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2005 UCI Track Cycling World Championships - CM

Los Angeles, CA, USA, March 24-27, 2005

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Day 4 - March 27: Men's sprint semi-finals & finals; Women's keirin 1st round, 2nd round, repechages & finals; Women's scratch 10km final; Men's Madison 50km

Final day rainbows to Wolff, Slyusareva, Sanchez and British Madison pair

By Eddie Monnier

In spite of being Easter Sunday, a sell out crowd attended, setting another new attendance record. The enthusiastic crowd warmly cheered for riders, regardless of their nationality, throughout the action packed final session.

Men's sprint

Rene Wolff (Germany)
Photo ©: Matthew Moses
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After unseating defending world champion Theo Bos, Jobe Dajka seemed like the guy to beat. But he was no match for Rene Wolff, as the Germany easily overpowered the Aussie in two straight rides to advance to the finals.

French teammates Gregory Bauge faced off against world cup champion Mickael Bourgain, but the young 20-year old managed to eke by the world cup leader on the outside to take the first heat. Bourgain won the second heat to force a decider. Bauge tried to take the third heat from the front. As he powered out of the final turn, his tire exploded, sending the Frenchman down hard at full speed. There may have been some remnant damage to the track as his tire burst in about the same place the crash happened in the women's scratch race. Bauge was clearly in a lot of pain, as he lay there for quite some time before being carried off. Because of the mechanical mishap, Bauge would have another opportunity to advance, providing he wasn't too hurt to re-run the deciding heat.

Bauge showed his class and lined up to loud applause for the re-run of the second heat. A sentimental favorite at this point, Bauge could not overpower Bourgain and would have to face Dajka in the bronze medal ride.

Dajka led from the front, but Bauge took the lead in the first half lap and made the initial jump. Dajka quickly pulled even and the two strongmen battled, bumping elbows to the line, with Dajka edging the Frenchman by mere inches. The Aussie won the bronze medal by taking the second ride, which was also close.

Bourgain, who had to complete four rides to advance from the semi's, led Wolff and decided to take the sprint long, as they were moving at good speed half a lap before taking the bell. The German looked to have the superior speed as he advanced ahead of the Frenchman just after the 200-meter mark. Bourgain fought back to narrow the gap to less than a wheel at the finish line, giving Wolff the first ride. The German took the second ride much more easily to claim the world title.

Olga Slyusareva (Russia)
Photo ©: Matthew Moses
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Women's scratch

It seemed the scratch race would be much faster then the women's points race, as several riders attacked immediately. They were brought back relatively quickly and it became a sprinter's race,

With six laps to go the pace was slow as the riders circled the top of the track. It wasn't until three to go that the pace started to heat up. It was nerve wracking for the spectators as the racers maneuvered through the traffic jam for position. Coming out of the turn 3, Poitras (Canada) and Quinn (USA) got tangled up and went down hard. The American was hit hard again as Virginie Moinard (France) also hit the deck. Moinard and Poitras both walked off with assistance, while Quinn, conscious, was carried off on a stretcher. The Pole Katarzyna Jagusiak displayed unbelievable bike handling skills to snake her way through

Olga Slyusareva (Russia) took out the world title over Katherine Bates (Australia) and Lyudmyla Vypyraylo (Ukraine).


Mark Cavendish and Robert Hayles (Great Britain)
Photo ©: Matthew Moses
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Eighteeen nations lined up two-man teams to compete for the world title in the 200-lap (50km) Madison, an event the French call "l'Américaine" since it originated at Madison Square Garden way back in 1899 and was first made popular in the United States. Always a crowd pleaser, this fast-paced event features sprints every 20 laps. Unlike the points race, where gaining a lap yields 20 points, laps take precedence in this event.

The Dutch took the mid-way sprint to move into just a two-point lead over the Belgians and Russians, who both had 10 points. The Danes sat in fourth with 6 points. Though there had been a few serious attacks, including one by the Argentines, no team had yet succeeded in taking a lap.

