race was anybody's at this point.

The sixth sprint was swallowed up by French rider Cathy Prime Moncassin, with Bronzini, Bates and Machacova collecting points. Visser showed she still had plenty of strength with a bold attack off the front. Team-mates Li and Wang stuck close to each other and brought the bunch through to latch onto them quickly.

The womens' points race
Photo ©: John Veage
(Click for larger image)

With 15 laps to go Schmidt decided to head off the front and was joined by an optimistic Tess Downing (DPC) who hadn't previously shown her race. With Schmidt slowly, Downing made a bid for a solo break, but the experienced Bates was controlling the pace on the main group and she didn't have much hope of staying away.

The seventh sprint gave five points to Machacova, who was obviously tiring. The pointscore now had Bronzini as its leader, with Li, then Machacova and Jeuland all still vying for the medals.

The action hotted-up with four laps to go when Bates launched a massive attack much to the delight of her home crowd, giving rise to hopes that she might be able to grab a lap and a prized 20 points. Knowing she meant business, the field immediately launched a chase. With Dane Trine Schmidt on the front of the group. The Chinese riders marched to the front and picked up the pace, to be joined by Bronzini and Olaberria in a team time trial which reeled Bates in as the bell rang for the last sprint. Li had three bike lengths on the rest of the field take the maximum points in the final sprint.

Men's Keirin: World champ shows his class

By Paul Verkuylen in Sydney

Chris Hoy (GBr) wins
Photo ©: John Veage
(Click for larger image)

Chris Hoy has taken the Men's Keirin. After Shane Kelly thrilled the crowds to take out the ride off for seventh, the first three riders from the world championships lined up for the final, along with four more of the world's best.

Reining world champion Chris Hoy didn't disappoint, attacking with two laps remaining and was never looked like he was under threat for the win. Countryman Ross Edgar crossed the line for second, with big Dutchman Theo Bos claiming third.

"I'm delighted. The keirin is such an unpredictable event, you just have to ride to your strengths, and you try and control it as much as you can. That's what I did tonight," Hoy told Cyclingnews shortly after his winning ride.

"You could re-run that race and it could be a different winner. So I'm really happy that it went my way. It's good points for qualification and nice to be back in Sydney winning again.

"The most important thing is points for the Olympics, and we couldn't have asked for a better result, with first and second," Hoy concluded.

Bos was philosophical about his ride, putting the result down to an error in tactics, something he explained is more difficult in the keirin than his favoured event. "The legs felt good and the form was good. Third place is good, but of course I want to win always, so that was a little disappointing. Overall I can be satisfied."

Bos expected the move to come from Hoy but was unable to react "Yeah I did [expect it], the way they raced together, I expected it. I had my chance to pass them, but I didn't take it. Tactically my race was not so strong, and that's why Chris and Rod got first and second," he concluded.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by John Veage


