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Los Angeles Track World Cup - CDM
ADT Velodrome, Carson, California, USA, January 19-21, 2007
Session 5 - Morning, Sunday, January 21: Women: Scratch final; keirin final, Men: team sprint final; Madison final
Hammer hits World Cup hard
By Rob Jones
The Los Angeles round of the Track World Cup concluded on Sunday, with hometown favourite Sarah Hammer (Team Ouch) winning her third gold medal of the weekend in the Women's Scratch Race. Hammer's single-person team also took top honours for the entire World Cup with four gold medals won, and ranked fourth among 'nations' for total medals. A total of four medal events took place on the final day, concluding with the men's Team Sprint, won by Great Britain.
The Danish duo of Michael Morkov and Alex Rasmussen dominated the 160 lap (40 kilometre) Madison final, taking two laps and winning four of eight sprint competitions. The only two teams able to finish on the same lap were second place Belgium duo Kenny de Ketele and Steve Schets with 6 points and third place Russians Konstantin Ponomarev and Alexey Shmidt with 5 points. Argentina, Ukraine, Italy and Netherlands finished one lap down, with the remainder a further lap behind.
The constant attacks and counterattacks splintered the field quickly, making it difficult to keep track of who was on which lap. Perennial favourites Argentina managed to gain a single lap, but were stymied in their efforts to take a second lap and finished just out of the medals in fourth place.
Rasmussen was one of the riders on the Danish Team Pursuit squad which had to re-ride the qualifier after crashing at the three-quarter mark. The team then lost a gold medal chance when the team blew apart while going head-to-head with the Ukrainian team.
"It was definitely a good feeling today because I was so disappointed after the team pursuit," said Rasmussen. "We were definitely the strongest in the pursuit but we just had a bad day. So it was good to get a win."
The first round of the Keirin gave a clear indication of who was going well, with the four heat winners moving on to the final. Guo Shuang (China), Yvonne Hijgenaar (Netherlands), Clara Sanchez (France) and world champion Daniela Larreal (Venezuela) were joined in the final by Jennie Reed (USA) and Sandie Claire (France). Guo went to the front after the pace bike pulled off and held the inside line all the way to the finish line. Larreal managed to put on a burst of speed in the final lap and edged in front at the line, while Reed followed Larreal to take third behind Guo.
Women's Scratch Race
Last year, Sarah Hammer won the scratch race by going to the front with 12 laps to go and keeping the speed high enough to discourage anyone from passing her. This year, after winning both the Points race and the Pursuit, in a US record time, the Temecula, California rider started more slowly in the scratch, sitting at the back for most of the race.
Despite a few tentative breakaway attempts, the field seemed content to roll around the track, setting up for a final sprint to the line. It wasn't until five laps to go that Hammer made her move, heading straight to the front, with team mate Rebecca Quinn on her wheel. Once at the front, she kept up a fierce pace, and no one could overtake. Adrie Visser (Netherlands) tried on the back straight, and managed to pull level before dropping back slightly in the final corners to hang on for third.
"The best thing about Becky is you don't mess with her when she's fighting for a wheel," commented Hammer. "We had no plan going into it, but it's kind of that unspoken thing where she knows what I'm going to do and I know what she's going to do, and so we're a pretty dangerous duo, I think."
"Coming in, I wanted to win all three, but in reality whether or not that would happen, you never know. This morning I woke up and didn't even want to do the scratch race because I was getting tired both physically and mentally. But once I get on the start line, I'm ready to go."
Men's Team Sprint
The final in the men's team sprint pitted Great Britain against France, with the second British squad, ScienceinSport.com, going against Germany for the bronze. Matthew Crompton, Chris Hoy and Janie Staff were pitted against Gregory Bauge, Francois Pervis and Kevin Sireau for gold, and were neck-and-neck after the first lap.
