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Track World Cup 08-09 Round 1 - CDM
Manchester, Great Britain, October 31-November 2, 2008
Session 5 - November 2: Men: Team Sprint, Madison; Women: Keirin, Team Pursuit
More gold for Britain but not all follow the script
By Ben Atkins in Manchester
The final session of this first World Cup classic of the 2008/09 season ended with more glory for the host nation. Not everything went to plan however, as the first final of the evening session went the way of the six-day specialists rather than the Olympic heroes. Order was restored though, as the British once again underlined their current position at the top of the sprinting and pursuiting trees.
Germans take fast and close Madison
The mens Madison final turned out to be as fast and tight as the qualifying rounds, with just four of the 16 teams managing to gain a lap in the 40km race. The first blows were struck by the Belgian (Iljo Keisse and Kenny De Ketele) and Russian (Ivan Kovalev and Sergey Kolesnikov) teams, but it was the German duo of Olaf Pollack and Roger Kluge that came out on top to take the gold medal.
Belgium and Russia attacked early on, just as the race was starting, and managed to lap the field quite comfortably. Following this the pace of the race increased and no one else was able to make a decisive break, until the Germans and Argentineans (Sebastian Donadio and Olympic champion Walter Fernando Perez) escaped mid race and managed to make it count.
From that point on the race became much more cagey, with the four leading teams watching one another. The Great Britain duo of World champion Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas - spurred on by the partisan Manchester crowd - made several attempts to escape, but despite managing to escape the main field they were just unable to make contact with its rear.
"I think it was a good race," Pollack told Cyclingnews. "In the beginning it was a little bit fast because the Belgische [sic] guy and the Russian attacked before the race is on and we were a little bit too in the back of the peloton. But the race is long; in the first half of the race we only looked for the points and then we got the lap - for the big sprint it was okay.
"We had good luck today," he smiled.
The Germans only made sure of their victory on the final sprint, tied as they were with the Russians and Belgians on seven points. The Russians were actually listed as the leaders due to their win on sprint one to the Belgians two second places and the Germans one. First place in that final sprint though - with the Belgians taking fourth and the Russians in sixth - gave them 12 points and a clear victory.
"It was a little bit... the Belgische guy and the Russian were only on seven points," he explained, "the Argentinian with six points; only four teams were up on one lap and we are always together with the Belgische guys and the Argentinian and we thought that nobody is too quick to catch the points on the last three [sprints] - or 60 laps.
"The last 20 laps we have to peak our condition and we can win the race," he smiled.
One of very few events not to be taken by British riders - and one of only two to not feature one on the podium - the Madison was a tough race for Wiggins and Thomas. The local riders, and favourites at the start of the race found themselves marked men in their attempts to escape the clutches of the others.
"Definitely," said Thomas, "from the very start, two nations taking laps meant we were always on the back foot and everyone was looking to us to get a lap back, so whenever we moved everybody else followed. Weve just got to accept that now, were up there; were the team to beat."
Sky+ HD teams up for more British gold
The British Sky+ HD team of Jamie Staff, Jason Kenny and Ross Edgar posted the fastest qualifying time and continued that form to take victory over the Polish team of Lukasz Kwiatkowski, Kamil Kuczynski and Maciej Bielecki in the final of the team sprint. The Britons - of whom Staff and Kenny are Olympic champions in this discipline - led the Poles by almost half a second after the first lap, increased the margin to over nine tenths at the end of the second and finished over a second clear.
"I was really surprised by the times today," Edgar told Cyclingnews, "Ive just come back from Japan doing what little training I can - Ive given the gym a good old go - the best thing you can really do most of the time as its restricted over there, but Im quite happy with the way Im going."
Edgar was the one man of the trio not to ride the event in Beijing, instead riding to silver in the Keirin behind Chris Hoy - the man he effectively replaced in this line up. Like many members of the British team though, he has done very little specific training since the Games, but has found that he has managed to hold his form. "It was a bit of a worry," he explained, "because I havent had much track time since Ive been back - I only got back on Tuesday - the jetlag was the hardest thing for me at the moment."
The US Creteil and German teams qualified within just one-hundredth of a second of each other - in the French teams favour. It was the Germans however, who managed to recover best before the bronze medal race, winning by three-tenths despite fading in the last lap.
More gold for Pendleton
British sprint superstar Victoria Pendleton (Sky+ HD) once again underlined her supremacy in womens sprinting by taking gold in an exciting womens Keirin final. The 2007 World champion took the lead behind the derny bike and accelerated as it pulled away, but her compatriot Anna Blyth of Great Britain overtook her with two laps to go and led the race at the bell.
