Recently on Cyclingnews.com

Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

2008 UCI Track Cycling World Championships - CM

Great Britain, March 26-30, 2008

Main Page    Results      Qualifying through 5-8 final     Finals

Day 3 & 4 - March 28 - 29: Women's sprint

Victorious Pendleton: Beijing calling

By Ben Atkins and Shane Stokes in Manchester

Defending champion Victoria Pendleton almost took the roof off the Manchester Velodrome by taking victory in the women's sprint. She has taken her second gold medal in these championships and she is now well on the way to matching her total of three from Mallorca last year. This is also Great Britain's seventh gold medal, equalling the host nations tally from last year with six events remaining.

A close contest was expected against Lithuanian Simona Krupeckaite, but in the event the defending champion overhauled her in two of the available three legs. In the first, Pendelton led and seemed to be spooked into going too early as Krupeckaite came alongside her on the final bend. The Briton seemed to find an extra gear though and accelerated further to win easily. The second leg saw Krupeckaite attack from the bell, but Pendleton seemed to effortlessly glide past and punch the air as she took victory and third World Sprint title in four years.

Despite it looking pretty simple for Pendleton, she denied that it had been "It wasn't straightforward, I was still working hard but I felt pretty really confident today and that makes a big difference. I knew my legs were good, I'd done well in the team sprint and the time trial yesterday was the best of my life, so I really wanted to get out there and grab it today."

"I think I enjoyed this win the most," she said, when asked to compare with her other two Sprint titles."I had a lot of pressure on me to back up what I did last year. I was really hoping I wouldn't disappoint anyone. So winning this one confirms for me that I can do it, it wasn't a one-off and I have the legs to be the best in the world."

Looking to Beijing in less than five months time, Pendleton acknowledged the fact that this victory puts her one up on her rivals on the way to the Olympic Games: "I am really pleased to be going in with a psychological advantage over all of my opponents. I knew it was going to be harder this year – as you can see from the times of the women's 200m, everyone has stepped up. It was unheard of a woman to do 11.00 on here until this year, so I am really, really pleased with the result."

The bronze medal contest between Jennie Reed of the United States and Shuang Guo of China went in to a third leg as Reed took the lead in the first leg and held it, and Guo reversed this in the second. The third leg was a carbon copy of the first; except that this time Guo almost overhauled the American, but Reed managed to kick again and hold on to take her country's second medal of these championships.

Semi- finals - Pendleton through, but no Guo in final

Great Britain's golden girl from 2007 Victoria Pendleton is through to her fourth consecutive gold medal final in the Sprint, where she will be up against Simona Krupeckaite of Lithuania.

Both riders needed just two of the available three legs to defeat their semi-final opponents. Pendleton came around Jennie Reed (United States) in the finishing straight after the American tried to outfox the defending champion and go early in the first leg. In the second leg Reed again attacked first, this time at the bell, but this time it was even easier for Pendleton and she crossed the line at a canter.

Krupeckaite beat Shuang Guo of China in two identical legs, denying a repeat of last year's final. In both cases, the Lithuanian took the front and held the inside line all the way to the finish. Both races ended very close, but Guo was just unable to come past.

Quarter finals - Kanis out; Pendleton set to defend

Four of the five fastest women from the original qualifying round have progressed to tomorrow's semi-final races, setting up a potential repeat of last year's Gold medal match. Great Britain's reigning champion Victoria Pendleton managed to comfortably beat the Netherlands' Yvonne Hijgenaar in two legs, despite the Dutchwoman attacking from the start and trying to sprint the whole 750 metres in the first leg.

Last year's silver medallist Shuang Guo of China managed to see off France's Clara Sanchez fairly comfortably, although Guo was relegated in the second of three legs for coming down below the red sprinters' line when Sanchez was in the sprinter's lane.

Simona Krupeckaite of Lithuania was also relegated in one leg when she moved off her line in her first contest with World Cup winner Willy Kanis of the Netherlands. Despite this, Krupeckaite took the next two legs to progress to the medal stages.

Jennie Reed of the United States has the chance to take her country's second medal of the championships - after Sarah Hammer's silver in the individual pursuit - having defeated Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez of Cuba in two close rounds. Guerra Rodriguez was warned for riding dangerously in one of the legs, but since Reed crossed the line first no action was taken.

