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2006 UCI Track Cycling World Championships - CM

France, April 13-16, 2006

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Men's team pursuit

Britain and Australia to meet up once again

By Mal Sawford in Bordeaux

The US team, made up of four members of the TIAA-CREF road team, were first up, and after a messy first kilometre settled into a better rhythm to record a time of 4.14.952. Team manager Jonathan Vaughters had flown in for the day to support the team and although he had hoped for a time around 4.10, was nonetheless pleased with the result.

"You know, it's their first world championships, their second team pursuit ever, so you know it was sloppy as hell, but they went reasonably fast." And Vaughters predicts better things to come. "Pretty much every time they're in competition they're going two seconds faster, so if we can just keep that up for another two years then they'll actually be a real honestly competitive team. It's encouraging enough to continue forward and to keep pushing at it. It's a tough event. Like I said, we've got a lot of horse power, but just no experience. Hopefully by the time we roll around to 2008, the experience and the fluidity will be there."

The first team under the 4.10 barrier was Germany, lead by individual pursuit winner Robert Bartko to a time of 4.07.873, but they were soon pushed from the top spot by the Ukrainian team's 4.07.165. Any chance of a competitive time from the world cup winning Russian team was lost with 500 metres remaining when Serguei Klimov lost contact, and then the three remaining riders split up badly on the final lap.

New Zealand fell just short of Ukraine's time, and they were followed by the Australian team, who matched the Ukrainian time checks to the half way point before lifting the tempo to finish well ahead with a time of 4.04.403. The young Netherlands team moved into second place behind the Aussies, but with the British team still to come, would eventually finish third, and will race for the bronze medal tonight against Ukraine.

The Aussie train
Photo ©: Mitch Friedman
(Click for larger image)

The British team started quicker than the Australians, and were half a second up at the half way point, but lost time steadily, eventually falling almost the same margin behind with 500 metres to ride. Still 0.4 down at the bell, an impressive finishing burst saw them qualify fastest, in 4.04.074.

Both the Australian and British coaches were happy with their teams' rides. Australian endurance coach Ian McKenzie expects the British team to go even quicker in the gold medal match. "I think they have a little bit. They've got another rider that they can bring in, Chris Newton, so yeah, I think they've got a little bit," he said. "I think we go in as underdogs. Realistically, I think we're an outside chance."

British head coach Simon Jones agreed times will be quicker tonight. "Definitely," but where McKenzie expects only minor improvements ("Well, if we do [go faster], it'll be by not much"), Jones is more confident. "I'm not really going to really worry about the time, just going to look at the technique and see where we can improve. There's a couple of areas I've identified where we can improve, might change the order, might change the team around. The first ride is always sort of like a calibrating ride, so I'm confident with what we've done in the past that we can roughly improve three or four seconds in that second ride. There's two teams on the track, and that makes it quicker."

Both teams have the option of bringing fresh legs in tonight. Ashley Hutchinson for Australia, and Chris Newton for Britain, but both coaches are playing their cards close to their chests. Jones will wait until the last moment before finalising his team, saying "I've not decided yet. It's a possibility. We've got options, we'll go back, have a little debrief, a look at the video and then decide what we're going to do. We've got some time; I haven't got to decide until an hour before hand" and ‘Macca' had a similar response, "I'll have to look at the data for that ride, and then I'll make a decision."



1 Great Britain                             4.04.074 (58.998 km/h)
 Stephen Cummings           
 Rob Hayles                 
 Paul Manning               
 Geraint Thomas             
2 Australia                                 4.04.403
 Peter Dawson               
 Matthew Harley Goss        
 Mark Jamieson              
 Stephen Wooldridge         
3 Netherlands                               4.06.494
 Levi Heimans               
 Jens Mouris                
 Peter Schep                
 Niki Terpstra              
4 Ukraine                                   4.07.165
 Volodymyr Dyudya           
 Lyubomyr Polatayko         
 Maksym Polyshchuk          
 Vitaliy Shchedov           
5 New Zealand                               4.07.530
 Sam Bewley                 
 Hayden Godfrey             
 Timothy Gudsell            
 Marc Ryan                  
6 Germany                                   4.07.873
 Robert Bartko              
 Robert Bengsch             
 Guido Fulst                
 Leif Lampater              
7 Spain                                     4.08.542
 Carlos Castano Panadero    
 Sergio Escobar Roure       
 Carlos Torrent Tarres      
 David Muntaner Juaneda     
8 Russia                                    4.09.954
 Mikhail Ignatiev           
 Serguei Klimov             
 Alexander Serov            
 Nikolai Trussov            
9 France                                    4.10.162
 Mathieu Ladagnous          
 Jonathan Mouchel           
 Nicolas Rousseau           
 Fabien Sanchez             
10 Denmark                                  4.10.174
 Casper Jørgensen           
 Jens-Erik Madsen           
 Michael Mørkøv             
 Alex Rasmussen             
11 Belgium                                  4.11.989
 Dominique Cornu            
 Ingmar De Poortere         
 Tim Mertens                
 Steve Schets               
12 USA                                      4.14.952
 Michael Creed              
 Michael Friedman           
 Charles Bradley Huff       
 Danny Pate                 
13 Italy                                    4.17.276
 Gianpaolo Biolo            
 Angelo Ciccone             
 Claudio Masnata            
 Roberto Traficante         
14 Poland                                   4.20.892
 Dawid Glowacki             
 Rafal Ratajczyk            
 Jakub Sredzinki            
 Wojciech Ziolkowski

For gold and silver
1 Australia                                 4.01.491 (59.629 km/h)
 Peter Dawson (Australia)            
 Matthew Harley Goss (Australia)     
 Mark Jamieson (Australia)           
 Stephen Wooldridge (Australia)      
2 Great Britain                             4.01.527
 Stephen Cummings (Great Britain)    
 Rob Hayles (Great Britain)          
 Paul Manning (Great Britain)        
 Geraint Thomas (Great Britain)      
For bronze
3 Ukraine                                   4.04.695 (58.848 km/h)
 Volodymyr Dyudya (Ukraine)          
 Roman Kononenko (Ukraine)           
 Maksym Polyshchuk (Ukraine)         
 Lyubomyr Polatayko (Ukraine)        
4 Netherlands                               4.05.305
 Levi Heimans (Netherlands)          
 Jens Mouris (Netherlands)           
 Peter Schep (Netherlands)           
 Niki Terpstra (Netherlands)