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Track World Cup 07-08 Round 3 - CDM
Los Angeles, California, January 18-20, 2008
Session 2 - January 18: Men: Individual pursuit, Team sprint, Points race; Women: Individual pursuit, Sprint, Scratch race
Phinney, Kalitovska come of age
By Laura Weislo in Los Angeles
American Taylor Phinney continued his ascension to the top of the pursuit ranks, coming from behind and fighting through the pain to pull off a stunning two-second victory ahead of the Netherlands' Jenning Huizenga. Phinney, the son of road legend Davis Phinney and Olympic gold medallist Connie Carpenter gave another demonstration of how good genetics and a strong mind can propel a rider to greatness.
"About six laps into it I was losing, and I was like, 'this sucks', and then I gave it everything I had," Phinney said. "Close to the end, it worked out. I went through about four laps to go and I was leading, and I kept telling myself, 'you can still lose, don't lose focus now'. It came out alright!"
Alright is the understatement of the year, as the 17-year-old now sits second in the World Cup standings behind Ukrainian Volodymyr Dyudya, and is not only well on his way to the World Championships, but to the Beijing Olympics as well. Would he have envisioned this one year ago? "I wouldn't have even known what it was all about - I didn't know how it all worked until just recently. I'm just excited."
The bronze medal final was the battle of two Spaniards, with 2004 world pursuit champion Sergei Escobar taking the race ahead of Toni Tauler (Illes Balears).
Hammer's fast ride outshone by Ukrainian gold
Ukrainian Lesya Kalitovska took the gold medal in the women's pursuit final Friday night, putting nearly two seconds into Colombian Maria Luisa Calle Williams. Kalitovska's team-mates were thrilled with her victory, which will help the team earn a spot for the Olympic Games. The 19-year-old Kalitovska may not be a household name yet, but as a two-time Junior World Champion, she has made great strides since joining the elite ranks last year. She was eighth in Beijing, and ninth in Sydney, but rocketed up to the top step in Los Angeles. Kalitovska is now fourth in the World Cup standings.
Calle Williams was disappointed with her ride in the finals. "This morning I felt good, but in the final I think I went out too fast," she said. "I feel good about the classification [World Cup, where she is now seventh], but not about this. I did Australia and China and now this one - it's a lot of travel." The Colombian will skip the next World Cup round in Copenhagen to rest up for the World Championships in Manchester at the end of March.
Reigning World Champion Sarah Hammer put in the best time of the event in the bronze medal final, posting a 3.38.0 to beat the Czech Republic's Lada Kozlikova. Her stellar ride had a bittersweet quality for the Southern California resident. "It's always good to go out with a strong ride. I'm happy with how I rode - there isn't anything that I could have done different this morning. I just didn't have good legs."
"Luckily I haven't had many of those days in competition, but it's hard. I had a few tears this afternoon, then said OK, let's just get the best of it, get a good pursuit in," Hammer explained. "I have the experience of riding many finals as opposed to the Czech girl. I knew that going in, I knew that was in my favour. I always have been good at doing duplicate rides and I know that's a strong suit of mine."
Tsylinskaya confirms in women's sprint
Belarussian Natalia Tsylinskaya confirmed her dominance of the women's sprint, as she blasted through the semifinal and final rounds, first dispatching the Dutch winner in Sydney, Willy Kanis, and then going on to best American Jennie Reed in the final. Suffering from a bout of food poisoning didn't seem to slow the World Cup leader, as she was seemingly effortless in her elimination of her competitors.
Reed was pleased with her performance, which included beating French woman Clara Sanchez in the semifinal. "Clara and I are very similar riders, so we pretty much knew what the other one was going to do. I was happy with how I rode." There wasn't much she could have done to beat Tsylinskaya in the final, however. "I put on a bigger gear in the final and gave it a bit of a go, but she just had the speed over me. She has a great, long sprint and she was finishing really strong."
"It's my best finish in the sprint for a long, long time," Reed said. "I have a really great training group now, and I've come a long way in the sprint. I'm enjoying it more than ever."
Kanis was able to get over Sanchez to take the bronze, moving her into a solid second place in the World Cup.