In the race off for fifth to eighth, a flying Willy Kanis - determined to take something from the championships after her World Cup victory - was first to make a move and held off the other three who finished close together behind her.

Defending champion sets new national record

Defending champion Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain) has broken her own national record, and set a new best time for the Manchester Velodrome to qualify fastest for the knockout rounds. Pendleton set a 10.904 in the flying 200m to place atop the leaderboard in the first round.

China's Shuang Guo – last year's silver medallist – looked to have done enough when her time of 11.002 set a new track record, but Pendleton was next rider out and went faster still.

There was a slightly dramatic moment when Jennie Reed of the United States pulled her foot out of her pedal just after completing her flying time. The American didn't panic though and stayed in control throughout, slowing herself with one leg.

Meares one step closer to Beijing – from Australia

The big news from the 1/16th finals is that Russian Swetlana Grankowskaja was knocked out by Germany's Christin Muche. Not a major event in itself, but Grankowskaja was one of only two riders who could prevent Australian Anna Meares (currently at home in Australia recovering from a broke neck sustained in the Los Angeles World Cup) from qualifying for the Beijing Olympics. The other rider is China's Lulu Zheng, who qualified comfortably.

Sandie Clair of France made the bizarre decision to go straight from the gun in her heat against Belarusian Natalia Tsylinskaya. Her 500 metre strength helped her hold off her opponent for two of the three laps, but Tsylinskaya caught her at the bell and won easily.

Serious crash mars knockout stages

A nasty looking crash in the final heat between 2006 World Champion Natallia Tsylinskaya (Belarus) and Willy Kanis (Netherlands) saw Tsylinskaya taken to hospital on a stretcher with her neck and spine immobilised for safety. Going into the second of three laps, the Belarusian's front tyre blew just as the pair accelerated, causing her to fall heavily on her right side and slide to the bottom of the track. News came later that she had regained consciousness, but was suffering from concussion and pain to her right shoulder.

The other heats generally went to the faster qualifying riders, with Clara Sanchez (France) and Yvonne Hijgenaar (Netherlands) advancing via the repechages.

The good news for Australia is that with Lulu Zheng of China knocked out at this stage, Anna Meares has definitely qualified for the Beijing Olympics.


1 Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain)             0.10.90 (66.03 km/h)
2 Shuang Guo (People's Republic of China)        0.11.00
3 Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania)                 0.11.09
4 Jinjie Gong (People's Republic of China)       0.11.15
5 Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez (Cuba)               0.11.17
6 Willy Kanis (Netherlands)                      0.11.17
7 Natallia Tsylinskaya (Belarus)                 0.11.22
8 Swetlana Grankowskaja (Russian Federation)     0.11.28
9 Jennie Reed (United States Of America)         0.11.28
10 Yvonne Hijgenaar (Netherlands)                0.11.30
11 Lyubov Shulika (Ukraine)                      0.11.32
12 Clara Sanchez (France)                        0.11.35
13 Anna Blyth (Great Britain)                    0.11.35
14 Lulu Zheng (People's Republic of China)       0.11.42
14 Dana Glöss (Germany)                                 
16 Kaarle Mcculloch (Australia)                  0.11.42
17 Christin Muche (Germany)                      0.11.51
18 Sandie Clair (France)                         0.11.54
19 Elisa Frisoni (Italy)                         0.11.54
20 Miriam Welte (Germany)                        0.11.55
21 Oksana Grishina (Russian Federation)          0.11.58
22 Virginie Cueff (France)                       0.11.60
23 Diana Maria Garcia Orrego (Colombia)          0.11.61
24 Anastasiya Chulkova (Russian Federation)      0.11.74
25 Jess Varnish (Great Britain)                  0.11.76
25 Valentina Alessio (Italy)                            
27 Sakie Tsukuda (Japan)                         0.12.27
28 Jutatip Maneephan (Thailand)                  0.12.53
1/16 Round