On the final bend, with most of the other riders swarming around her, Pendleton retook the lead from Blyth and kept going to the line where she won by just over a length from Diana Maria Garcia of Colombia and Gong Jinjie of China. Miriam Welte of Germany also managed to come past Blyth in the final metres and she had to settle for fifth, ahead of Monique Sullivan of Canada.
"To be honest," said Pendleton as she warmed down afterwards, "I had one race left and I just wanted to give it everything. Im pleased actually, Im surprised my legs have held out; I really, honestly had no idea how my form was. I was so anxious coming into the competition, thinking I dont want to embarrass myself, so its been a really rewarding weekend and I feel quite confident that its been an experiment and it worked out okay."
There had been no plans for Pendleton and Blyth to ride together, but her one regret from the race was that she had not done more to allow her compatriot to finish in a medal position. "I was really trying to hold on the outside of her for a while," she explained, "but I could just - in the corner of my eye - see some other colours, so I had to go. If Id thought about it better I would have laid off and given her second, you know, just tried to protect her a bit."
Christin Muche of Germany, who was relegated from her final qualifying position in the second round, won the race for seventh in the minor final over Great Britains 17-year-old sprint prodigy Jess Varnish.
100% Me takes gold for British youth
The British 100% Me team of Lizzie Armitstead, Katie Colclough and Jo Rowson - all of which have yet to leave their teens behind - confirmed their fastest qualifying time to take the womens Team Pursuit gold in style. The first kilometre was relatively tight with the British women taking a lead of just under four-tenths over the German team of Charlotte and Christina Becker and Lisa Brennauer. By the second kilometre the gap had increased to more than a second and a half, and by the end it was just over five as both teams posted times faster than in qualification.
Colclough, the youngest of the trio at just 18, had been active in both the points race - where she picked up a podium finish - and scratch race, but teammate Armitstead had received most of the plaudits with victory in both. In this race she got the reward that her previous efforts perhaps deserved, however.
"Im quite pleased," she said, "I got the bronze in the points [too], which I was quite pleased with actually. "Its been a good few days; good experience. Ive learned a lot."
Despite the team pursuit being a relatively new event for women, the 100% Me team have had a chance to perfect their technique recently and, as none of them have had their season focused on the Beijing Olympics, they have been able to devote their time to it. "We did the Europeans together - the under 23 Europeans," Colclough confirmed, "but these are the only two competitions weve done, but we train together a lot."
The six-second margin of victory was impressive in the end, but with the German team riding faster in the final it could have been a lot closer. According to Colclough though it was a change of order that made the difference and allowed them to go almost three seconds faster than before. "We rearranged the format a bit," she explained, "about who was doing what were; obviously that just worked a bit better, we used the same format as at the Europeans and it worked for us."
In the race for the bronze medal the Ukrainian team overturned an early Belgian lead to confirm its third place in the qualifiers.
Final morning glory for Brits
The final morning of qualification saw more British supremacy in a number of areas, particularly from the women who proved the fastest in both the Team Pursuit and the Keirin. The Madison looks to be more unpredictable though, and the International Japanese Keirin competition that closes the competition remains an open affair.
100% Me 100% Fastest
As expected the Team 100% Me trio of Lizzie Armitstead, Katie Colclough and Jo Rowson (a member of Great Britain's World championship winning team in March this year) blitzed qualification and advance to the final as red hot favourites for gold this evening. Riding first, they were able to sit back and watch as successive teams tried, and failed to match their time of 3:29.863.
The German team of Charlotte and Christina Becker and Lisa Brennauer came closest to the British team's time, but were still left trailing by more than four seconds. The two teams will meet in the match for gold this evening, but the Germans will be up against it to reverse such a huge deficit.
The ride for the bronze medal will be between Ukraine and Belgium, which should be a closer contest as the two teams qualified less than two seconds apart.
More domination from Britain's fast women
Almost inevitably, the three first round matches of the women's Keirin were all taken by the three British women. 2007 World champion Victoria Pendleton (Sky+ HD) cruised through the first race with Gong Jinjie of China. The second race saw 17-year-old Jess Varnish of Great Britain take the win over Victoria Baranova of Russia; while the third race was taken by Great Britain's Anna Blyth from Russia's Swetlana Grankowskaja.
The second chance of the repechages saw the German pair of Christin Muche and Miriam Weltego through with 18-year-old Natasha Hansen of New Zealand, and Diana Garcia (Colombia), Virginie Cueff (France) and Monique Sullivan (Canada).
Hansen was pleased with her qualification via the repechage, realising where she had gone wrong in the first race. "It went really well," she said of her repechage race. "I was a bit gutted about my first ride; I basically made a few silly errors, but I guess I'll learned from them and tried not to make the same mistakes in the repechage and just tried to go out there and focus on winning and qualifying for the second round, which I what I did. So yeah, I'm really pleased with how it's going."
