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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

2009 UCI Track Cycling World Championships - CM

Pruszkow, Poland, March 25-29, 2009

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Stage 7 - March 28: Men: Madison, Sprint (1/4 final, 5th-8th); Women: Sprint (Semifinal, Final), Omnium (Points race, 500m TT)

Danish put on perfect show to win the Madison

By Gerry McManus in Pruszkow, Poland

Team Saxo Bank professionals Michael Morkov and Alex Rasmussen won the men's Madison for Denmark on Saturday night in Pruszkow. The dyanamic Danish duo took control of the race by winning 22 points in the sprints and dramatically lapping the field to win their country's second gold medal of the championships.

Australia also ended on the same lap as Denmark and the young duo of Cameron Meyer and Leigh Howard earned themselves the silver medal. The bronze went to the brave Czech team of Martin Blaha and Jiri Hochmann who surprised the field by taking a lap on their own before the race was even at half distance. The Czech's held onto third place despite not having won even one point in the sprints.

Still no medal for Mark Cavendish who partnered fellow Manxman Peter Kennaugh. Kennaugh was unfortunate to crash but remounted with cuts and bruises and Great Britain eventually finished sixth.

The race was explosive with teams constantly on the attack and Denmark scored maximum points on the first sprint with Spain in second and Belgium in third. As the bell went to announce the next sprint, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, GB and Italy were all jostling for position on the front but the Belgian came over the top to steal five points from GB and Italy.

With 144 laps to go, USA, Denmark, Germany and Australia gained a small lead with Denmark narrowly beating Germany to win five points. Then the Czech team launched a serious attack and they quickly gained half a lap and worked hard to make connection with the bunch around nine laps later. The other contenders had seen the danger and Spain, Denmark went clear with GB and Italy chasing. The bunch turned into one long line which started to split under the pressure but the Czech team bravely hung onto the tail.

Cavendish on the attack

Mark Cavendish launched himself off the front with an Italian in tow with Italy gaining the maxiumum five points for the sprint lap. Cavendish seemed more intent on gaining a lap.

105 laps to go and Argentina attacked and the bunched hesitated to allow them to add five points to their tally. Denmark got another five points and with 78 laps to go and all hell let loose. Denmark looked rocket fuelled as they attacked to taking the points and lapped the field to take the lead. Then the young Australian duo followed suit and jumped up the leader board into the silver medal position.

It was effectively game over with Michael Morkov attacking again and gaining nearly half a lap in a show of strength.

Cavendish and Kennaugh never gave up and were still attacking with eight laps to go but the rainbow jersey's were destined to go to Denmark. The Polish team gave the home crowd something to cheer about when they won the penultimate sprint with the USA getting the honours on the final lap.

Morkov finally gets the rainbow jersey

"That was awesome," said Morkov: "Yesterday I did the qualification in the team pursuit and in the evening I saw my friends win the final. It was really hard not to have a rainbow jersey like my friends but to win today and to be able to go to the airport in the same jersey as them is very important to me. This is the biggest highlight in my career."

"Alex [Rasmussen] and I have a really good relationship," continued Morkov. " We have been riding the Madison together for five years. When we rode our first Madison together I was sure that we would win the World title someday.

"I was worried when the Czech's took the lap early in the race because they took it really easily and they looked pretty comfortable sitting in the peloton. As the race stretched out I could see that they were having problems and I knew that when we put the hammer down that we would take a lap.

"We started competing in the sprints early on because we wanted to be sure on points and we had a lot of competition from the British and the Belgian guys but we held a little bit back when we realised we needed a lap. My legs were so good and I was so motivated for the race today that I had enough left to attack again near the end."

Pendleton is still Queen of the sprint

Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain) leans
Photo ©: Gerry McManus
(Click for larger image)

Britain's Victoria Pendleton was crowned world champion for the women's sprint after she beat Dutch girl Wily Kanis in a thrilling final on Saturday night. Not the usual flag trailing behind on the lap of honour this time for the British girl. The emotion hit her as she crossed the finish line and she simply wept getting big hugs from British sprinter Jamie Staff.