Heat 1 
1 Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain)             0.11.98
2 Anastasiya Chulkova (Russian Federation)              
Heat 2 
1 Shuang Guo (People's Republic of China)        0.11.75
2 Diana Maria Garcia Orrego (Colombia)                  
Heat 3 
1 Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania)                 0.11.89
2 Virginie Cueff (France)                               
Heat 4 
1 Oksana Grishina (Russian Federation)           0.11.85
2 Jinjie Gong (People's Republic of China)              
Heat 5 
1 Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez (Cuba)               0.11.70
2 Miriam Welte (Germany)                                
Heat 6 
1 Willy Kanis (Netherlands)                      0.12.52
2 Elisa Frisoni (Italy)                                 
Heat 7 
1 Natallia Tsylinskaya (Belarus)                 0.13.28
2 Sandie Clair (France)                                 
Heat 8 
1 Christin Muche (Germany)                       0.11.88
2 Swetlana Grankowskaja (Russian Federation)            
Heat 9 
1 Jennie Reed (United States Of America)         0.11.95
2 Kaarle Mcculloch (Australia)                          
Heat 10 
1 Yvonne Hijgenaar (Netherlands)                 0.11.93
2 Dana Glöss (Germany)                                  
Heat 11 
1 Lulu Zheng (People's Republic of China)        0.11.86
2 Lyubov Shulika (Ukraine)                              
Heat 12 
1 Clara Sanchez (France)                         0.11.65
2 Anna Blyth (Great Britain)                            

1/8 final
Heat 1 
1 Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain)          0.11.63
2 Clara Sanchez (France)                             
Heat 2 
1 Shuang Guo (People's Republic of China)     0.11.95
2 Lulu Zheng (People's Republic of China)            
Heat 3 
1 Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania)              0.11.24
2 Yvonne Hijgenaar (Netherlands)                     
Heat 4 
1 Jennie Reed (United States Of America)      0.11.81
2 Oksana Grishina (Russian Federation)               
Heat 5 
1 Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez (Cuba)            0.11.64
2 Christin Muche (Germany)                           
Heat 6 
1 Willy Kanis (Netherlands)                   0.16.22
1/8 repechages
Heat 1 
1 Clara Sanchez (France)                      0.12.63
2 Oksana Grishina (Russian Federation)               
Heat 2 
1 Yvonne Hijgenaar (Netherlands)              0.12.65
2 Christin Muche (Germany)                           
3 Lulu Zheng (People's Republic of China)            

1/4 Finals
1 Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain)          0.11.80
 Yvonne Hijgenaar (Netherlands)                      
2 Shuang Guo (People's Republic of China)     0.11.94
 Clara Sanchez (France)                              
3 Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania)                     
 Willy Kanis (Netherlands)                           
4 Jennie Reed (United States Of America)      0.00.29
 Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez (Cuba)                    
For fifth place
5 Willy Kanis (Netherlands)                   0.12.05
6 Clara Sanchez (France)                             
7 Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez (Cuba)                   
8 Yvonne Hijgenaar (Netherlands) 


Heat 1
1 Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain)           11.972     11.697
2 Jennie Reed (United States Of America)        
Heat 2
1 Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania)               12.046     11.381
2 Shuang Guo (People's Republic of China)       


1 Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain)           11.747     11.551
2 Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania)                    
3 Jennie Reed (United States Of America)       12.055                12.044
4 Shuang Guo (People's Republic of China)                 11.498     
5 Willy Kanis (Netherlands)                         
6 Clara Sanchez (France)                            
7 Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez (Cuba)                  
8 Yvonne Hijgenaar (Netherlands)                    
9 Lulu Zheng (People's Republic of China)           
10 Christin Muche (Germany)                         
11 Oksana Grishina (Russian Federation)             
12 Jinjie Gong (People's Republic of China)         
13 Swetlana Grankowskaja (Russian Federation)       
14 Lyubov Shulika (Ukraine)                         
15 Anna Blyth (Great Britain)                       
16 Dana Glöss (Germany)                             
17 Kaarle Mcculloch (Australia)                     
18 Sandie Clair (France)                            
19 Elisa Frisoni (Italy)                            
20 Miriam Welte (Germany)                           
21 Virginie Cueff (France)                          
22 Diana Maria Garcia Orrego (Colombia)             
23 Anastasiya Chulkova (Russian Federation)         
24 Jess Varnish (Great Britain)                     
25 Valentina Alessio (Italy)                        
26 Sakie Tsukuda (Japan)                            
27 Jutatip Maneephan (Thailand)