Looking forward to the next round, the young Kiwi was bullish about her chances of going further. "I'm feeling confident," she smiled, "I can only go the best that I can on the day, and hopefully I can do that tonight."
Fast but tight heats see Madison favourites through
Two fast, but tight and low scoring Madison heats saw the expected teams qualify for this evenings 40km final. The only real incident occurred in the first heat and saw 100% Me rider Mark Christian crash after 20 laps as he found himself boxed in during a changeover. He remounted despite his grazes, but the pair were unable to score and failed to qualify.
"With Stroetinga I've got a good sprinter with me," six-day star Peter Schep of the Netherlands told Cyclingnews after qualifying comfortably, "so it's quite easy to go through the qualifications. I think the next race will be much harder than this one; we'll also have to take a lap in the final round I think, so we have to be in the front of the race. I hope we take a lap and also some points for the final decision."
"I feel good, so I hope to do well," he said of this evening's final.
Australian Toshiba duo Leigh Howard and Glenn O'Shea took points in the first three sprints and qualified comfortably in this, their first step towards the world championships in March.
"That was good; it went to plan," said Howard to Cyclingnews afterwards. "We didn't want to waste more energy than we had to so we just went in with a plan to get a few points early and just save as much energy for the final as we can."
"There was only three or four teams that missed out," he continued, "so as long as we stayed in the top-eight or top-six, or however many it was... it would be all right; so it worked out good."
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Gerry McManus/www.gerrymcmanus.co.uk
Men's Team Sprint
Qualifying 1 Team Sky + Hd 0.44.16 (61.146 km/h) Ross Edgar (GBr) Team Sky + Hd Jason Kenny (GBr) Team Sky + Hd Jamie Staff (GBr) Team Sky + Hd 2 Poland 0.45.18 Lukasz Kwiatkowski (Pol) Poland Kamil Kuczynski (Pol) Poland Maciej Bielecki (Pol) Poland 3 Us Creteil 0.45.27 Charlie Conord (Fra) Us Creteil Michaël D'almeida (Fra) Us Creteil Thierry Jollet (Fra) Us Creteil 4 Germany 0.45.28 Sebastian Doehrer (Ger) Germany Rene Enders (Ger) Germany Mathias Stumpf (Ger) Germany 5 Japan 0.45.46 Kazuya Narita (Jpn) Japan Yudai Nitta (Jpn) Japan Kazunari Watanabe (Jpn) Japan 6 Russia 0.45.51 Denis Dmitriev (Rus) Russia Stoyan Vasev (Rus) Russia Pavel Yakushevskiy (Rus) Russia 7 Cofidis 0.45.59 Didier Henriette (Fra) Cofidis Quentin Lafargue (Fra) Cofidis François Pervis (Fra) Cofidis 8 Ukraine 0.45.77 Yevhen Bolibrukh (Ukr) Ukraine Yuriy Tsyupyk (Ukr) Ukraine Andriy Vynokurov (Ukr) Ukraine 9 Czech Republic 0.46.23 Tomas Babek (Cze) Czech Republic Adam Ptacnik (Cze) Czech Republic Denis Spicka (Cze) Czech Republic 10 Greece 0.46.74 Vasileios Galanis (Gre) Greece Christos Volikakis (Gre) Greece Zafeirios Volikakis (Gre) Greece 11 Spain 0.47.79 David Alonso Castillo (Spa) Spain Pablo Aitor Bernal Rosique (Spa) Spain Pablo Galan Carrasco (Spa) Spain DNF Slovakia Roman Jajcay (Svk) Slovakia Michal Rohon (Svk) Slovakia Ivan Trebaticky (Svk) Slovakia Final 1 Team Sky + Hd 0.44.31 (60.939 km/h) Ross Edgar (GBr) Team Sky + Hd Jamie Staff (GBr) Team Sky + Hd Jason Kenny (GBr) Team Sky + Hd 2 Poland 0.45.26 Lukasz Kwiatkowski (Pol) Poland Maciej Bielecki (Pol) Poland Kamil Kuczynski (Pol) Poland 3 Germany 0.45.08 Sebastian Doehrer (Ger) Germany Mathias Stumpf (Ger) Germany Rene Enders (Ger) Germany 4 Us Creteil Charlie Conord (Fra) Us Creteil 0.45.44 Thierry Jollet (Fra) Us Creteil Michaël D'almeida (Fra) Us Creteil 5 Japan 6 Russia 7 Cofidis 8 Ukraine 9 Czech Republic 10 Greece 11 Spain DNF Slovakia