Kanis had made it tough for Pendleton as she won the second heat to level the series and there was bumping and a thumping in the thrilling final round. Kanis squeezed Pendleton up on the rail first and then Pendleton banged into the Dutch girl as she came round her in the final 20m to win by inches to retain her world championship title.

Pendleton was still emotional and close to tears on the podium when she received her medal but managed to sing the British national anthem as it was played.

"This is the hardest world championship I have ever won," said Pendleton. "Coming out of the Olympics and going straight back into training really tough, especially with all the other commitments you have as an Olympic champion in your country. I just didn't think it was going to be possible and I am so relieved that I can't explain. I think this is one of the greatest achievements of my career so far. I am going to try my best in the Keirin on Sunday but I can't guarantee anything."

Tomic takes the Omnium title

Josephine Tomic (Australia) hits the front
Photo ©: Gerry McManus
(Click for larger image)

Aussie Josephine Tomic was crowned the first ever women's Omnium World Champion on Saturday night when she won the final 500m time trial event.

Tomic had already ridden a stormer in the points race earlier in the day to go into a joint lead with only the 500m time trial to go. Tomic found her sprinting legs quickly and won the race courtesy of gaining maximum points on the second and final sprint of the race.

Dalila Rodriguez Hernandez was aggressive throughout, scoring on three sprints to finish second but was still nine points off the overall lead. Elisa Frisoni (Italy) finished third and put herself into contention for the overall, lying in fourth place behind Lesya Kalitovska (Ukraine). Tara Whitten (Canada) only placed 11th in points the race but still has the same points total as Tomic.

Tomic put everything into the last time trial event and finished seventh, just one place ahead of Whitten to secure victory by one solitary point. Yvonne Hijgenaar (Netherlands) put in the fastest time of 35.242 sec to beat Britain's Anna Blyth and take herself into the bronze medal position.

Tomic was delighted with the victory. "That was a big surprise," said Tomic. "I had a disappointing scratch race and to come back and the win shows that anything can happen. I have asthma and it is pretty dusty in the Velodrome; I had a cough all week but I just got on with the job and it paid off. I won the world junior points race in 2007 and it used to be one of my strongest events but I have not done so well in it as a senior. I had nothing to lose and everything to gain so I put everything into the race.

"I just went into the 500m time trial aiming for a personal best time and to try to medal and I didn't really feel any pressure."


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Gerry McManus/www.gerrymcmanus.co.uk


Men's Madison

1 Denmark                                    22 pts
    Michael Morkov                                
    Alex Rasmussen                                
2 Australia                                   2 pts
    Leigh Howard                                  
    Cameron Meyer                                 
3 Czech  Republic                              
    Martin Blaha                                  
    Jiri Hochmann                                 
One lap behind
4 Belgium                                    17 pts
    Kenny De  Ketele                              
    Tim Mertens                                   
5 Germany                                    15 pts
    Roger Kluge                                   
    Olaf Pollack                                  
6 Great  Britain                             13 pts
    Mark Cavendish                                
    Peter Kennaugh                                
7 Italy                                      10 pts
    Angelo Ciccone                                
    Elia Viviani                                  
8 United  States                              7 pts
    Daniel Holloway                               
    Colby Pearce                                  
9 Ukraine                                      
    Sergiy Lagkuti                                
    Mykhaylo Radionov                             
10 Switzerland                                 
    Alexander Aeschbach                           
    Franco Marvulli                               
11 Netherlands                                 
    Pim Ligthart                                  
    Wim Stroetinga                                
Two laps behind
12 Spain                                      7 pts
    Unai Elorriaga Zubiaur                       
    David Muntaner Juaneda                       
13 Poland                                     7 pts
    Lukasz Bujko                                  
    Rafal Ratajczyk                               
14 Argentina                                  6 pts
    Sebastian Donadio                             
    Martin Garrido  Mayorga                       
15 Russia                                     3 pts
    Mikhail Ignatiev                              
    Alexei Markov                                 
16 France                                     1
    Julien Duval                                  
    Morgan Kneisky                                
17 Austria                                     
    Andreas Graf                                  
    Andreas Mueller                               
18 Colombia                                    
    Juan Arango  Carvajal
    Carlos  Alberto Uran  Arroyabe                          