Defending world champions Argentina excel in this event by taking a lap rather than contesting the ten sprints. They put in their second serious attack after the 60-to-go lap. The quickly established a half lap but the field wasn't about to let the Argentines get away that easily and chased swiftly to whittle away at the lead, ultimately catching them on the bell lap for the sprint at 40 remaining. The Dutch took the sprint to move into a five-point lead over the Belgium

Colby Pearce of the US launched a well timed attacked immediately after the sprint. He and Nothstein kept the move going for several laps. Great Britain, sensing the moment was now, chased hard to bridge the move. In an apparent miscommunication with their coach, Marty swung up track and the Brits rocketed by and took only 11 laps to capitalize on their move. By gaining a lap on the rest of the field, they moved atop the leader board.

Netherlands, then in second place overall, and Kazakhstan crashed with 25 to go, but both riders were up quickly.

New Zealand launched an attack with 23 to go, which was ultimately joined by Russia, and eventually Argentina. The break gained and lost teams, but ultimately became Australia, Ukraine and the world cup winners from the Czech Republic. With the pack chasing hard, the break simply ran out of time to take a lap and was ultimately re-absorbed as Russia badly needed points to move from its tie with France for fourth into a medal position. While they took the sprint over the Czech Republic and New Zealand, but the third placed Belgians also grabbed a point, securing their bronze medal position and keeping Russia over the podium. The Dutch added to their medal count with the silver, while the Brits secured its fourth world title and seal the top spot among the competing nations. The race was completed in an incredible 55:28, yielding an average speed of 54.0 km/h.

US rider Colby Pearce, who launched the perfectly timed move, told Cyclingnews, "It was one of those times when you have a moment of clairvoyance. This is it. This is the move. And I went. I got a good gap instantly… At least I hit the nail on the head as far as timing, but that and a quarter will get you a cup of coffee."

Madison partner Nothstein, one of America's best track cyclists ever, was clearly disappointed to end his track career without a better result.

Clara Sanchez (France)
Photo ©: Matthew Moses
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Women's keirin

Elisa Frisoni (Italy) and junior world champion Shuang Guo (China) won their first round heats with large margins. The second round was more closely contested. And in heat 2, Jennie Reed (USA) and Natallia Tylinskaya (Belarus) were fighting for position coming out of turn-3 since neither was going to get by Nivert (France) and Hijgenaar (Netherlands) who looked to have the first two spots taken. With only one spot left to advance, neither rider wanted to yield. The Belarusian tried to push her way out of the pole lane by leaning into the American. Reed held her ground and the Belarusian, now leaning very aggressively, ended up taking herself down.

Guo, a multiple junior world champion and world cup winner, tried to take the keirin from a very long way out and looked in command, until defending world champion Clara Sanchez came powering over the top. Frisoni (Italy) tried to match Sanchez but came up short and had to settle for silver. Hijgenaar took the bronze.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Matthew Moses/www.moses-images.com

Images by Mitch Friedman/www.mitchophoto.com

Images by Dana Ross/www.danarossphoto.com

Images by Russ and Nancy Wright/www.abbiorca.com


Women keirin Final 1-6
1 Clara Sanchez (France)
2 Elisa Frisoni (Italy)
3 Yvonne Hijgenaar (Netherlands)
4 Nivert Céline (France)
5 Shuang Guo (China)
6 Jennie Reed (USA)
Full women's keirin results
Men sprint Finals
1 René Wolff (Germany)                 10.798  10.765
2 Mickaël Bourgain (France) 
1 Jobie Dajka (Australia)              11.395  11.089
2 Grégory Bauge (France)
Full men's sprint results

Women scratch race
1 Olga Slyusareva (Russia)
2 Katherine Bates (Australia)
3 Lyudmyla Vypyraylo (Ukraine)
Full women's scratch results
Men's Madison
1 Mark Cavendish/Robert Hayles (Great Britain)           
2 Robert Slippens/Danny Stam (Netherlands)            
3 Matthew Gilmore/Iljo Keisse (Belgium)             
Full men's Madison results

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