Meyer extends points race World Cup lead
Team Toshiba's Cameron Meyer proved Friday that he can translate his strategy of slipping into breakaways to win points into victory. The Australian factored into eight of the twelve sprints of the 120 lap race, gaining 23 points to win ahead of Poland's Rafal Ratajczyk. Third in both Sydney and Beijing, Meyer now leads the World Cup standings by five points ahead of England's Chris Newton.
"I think it was a bit of deja vu from last year," Meyer explained following the race. "I rode the same sort of race and had the same sort of tactic as when I won last year. I was in every move last year, and I wasn't going to let anything go this year."
It was clear that Meyer and a few others like Chile's Marco Antonio Arriagada, Ukrainian Volodymyr Rybin, and Dane Daniel Kreutzfeldt had similar tactics, but were unable to consistently translate it into points. "That's the way I ride it, I'm not a full sprinter," Meyer said. "I have to get my points while I'm out in the breakaways, and that's what I did tonight and came away with the win."
Meyer was pleased to finally stand on the top step of the podium after tasting his first victory here at the age of 19 last year. He credits having a bit more experience. "After riding three world cups, you know your competition, and the World Champion was in there, he's always the most dangerous guy, so I kept my eye on him."
Spanish World Champion Juan Llaneras took a more measured approach to the race, sitting frequently at the very back of the peloton to size up the action, and only going with moves on laps immediately before the points sprints. Toward the end of the race, Llaneras put in several strong attacks, but Meyer was right behind each time.
The affable young rider from West Australia is content with his progress, and with the white World Cup leader's jersey, even if having it this soon in his career is a bit of a surprise. "It's all good at the moment, it's all happening fast, but it's going along very nicely."
His next step is to head to the final World Cup before stepping up his preparation for the World Championships in Manchester. "I will go to Copenhagen - I'm not sure if I'm riding the points race, I may be riding the team pursuit and the Madison."
France vs. France in the men's team sprint
The men's team sprint was a sure gold victory for France, with the Cofidis team of Didier Henriette, Kévin Sireau and Arnaud Tournant facing the other French team of Gregory Bauge, Mickaël Bourgain and François Pervis. It was a win-win situation for the country, and while the Cofidis team took the win with a 44.49, nearly half a second faster than last year's combination of Bauge, Pervis and Sireau, Tournant was pleased with the performance of both teams.
"To have six guys on the highest level of the sport bodes well for the World Championships," said Tournant, a member of the defending world championship team."This is the first World Cup victory for Cofidis, and it's important to us."
The French national team got off to a faster start thanks to the power of Bauge, who was also a member of the gold medal team in Mallorca last year. They still held the lead when Bourgain took over for the second lap, but Tournant's blazing final turn was too much for Pervis, and the team had to be happy with silver with a 44.83.
Bauge was gracious in defeat, feigning disgust at being beaten by another French squad, but then saying more seriously, "Things are developing very well for the team, and while sometimes we have to accept second place to our countrymen, our progress toward Manchester is working very well. Certainly this means we will be able to put together the absolute best team for the Olympics in Beijing."
Becker surprised with scratch race win
The women's 40 lap scratch race played out in a rather unusual fashion, and ended with an unsuspecting winner. German Charlotte Becker was one of four women who succeeded in lapping the field, but the 24-year-old from Datteln was stunned when she was the first of the four to cross the line in the final sprint. "It's my first victory in a World Cup race, and I was pretty surprised because the scratch race is not my specialty. I'm better in the points race."
Indeed, Becker is a two-time European champion in the points race. "With the development of the race, it was a bit of chance. I'm happy I won, but I didn't expect it at all," she said.
The race action first heated up when Russian Elena Tchalykh launched a solo attack and slowly worked her way to more than a half-lap advantage. While favourites such as World Cup leader Yumari Gonzalez Valdivieso (Cuba), Marianne Vos (DSB Bank) and American Rebecca Quinn watched each other, Tchalykh came closer and closer to lapping the field. When the Russian was on the same straightaway as the field and the win beginning to fade from the minds of the other 23 women, Proman's Shelly Olds was the first to pick up the pace with a strong attack.