Women's 500m Time Trial Final
1 Anna Meares (TOS)                                     33.869 (53.145 km/h)
2 Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez (Cuba)                      34.058 (52.851 km/h)
3 Willy Kanis (Netherlands)                             34.141 (52.722 km/h)
4 Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania)                        34.256 (52.545 km/h)
5 Natallia Tsylinskaya (Belarus)                        34.645 (51.955 km/h)
6 Jinjie Gong (GPC)                                     34.937 (51.521 km/h)
7 Anna Blyth (Great Britain)                            34.979 (51.459 km/h)
8 Kaarle Mcculloch (Australia)                          34.980 (51.457 km/h)
9 Miriam Welte (Germany)                                35.107 (51.271 km/h)
10 Lyubov Shulika (Ukraine)                             35.639 (50.506 km/h)
11 Virginie Cueff (France)                              35.754 (50.344 km/h)
12 Elizabeth Carlson Reap (United States Of America)    35.776 (50.313 km/h)
13 Diana Maria Garcia Orrego (Colombia)                 35.865 (50.188 km/h)
14 Nancy Contreras Reyes (Mexico)                       35.983 (50.023 km/h)
15 Jocelyn Rastrick (New Zealand)                       36.170 (49.764 km/h)
16 Christin Muche (RAD)                                 36.333 (49.541 km/h)
17 Ying,Huang Ting (Chinese Taipei)                     36.459 (49.370 km/h)
18 Fatehah Mustapa (Malaysia)                           36.632 (49.137 km/h)
19 Helena Casas Roige (CAT)                             37.637 (47.825 km/h)
DNS Apryl Eppinger (Philippines)                                           
Men's Team Pursuit Finals
1 Great Britain    4.01.196 (59.702 km/h)
 Edward Clancy                          
 Stephen Cummings                       
 Chris Newton                           
 Bradley Wiggins                        
2 New Zealand      4.05.301 (58.703 km/h)
 Sam Bewley                             
 Westley Gough                          
 Marc Ryan                              
 Jesse Sergent                          
3 Team Toshiba     4.03.248 (59.198 km/h)
 Jack Bobridge                          
 Peter Dawson                           
 Zakkari Dempster                       
 Mark Jamieson                          
4 Netherlands      4.07.188 (58.255 km/h)
 Levi Heimans                           
 Jenning Huizenga                       
 Peter Schep                            
 Robert Slippens                        
5 Russian Federation                    
6 Ukraine                               
7 Denmark                               
8 Australia                             
9 Spain                                 
10 France                               
11 Germany                              
12 Colombia                             
13 Team Focus                       
14 Belgium                              
15 Moscow                               
16 Chile                                
17 Korea                                
18 People's Republic of China           
19 Islamic Republic of Iran             
20 Malaysia                             
Women's Points Race Final
1 Giorgia Bronzini (SAF)                     11 pts
2 Yan Li (People's Republic of China)        10
3 Jarmila Machacova (Czech Republic)          9
4 Rebecca Quinn (United States Of America)    7
5 Olga Slyusareva (Russian Federation)        6
6 Pascale Jeuland (France)                    6
7 Charlotte Becker (RAD)                      5
8 Adrie Visser (Netherlands)                  5
9 Cathy Moncassin Prime (France)              5
10 Marlijn Binnendijk (Netherlands)           4
11 Lesya Kalitovska (Ukraine)                 3
12 Katherine Bates (TMT)                      3
13 Inga Cilvinaite (AGS)                      3
14 Sarah Hammer (OPC)                         2
15 Eugeniya Romanyuta (Russian Federation)    2
16 Joanne Kiesanowski (New Zealand)           0
17 Uracca Leow (Malaysia)                     0
18 Tess Downing (DPC)                         0
19 Danielys Garcia (Venezuela)                0
20 Trine Schmidt (Denmark)                    0
21 Mandy Poitras (Canada)                     0
22 Christy King (SBW)                         0