First round Heat 1 1 Victoria Pendleton (GBr) Team Sky + Hd 2 Jinjie Gong (Chn) China 3 Miriam Welte (Ger) Germany 4 Xiao Juan Diao (HKg) Hong Kong 5 Virginie Cueff (Fra) France 6 Huang Ting Ying (Tpe) Chinese Taipei Heat 2 1 Jessica Varnish (GBr) Great Britain 2 Victoria Baranova (Rus) Russia 3 Christin Muche (Ger) Germany 4 Diana Maria Garcia Orrego (Col) Colombia 5 Helena Casas Roige (Spa) Spain 6 Wai Sze Lee (HKg) Hong Kong Heat 3 1 Anna Blyth (GBr) Great Britain 2 Swetlana Grankowskaja (Rus) Russia 3 Monique Sullivan (Can) Canada 4 Natasha Hansen (NZl) New Zealand 5 Alzbeta Pavlendova (Svk) Slovakia 6 Marta Janowiak (Pol) Poland First round repechage Heat 1 1 Christin Muche (Ger) Germany 2 Miriam Welte (Ger) Germany 3 Natasha Hansen (NZl) New Zealand 4 Huang Ting Ying (Tpe) Chinese Taipei 5 Alzbeta Pavlendova (Svk) Slovakia 6 Wai Sze Lee (HKg) Hong Kong Heat 2 1 Diana Maria Garcia Orrego (Col) Colombia 2 Virginie Cueff (Fra) France 3 Monique Sullivan (Can) Canada 4 Helena Casas Roige (Spa) Spain 5 Marta Janowiak (Pol) Poland DSQ Xiao Juan Diao (HKg) Hong Kong Second round Heat 1 1 Victoria Pendleton (GBr) Team Sky + Hd 2 Diana Maria Garcia Orrego (Col) Colombia 3 Monique Sullivan (Can) Canada 4 Swetlana Grankowskaja (Rus) Russia 5 Victoria Baranova (Rus) Russia REL Christin Muche (Ger) Germany Heat 2 1 Jinjie Gong (Chn) China 2 Anna Blyth (GBr) Great Britain 3 Miriam Welte (Ger) Germany 4 Natasha Hansen (NZl) New Zealand 5 Virginie Cueff (Fra) France 6 Jessica Varnish (GBr) Great Britain Final Final 1-6 1 Victoria Pendleton (GBr) Team Sky + Hd 2 Diana Maria Garcia Orrego (Col) Colombia 3 Jinjie Gong (Chn) China 4 Miriam Welte (Ger) Germany 5 Anna Blyth (GBr) Great Britain 6 Monique Sullivan (Can) Canada Final 7-12 7 Christin Muche (Ger) Germany 8 Jessica Varnish (GBr) Great Britain 9 Virginie Cueff (Fra) France 10 Natasha Hansen (NZl) New Zealand 11 Victoria Baranova (Rus) Russia 12 Swetlana Grankowskaja (Rus) Russia
Women's Team Pursuit
Qualifying 1 Team 100% Me Elizabeth Armitstead (GBr) Team 100% Me 3.29.86 Katie Colclough (GBr) Team 100% Me Joanna Rowsell (GBr) Team 100% Me 2 Germany Charlotte Becker (Ger) Germany 3.34.39 Christina Becker (Ger) Germany Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Germany 3 Ukraine Svitlana Galyuk (Ukr) Ukraine 3.35.09 Lesya Kalitovska (Ukr) Ukraine Lyubov Shulika (Ukr) Ukraine 4 Belgium Jessie Daams (Bel) Belgium 3.36.91 Jolien D'hoore (Bel) Belgium Kelly Druyts (Bel) Belgium 5 Belarus Alena Amialyusik (Blr) Belarus 3.37.33 Aksana Papko (Blr) Belarus Tatsiana Sharakova (Blr) Belarus 6 Spain Debora Galvez Lopez (Spa) Spain 3.39.68 Leire Olaberria Dorronsoro (Spa) Spain Gema Pascual Torrecilla (Spa) Spain 7 Poland Renata Dabrowska (Pol) Poland 3.43.65 Edyta Jasinska (Pol) Poland Malgorzata Wojtyra (Pol) Poland Final 1 Team 100% Me Elizabeth Armitstead (GBr) Team 100% Me 3.26.90 (52.196 km/h) Katie Colclough (GBr) Team 100% Me Joanna Rowsell (GBr) Team 100% Me 2 Germany Charlotte Becker (Ger) Germany 3.32.00 Christina Becker (Ger) Germany Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Germany 3 Ukraine Svitlana Galyuk (Ukr) Ukraine 3.32.45 Lesya Kalitovska (Ukr) Ukraine Lyubov Shulika (Ukr) Ukraine 4 Belgium Jessie Daams (Bel) Belgium 3.33.65 Jolien D'hoore (Bel) Belgium Kelly Druyts (Bel) Belgium 5 Belarus 6 Spain 7 Poland