Men's Sprint

Heat 1
1 Azizulhasni Awang (Malaysia)    0.10.406            0.10.871
2 Ross Edgar (Great Britain)                0.10.995      
Heat 2
1 Grégory Bauge (France)          0.10.353  0.10.664
2 Jason Kenny (Great Britain)             
Heat 3
1 Kévin Sireau (France)           0.10.487  0.10.506
2 Matthew Crampton (Great Britain)        
Heat 4
1 Shane Perkins (Australia)       0.10.513  0.10.487
2 Mickaël Bourgain (France)
5th-8th final
5 Jason Kenny (Great Britain)           0.11.013
6 Matthew Crampton (Great Britain)              
7 Mickaël Bourgain (France)                     
8 Ross Edgar (Great Britain)

Women's Sprint

Heat 1
1 Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain)    0.11.813  0.11.942
2 Olga Panarina (Belarus)                       
Heat 2
1 Willy Kanis (Netherlands)             0.12.305  0.11.594
2 Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania)
1 Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain)    0.11.897            0.11.714
2 Willy Kanis (Netherlands)                       0.11.665                
3 Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania)        0.11.277  0.11.524
4 Olga Panarina (Belarus)

Women's Omnium

Points Race
1 Josephine Tomic (Australia)             10 pts
2 Dalila Rodriguez Hernandez (Cuba)        6
3 Elisa Frisoni (Italy)                    6
4 Charlotte Becker (Germany)               5
5 Xiao Juan Diao (Hong Kong, China)        4
6 Lesya Kalitovska (Ukraine)               4
7 Gema Pascual Torrecilla (Spain)          3
8 Renata Dabrowska (Poland)                3
9 Yvonne Hijgenaar (Netherlands)           2
10 Olga Slyusareva (Russian Federation)    1
11 Tara Whitten (Canada)                    
12 Vilija Sereikaite (Lithuania)            
13 Lada Kozlikova (Czech Republic)          
14 Anna Blyth (Great Britain)               
15 Andrea Botero Coy (Colombia)             
DNF Kaytee Boyd (New Zealand)
500m TT
1 Yvonne Hijgenaar (Netherlands)           0.35.242  (51.075 km/h)
2 Anna Blyth (Great Britain)               0.35.377
3 Elisa Frisoni (Italy)                    0.35.458
4 Vilija Sereikaite (Lithuania)            0.35.660
5 Lada Kozlikova (Czech Republic)          0.35.981
6 Renata Dabrowska (Poland)                0.36.326
7 Josephine Tomic (Australia)              0.36.650
8 Tara Whitten (Canada)                    0.37.451
9 Lesya Kalitovska (Ukraine)               0.37.483
10 Charlotte Becker (Germany)              0.37.524
11 Dalila Rodriguez Hernandez (Cuba)       0.37.696
12 Kaytee Boyd (New Zealand)               0.37.907
13 Olga Slyusareva (Russian Federation)    0.37.992
14 Xiao Juan Diao (Hong Kong, China)       0.38.896
15 Gema Pascual Torrecilla (Spain)         0.38.924
16 Andrea Botero Coy (Colombia)            0.39.126
Final Standings
1 Josephine Tomic (Australia)                26 pts
2 Tara Whitten (Canada)                      27
3 Yvonne Hijgenaar (Netherlands)             27
4 Elisa Frisoni (Italy)                      28
5 Lesya Kalitovska (Ukraine)                 29
6 Vilija Sereikaite (Lithuania)              34
7 Dalila Rodriguez Hernandez (Cuba)          39
8 Renata Dabrowska (Poland)                  40
9 Lada Kozlikova (Czech Republic)            44
10 Anna Blyth (Great Britain)                44
11 Charlotte Becker (Germany)                44
12 Gema Pascual Torrecilla (Spain)           52
13 Olga Slyusareva (Russian Federation)      56
14 Kaytee Boyd (New Zealand)                 61
15 Xiao Juan Diao (Hong Kong, China)         61
16 Andrea Botero Coy (Colombia)              68 

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