Halfway into their second lap, Sireau rolled his front tire and went down hard, forcing a restart. In the re-run, Bauge put France in the lead after one lap, but Hoy put the Brits into the lead on the second lap, and Crompton maintained it to the finish.
Afterwards, Hoy admitted that he wasn't used to racing as many events, and the fatigue after the restart made it difficult. "It was tough, but it was the same for all of us, and the French guy must have been pretty sore," noted Hoy. "The most frustrating part for me was that we have been spending a lot of time working on our transitions, and I think I got it perfect in the ride that was stopped!"
"When I hit the back straight on the final second lap my legs were jelly. The day before, I really felt the fatigue more and more through the day as the sprinting went on, so I had nothing left to give against Chiappa (Italy). I know that I have to work on being able to make multiple efforts. The speed is there - I qualified fastest - but I'm more used to making one big effort."
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Mitch Clinton/www.clintonphoto.com
Images by Mitch Friedman/www.mitchophoto.com
Images by Michael Grundmann/www.michaelgrundmann.com
Women's Scratch final 1 Sarah Hammer (USA) Ouch Pro Cycling 2 Rebecca Quinn (USA) 3 Adrie Visser (Ned) 4 Yulia Arustamova (Rus) Moscow 5 Annalisa Cucinotta (Ita) 6 Gema Pascual Torrecilla (Spa) 7 Yumari Gonzalez Valdinieso (Cub) 8 Olga Slyusareva (Rus) 9 Yoanka Gonzalez Perez (Cub) 10 Leire Olaberria Dorronsoro (Spa) Cespa - Eustrak.Com 11 Tess Downing (Aus) Drapac Porsche 12 Pascale Schnider (Swi) 13 Kate Cullen (GBr) Recycling.Co.Uk 14 Debora Galvez Lopez (Spa) 15 Monia Baccaille (Ita) 16 Jarmila Machacova (Cze) 17 Belem Guerrero Mdez (Mex) 18 Gina Grain (Can) 19 Maria Luisa Calle Williams (Col) 20 Tatiana Antoshina (Rus) 21 Verena Joos (Ger) 22 Charlotte Becker (Ger) 23 Cathy Moncassin (Fra) 24 Marllijn Binnendijk (Ned) Women's Keirin final N/A Men's Team Sprint final Gold Great Britain 44.606 (60,529 km/h) Matthew Crampton Chris Hoy Jamie Staff Silver France 44.913 Gregory Bauge François Pervis Kévin Sireau Bronze Scienceinsport.Com 44.725 Edgar Ross Jason Kenny Jason Queally 4 Germany 45.015 Carsten Bergemann Robert Forstemann René Wolff 5 Australia 6 Poland 7 Japan 8 China 9 United States 10 Spain 11 Canada 12 Greece 13 Malaysia 14 Cuba 15 Russia 16 Switzerland 17 Trinidad &Tobago 18 Slovakia 19 Puerto Rico Men's Madison final 1 Denmark 20pts Michael Morkov Alex Rasmussen 2 Belgium 6 Kenny De Ketele Steve Schets 3 Russia 5 Konstantin Ponomarev Alexey Shmidt 1 lap down 4 Argentina Juan Esteban Curuchet Walter Perez 5 Ukraine Lyubomyr Polatayko Volodymyry Rybin 6 Italy Angelo Ciccone Fabio Masotti 7 Netherlands Pim Ligthart Jens Mouris 2 laps down 8 Moscow Andrey Klyuev Roman Maximov 9 Spain Asier Maeztu Carlos Torrent Tarres 10 Czech Republic Martin Blaha Jiri Hochmann 11 Germany Marcel Kalz Christian Kux 12 Canada Martin Gilbert Ryan Mckenzie 13 Great Britain Jonathan Bellis Ross Sander 14 Austria Roland Garber Andreas Graf 15 Cespa Eustrak.Com Aitor Alonso Granados Unai Elorriaga Zubiaur 4 laps down 16 France François Lamiraud Alexandre Lemair