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2008 UCI Track Cycling World Championships - CM

Great Britain, March 26-30, 2008

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Day 5 - March 30: Women's keirin

Reed wins gold for USA

By Ben Atkins and Shane Stokes in Manchester

Reed in the colours of world champion.
Photo ©: John Pierce
(Click for larger image)

The United States' Jennie Reed has spoiled the Great Britain party in the final event of the 2008 World Championships by taking victory in a dramatic women's Keirin final. She won the final sprint by half a bike length over a photo finish between defending champion Victoria Pendleton of Great Britain and Christin Muche of Germany.

"I am so happy," said Reed "I have been waiting for this title for so many years. I was very excited to come around Vicky, I felt so strong out there."

When asked if she had a feeling that she'd be able to win before the race, she replied: "I don't know if I had that feeling, but I knew that I was going to attack it and whatever came after that, I knew I had to give it everything. In my head, I had to be ready to win."

On her prospects for the coming Olympic games in Beijing this August, Reed takes this gold and a bronze from the sprint, giving her extra confidence. "I love the keirin, but I am pretty happy with my sprint. My form has improved so I am excited."

"You can't win all the time." Was the reaction from a visibly disappointed Pendleton. "Racing would be boring if it was that easy. I am pretty pleased with my form, I think that perhaps I tanked it a bit, gone a fraction of a second earlier. But Jenny did a great job. Congratulations to her."

Despite losing this title to Reed, the outgoing World champion did manage to hang on to her other two: the Team Sprint and Sprint. The second of those two being the only event in Beijing for the sprinters. "Obviously that by far outweighs the other events here," said Pendleton. "It is nice to do well in other events like the Team Sprint and the Keirin, but the sprint is the only one that really, really matters this year… it is the only Olympic chance I have got."

A voice from the media scrum asked a very blunt question about how it felt having won so many golds and having to settle for silver in this event. "Obviously very, very disappointing." was her only reply, and visibly upset she turned and walked away.

Reed's win came as an upset to the home country favourite
Photo ©: John Pierce
(Click for larger image)

The first move was made by Great Britain's Anna Blyth, moving from the back of the line to the front as the derny pulled off, she was followed closely by team-mate Pendleton. With two laps to go, Pendleton took the front in her usual style, but didn't seem to have the power in her legs to be able to gap the others and a tenacious Reed managed to stay side-by-side with her around the final lap and overtake her in the finishing straight.

A fast finishing Muche almost managed to come past the Briton on the line, but a visibly tearful Pendleton was given the verdict by the judges and the silver medal.

The race for seventh to twelfth places was a tightly contested affair with Russian Swetlana Grankowskaja taking a consolation victory just ahead of Diana Maria Garcia Orrego of Colombia and Willy Kanis of the Netherlands. The six riders hit the finishing line more or less side by side, but China's Jinjie Gong was adjudged to have not held her line in the last 200 metres and relegated to last place.

Semi-Finals: Pendleton through; no Kanis in Final

The first semi-final was taken by a Great Britain one-two with reigning champion Victoria Pendleton and Anna Blyth leading around the final two laps with no one able to come around them. France's Clara Sanchez was the best of the rest, almost – but not quite able – to come past Blyth on the line.

Jennie Reed of the United States and World Cup Winner Willy Kanis of the Netherlands came together just after bell in the second semi-final, knocking both off balance but they managed to stay upright. Kanis seemed to be more affected by the incident and featured no further, but Reed went on to finish second behind Christin Muche of Germany. Simona Krupeckaite took the last spot in this evening's final.

First round: Favourites through to Second Round

In Heat 1, Pendleton took the race from the front as the others jostled for position behind her. The defending champion crossed the line comfortably in the lead and 500 metres champion Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez came around the others to qualify for the next round.

Dana Gloss of Germany and Swetlana Grankowskaja of Russia won a cagey second heat beating Netherlands' World Cup winner Willy Kanis and local favourite Anna Blyth of Great Britain, forcing them to try to qualify through the repecharges.

In the third heat, seventeen year-old Jess Varnish of Great Britain moved straight to the front in an attempt to take on her far more experienced rivals from the start. Russian Oksana Grishina crashed going into the closing stages – but was unhurt – and the valiant attempt from Varnish proved unsuccessful as she was outclassed be the others. Sprint bronze medallist Jennie Reed of the United States took the win ahead of Jinjie Gong of China.

Clara Sachez of France won a guarded first Repecharge in front of Lithuanian Simona Krupeckaite, despite the best efforts of Varnish in front of her home crowd. The second run saw the expected advancement of Kanis and Blyth, while the third was taken by Germany's vs. Muche and Diana Maria Garcia Orrego.


First round
Heat 1
1 Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain)         
2 Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez (Cuba)           
3 Clara Sanchez (France)                     
4 Christin Muche (Germany)                   
5 Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania)             
6 Sakie Tsukuda (Japan)                      
Heat 2
1 Dana Glöss (Germany)                       
2 Swetlana Grankowskaja (Russian Federation) 
3 Willy Kanis (Netherlands)                  
4 Kaarle Mcculloch (Australia)               
5 Anna Blyth (Great Britain)                 
6 Elisa Frisoni (Italy)                      
Heat 3
1 Jennie Reed (United States Of America)     
2 Jinjie Gong (People's Republic of China)   
3 Sandie Clair (France)                      
4 Valentina Alessio (Italy)                  
5 Diana Maria Garcia Orrego (Colombia)       
6 Jess Varnish (Great Britain)               
First Round Repecharge
Heat 1
1 Clara Sanchez (France)                     
2 Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania)             
3 Jess Varnish (Great Britain)               
4 Kaarle Mcculloch (Australia)               
Heat 2
1 Willy Kanis (Netherlands)                  
2 Anna Blyth (Great Britain)                 
3 Valentina Alessio (Italy)                  
4 Elisa Frisoni (Italy)                      
Heat 3
1 Christin Muche (Germany)                   
2 Diana Maria Garcia Orrego (Colombia)       
3 Oksana Grishina (Russian Federation)       
4 Sandie Clair (France)                      
5 Sakie Tsukuda (Japan)                      

Second round
Heat 1 
1 Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain)         
2 Anna Blyth (Great Britain)                 
3 Clara Sanchez (France)                     
4 Swetlana Grankowskaja (Russian Federation) 
5 Jinjie Gong (People's Republic of China)   
6 Diana Maria Garcia Orrego (Colombia)       
Heat 2
1 Christin Muche (Germany)                   
2 Jennie Reed (United States Of America)     
3 Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania)             
4 Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez (Cuba)           
5 Dana Glöss (Germany)                       
6 Willy Kanis (Netherlands)                  

1 Jennie Reed (United States Of America)      
2 Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain)          
3 Christin Muche (Germany)                    
4 Clara Sanchez (France)                      
5 Anna Blyth (Great Britain)                  
6 Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania)              
Finals 7 to 12

7 Swetlana Grankowskaja (Russian Federation)  
8 Diana Maria Garcia Orrego (Colombia)        
9 Willy Kanis (Netherlands)                   
10 Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez (Cuba)           
11 Dana Glöss (Germany)                       
12 Jinjie Gong (People's Republic of China)   
13 Jess Varnish (Great Britain)               
13 Valentina Alessio (Italy)                  
13 Oksana Grishina (Russian Federation)       
16 Kaarle Mcculloch (Australia)               
16 Sandie Clair (France)                      
16 Elisa Frisoni (Italy)                      
19 Sakie Tsukuda (Japan)