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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

World Track Championships - CM

Melbourne, Australia, May 26-30, 2004

Event program and results    First round     Repechages &  Finals

Women's Keirin repechages and finals

Sanchez leads from the front

By Mal Sawford

Clara Sanchez (France)
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
Click for larger image

French dominance continued on the second night of finals at the World Championships. Starting from the bottom of the track, French rider Clara Sanchez pounced on the derny, while Elisa Frisoni (Italy) and Susan Panzer (Germany), who had qualified through the repechage round, fought shoulder to shoulder for second wheel.

Over the next five laps, the situation remained unchanged: Sanchez safely behind the derny, the Italian and French riders battling for second wheel, and Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania), Jennie Reed and Shuong Guo following a little cautiously behind. When the derny swung off, Reed and Guo moved high on the banking, and started their charge coming down the back straight a lap and half from home.

Sanchez was up to the challenge, however, and as Reed loomed on her outside kicked hard to maintain her front running position, and powered home to a clear win, to give France three Gold Medals from the five events contested.

"When I saw the Italian girl in my back wheel I accelerated and when the last lap arrived I told myself that was the moment to give all the energy that I had. It’s going to be the first time for me that I will hear La Marseillaise played for me in a World Championships and I’m overjoyed.”

The women's kierin finalists
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
Click for larger image

Panzer and Frisoni maintained their fight for Sanchez’s slipstream all the way to the line, with the elated nineteen year-old Italian - the star of the 2002 Junior Track Cycling World Championships held in Vodafone Arena two years earlier - finally getting her wheel in front to claim the silver medal..

The unlucky Panzer saw the Bronze medal slip through her fingers as a late effort from Reed saw her flash home to claim her first World Championships Medal – and the first Medal for the USA at the Track Worlds since Tammy Thomas claimed Match Sprint Silver in 2001.

Frisoni celebrated her result almost as enthusiastically as the winner, to the cheers of a large Italian contingent in the crowd. “I am very happy. I wasn’t expecting to go so well. I didn’t even expect to get into the final. Now I am aiming at the sprint. Then I will see if I am going to the Olympics.”

Jennie Reed (USA)
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
Click for larger image

Jennie Reed’s medal was well received in the US camp, and as the delighted Bronze Medallist headed off for the medal ceremony she remarked: “It’s awesome - it’s my first medal at a senior World Championships. I am a little disappointed because I thought I was a chance to win, but in the Keirin anything can happen.”

The Keirin is not on the program for Women at the Athens Olympics, so the medallists were all aware that they will need to produce similar performances in the Sprint to ensure Olympic selection.


Images by Mark Gunter

Results - finals - May 27, 2004

Final for 7th-12th place
7 Katrin Meinke (Germany)
8 Oxana Grishina (Russia)
9 Rosealee Hubbard (Australia)
10 Anastasia Tchulkova (Russia)
11 Maya Tachikawa (Japan)
12 Diana Garcia Orrego (Colombia)
Final for 1st-6th place
1 Clara Sanchez (France)
2 Elisa Frisoni (Italy)
3 Jennie Reed (USA)
4 Susan Panzer (Germany)
5 Shuang Guo (China)
6 Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania)

First round repechage - Evening, May 27

Heat 1

1 Susan Panzer (Germany)                 12.287 (58.568km/h)
2 Oxana Grishina (Russia)                
3 Maya Tachikawa (Japan)                 
4 Anastasia Tchulkova (Russia)           

Heat 2

1 Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania)         11.774 (61.151km/h)
2 Katrin Meinke (Germany)                
3 Diana Garcia Orrego (Colombia)         
4 Rosealee Hubbard (Australia)