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2007 UCI Track Cycling World Championships - CM
Spain, March 29-April 1, 2007
Men's points race
Llaneras back on top, takes fourth world points race title
By Shane Stokes in Palma
When his long time Madison partner Isaac Galvez tragically died during the Gent six day last November 26, Joan Llaneras considered giving up the sport. The two were reigning world champions, having won the madison together in 1999 and 2006, and had been racing as a pair for seven years.
However, with the 2007 championships taking place on home soil, the 37 year-old Majorcan finally opted to carry on, deciding to ride the points race and then the madison with Carlos Torrent. He was absolutely inspired in the first of those, and he dominated the competition and drove the many local supporters into a near frenzy.
Llaneras won sprint number five and then placed third, second, first, and fourth in others. But it was in gaining laps that he won the contest. He took a total of three on the main bunch - including one solo - and finished with a total of 76 points.
Iljo Keisse (Belgium) was 21 points down in second, taking just one lap on the bunch but sprinting well throughout. Olympic champion Mikhail Ignatiev netted bronze with a total of two laps and 52 points, only three points off silver.
Llaneras was extremely attentive throughout, showing his huge experience in policing the bunch and all attempts by his main competitors to get clear. But his form was also beyond question, riding at a level above the others to take that solo lap, and also leading the strung-out bunch for the entirety of the sixth, fifth and fourth laps before easing back, dropping off the back of the group near the finish and soaking up the applause, the emotions and the memories as he crossed the line.
Getting to the final: Tamouridis and Kadlec win heats
Earlier in the day, 2005 silver medallist Ioannis Tamouridis showed his form and hunger when he was the only rider to take two laps on the field during the heats of the points races. Going in heat two, he took off after the first sprint with Carlos Alzate Escobar (Colombia) and Hayden Roulston (New Zealand) for company and finished second to the Colombian in the sprint. The trio lapped the field with 37 laps to go, while the lone chaser, Ireland's David O'Loughin, did so one lap later. 2002 winner Chris Newton had tried to get across to O'Loughlin shortly after the Irishman set off in pursuit of the leading three but was brought back.
Tamouridis went again after the fourth sprint, taking another lap, while Oleksandr Polivoda (Ukraine) also clocked up 20 points around that point. Daniel Oss (Italy), Andreas Graf (Austria) and Olympic champion Mikhail Ignatiev (Russia) were the only others to succeed in gaining a lap while - surprisingly - Newton finished with just four points and failed to qualify.
The Briton had talked about his determination to chase a second points title, having finished just outside the medals in fourth in 2003, 2005, and 2006. However he seemed under power in the heat and took an early exit from the competition.
In the other heat, Milan Kadlec (Czech Republic) topped the standings with 21 points. He was fourth in the first sprint, won by Iljo Keisse (Belgium), and then after Juan Esteban Curuchet (Argentina) beat Majorcan hero Joan Llaneras (Spain) in the next, Kadlec took off with Vladimir Tuychiev (Uzbekistan), Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus), and scratch race winner Kam Po Wong (Hong Kong).
The four quickly gained a lap and were able to relax somewhat, secure in the knowledge that as long as many others didn't gain a lap, their large point buffer meant they wouldn't have to sprint. In the end, they were the only ones to gain those 20 points, with Curuchet taking another sprint to finish fifth. Alexander Aeschbach (Switzerland) also ended with ten, while Olympic silver medallist Llaneras was ninth. The first 11 went through to the finals, with Ignatas Konovalovas (Lituania), Robert Bengsch (Germany) and Mike Creed (USA) joining Newton and Zachary Bell (Canada) as the riders not to qualify.
Heat 1 1 Milan Kadlec (Czech Republic) 21 pts (50.013km/h) 2 Vladimir Tuychiev (Uzbekistan) 20 3 Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus) 20 4 Kampo Wong (Hong Kong, China) 20 5 Juan Esteban Curuchet (Argentina) 10 6 Alexander Aeschbach (Switzerland) 10 7 Cameron Meyer (Australia) 9 8 Peter Schep (Netherlands) 9 9 Joan Llaneras Rosello (Spain) 8 10 Iljo Keisse (Belgium) 8 11 Makoto Iijima (Japan) 5 12 Ignatas Konovalovas (Lithuania) 3 13 Robert Bengsch (Germany) 2 14 Michael Creed (United States Of America) 1 Heat 2 1 Ioannis Tamouridis (Greece) 43 pts (48.711km/h) 2 Carlos Alzate Escobar (Colombia) 27 3 Oleksandr Polivoda (Ukraine) 25 4 Hayden Roulston (New Zealand) 22 5 Daniel Oss (Italy) 21 6 David O'loughlin (Ireland) 21 7 Andreas Graf (Austria) 20 8 Mikhail Ignatiev (Russian Federation) 20 9 Matthieu Ladagnous (France) 14 10 Jenserik Madsen (Denmark) 13 11 Rafal Ratajczyk (Poland) 9 12 Zachary Bell (Canada) 7 13 Chris Newton (Great Britain) 4 DNS Andris José Hernandez (Venezuela) Final 1 Joan Llaneras Rosello (Spain) 76 pts 2 Iljo Keisse (Belgium) 55 3 Mikhail Ignatiev (Russian Federation) 52 4 Cameron Meyer (Australia) 46 5 Milan Kadlec (Czech Republic) 43 6 Matthieu Ladagnous (France) 39 7 Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus) 39 8 Peter Schep (Netherlands) 32 9 Juan Esteban Curuchet (Argentina) 28 10 Oleksandr Polivoda (Ukraine) 5 11 Kampo Wong (Hong Kong, China) 5 12 Alexander Aeschbach (Switzerland) 4 13 Jenserik Madsen (Denmark) 2 14 Makoto Iijima (Japan) 8 15 Andreas Graf (Austria) 19 16 Vladimir Tuychiev (Uzbekistan) 20 17 Ioannis Tamouridis (Greece) 20 DNF Carlos Alzate Escobar (Colombia) DNF David O'Loughlin (Ireland) DNF Daniel Oss (Italy) DNF Hayden Roulston (New Zealand) DNF Rafal Ratajczyk (Poland)