23 Olaberria Dorronsoro (EUS)               -13
DSQ Jianling Wang (People's Republic of China) 
Men's Keirin Second Round
Heat 1
1 Chris Hoy (Great Britain)       
2 Lam Josiah Ng Onn (Malaysia)    
3 Andriy Vynokurov (Ukraine)      
4 Yahui Gao (HKP)                 
5 MickaŽl Bourgain (COF)          
6 Stefan Nimke (RAD)              
Heat 2
1 Theo Bos (Netherlands)          
2 Roberto Chiappa (Italy)         
3 Ross Edgar (SIS)                
4 Toshiaki Fushimi (Japan)        
5 Shane,John Kelly (TOS)          
6 Carsten Bergemann (Germany)     
Men's Keirin Finals
1 Chris Hoy (Great Britain)    
2 Ross Edgar (SIS)             
3 Theo Bos (Netherlands)       
4 Andriy Vynokurov (Ukraine)   
5 Roberto Chiappa (Italy)      
6 Lam Josiah Ng Onn (Malaysia) 
7 Shane,John Kelly (TOS)       
8 MickaŽl Bourgain (COF)       
9 Stefan Nimke (RAD)           
10 Toshiaki Fushimi (Japan)    
11 Carsten Bergemann (Germany) 
DSQ Yahui Gao (HKP)            
Men's 1Km Time Trial Final
1 MichaŽl D'almeida (France)                              1.02.588 (57.519 km/h)
2 Wen,Hao Li (People's Republic of China)                 1.03.575 (56.626 km/h)
3 Yevgen Bolibrukh (Ukraine)                              1.03.629 (56.577 km/h)
4 Michael Seidenbecher (Germany)                          1.03.669 (56.542 km/h)
5 Didier Henriette (Cofidis)                              1.03.747 (56.473 km/h)
6 Rizal Tisin (Malaysia)                                  1.03.781 (56.443 km/h)
7 Tomas Babek (Czech Republic)                            1.04.197 (56.077 km/h)
8 Kamil Kuczynski (Poland)                                1.04.457 (55.851 km/h)
9 Robert Forstemann (Www.Rad-Net.De)                      1.04.477 (55.833 km/h)
10 Edward Dawkins (New Zealand)                           1.04.708 (55.634 km/h)
11 Vasileios Reppas (Greece)                              1.05.305 (55.125 km/h)
12 Jenning Huizenga (Netherlands)                         1.05.783 (54.725 km/h)
13 Morne Blignaut (South Africa)                          1.06.038 (54.514 km/h)
14 Keiichi Omori (Japan)                                  1.06.135 (54.434 km/h)
15 Daniel Novikov (Estonia)                               1.06.200 (54.380 km/h)
16 Jiren Wei (Hong Kong Pro Cycling)                      1.06.292 (54.305 km/h)
17 Alireza Ahamadi Ashjerdi (Islamic Republic of Iran)    1.06.841 (53.859 km/h)
18 Michael Faerk Christensen (Denmark)                    1.07.242 (53.537 km/h)
19 Gabriel Jonasek (Slovakia)                             1.07.608 (53.248 km/h)
20 Stephen Pelaez (Philippines)                           1.08.916 (52.237 km/h)
21 Gonzalo Bastidas (Chile)                               1.09.062 (52.127 km/h)
22 Oriol Martinez (Catalunya)                             1.12.226 (49.843 km/h)
Men's Scratch Final
1 Roger Kluge (Team Focus)
2 Zachary Bell (Canada)
3 Milan Kadlec (ASC Dukla Praha)
4 JťrŰme Neuville (France)
1 lap down
5 Leigh Howard (Australia)
6 Walter Fernando Perez (Argentina)
7 Martino Marcotto (Italy)
8 Alexandr Pliuschin (Republic of Moldova)
9 Oleksandr Martynenko (Illes Balears)
10 Ioannis Tamouridis (Greece)
11 Vladimir Tuychiev (Uzbekistan)
12 Miquel Alzamora Riera (Illes Balears)
13 Hayden Roulston (New Zealand)
14 Alexander Khatuntsev (Russian Federation)
15 Wojciech Dybel (Poland)
16 Sergiy Lagkuti (Arda Natura Pinarello Ukraina)
17 Ben Swift (Team 100% Me)
18 Travis Meyer (Drapac Porsche Development Program)
19 Stijn Steels (Belgium)
20 Bobby Lea (United States Of America)
21 Nikita Novikov (Moscow)
22 Daniel Kreutzfeldt (Denmark)
23 Michael Friedman (Team Slipstream Chipotle Powered By H30)
24 Olaf Pollack (Germany)
Women's Team Sprint Final
1 Netherlands    33.958 (53.006 km/h)
 Yvonne Hijgenaar                   
 Willy Kanis                        
2 Australia      34.759 (51.785 km/h)
 Kaarle Mcculloch                   
 Kerrie Meares                      
3 France                            
 Sandie Clair                       
 Virginie Cueff                     
DNF Germany                         
5 Italy                             
6 Giant Pro Cycling                 
7 Russian Federation                
8 New Zealand                       

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