Olds was joined by Australian Belinda Goss, but the increased speed in the pack ended their time off the front. Quinn quickly countered, and was followed by Becker just as Tchalykh was within reach of the safety of the bunch. An attack by Scotland's Kate Cullen briefly sent Tchalykh off the back, but as the breakaway was brought back into the field, the slowed pace allowed the Russian to safely move into the middle of the group and into the lead of the race.
With nine laps to go, the rest of the field had not given up the hunt for gold, and American Lauren Franges was the next to launch a strong move. She was joined by Vos and Czech Jamila Machacova, but while Quinn was attempting to bridge the race came back together. A counter by Dutch 20-year-old Elenonora Van Dijk pulled another Russian, Evgeniya Romanyuta and Becker away, and while Franges and Kiwi Joanne Kiesanowski unsuccessfully tried to bridge.
With four laps to go, the lead trio of Becker, Van Dijk and Romanyuta took the lap, and set to watching each other as the finish line neared. Dane Trine Schmidt attacked, going clear to claim fifth place ahead of Gonzalez and Cullen, while Becker was able to sneak in ahead of the two Russians and Van Dijk to claim the win.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Mitch Friedman/www.mitchophoto.com
Images by Mitch Clinton/www.clintonphoto.com
Women's Individual pursuit Final For Gold & Silver 1 Lesya Kalitovska (Ukraine) 0.03.39.92 2 Maria Luisa Calle Williams (Colombia) 0.03.41.90 For Bronze 3 Sarah Hammer (USA) Ouch Pro Cycling 0.03.38.00 4 Lada Kozlikova (Czech Republic) 0.03.40.76 5 Kristin Armstrong (United States Of America) 6 Vilija Sereikaite (Ltu) Safi Pasta 7 Eleonora Van Dijk (Netherlands) 8 Katherine Bates (Australia) 9 Tara Whitten (Canada) 10 Karin Thürig (Switzerland) 11 Verena Joos (Germany) 12 Olga Slyusareva (Russian Federation) 13 Min Hye Lee (Korea) 14 Trine Schmidt (Denmark) 15 Cathy Moncassin Prime (France) 16 Martina Ruzickova (Cze) ASC Dukla Praha 17 Marianne Vos (Ned) DSB Bank Track Cycling 18 Leire Olaberria Dorronsoro (Spa) Cespa-Euskadi 19 Tatiana Guderzo (Italy) 20 Dale Tye (New Zealand) 21 Svetlana Pauliukaite (Lithuania) 22 Diana Elmentaite (Ltu) Ausra Gruodis 23 Gema Pascual Torrecilla (Spain) 24 Jessie Maclean (USA) Verducci Breakaway Racing 25 Neva Day (USA) South Bay Wheelmen 26 Julia Bradley (Can) Team R.A.C.E. 27 Jessie Daams (Belgium) 28 Rui Juan Liu (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling 29 Paola Maria Salazar Rabbe (Guatemala) Men's points race Final 1 Cameron Meyer (Toshiba) 23 pts 2 Rafal Ratajczyk (Poland) 20 3 Chris Newton (GBr) Recycling.co.uk 15 4 Greg Henderson (New Zealand) 13 5 Pim Lighthart (Netherlands) 13 6 Vasili Kiryienka (Belarus) 8 7 Joan Llaneras Rossello (Spain) 7 8 Daniel Kreutzfeldt (Denmark) 7 9 Vadim Shaekhov (Uzb) Uzbekistan Pro Cycling 5 10 Juan Pablo Forero Carreno (Colombia) 4 11 Daniel Novikov (Estonia) 3 12 Marco Antonio Arriagada (Chile) 3 13 Angelo Ciccone (Italy) 1 14 Volodymyry Rybin (Ukraine) 15 Michael Friedman (United States Of America) -19 16 Artur Ershov (Rus) Lokomotiv -20 17 Zachary Bell (Canada) -20 18 Martin Blaha (Cze) ASC Dukla Praha -20 DNF Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Recycling.co.uk DNF Marcel Kalz (Germany) DNF Toni Tauler Llull (Spa) Illes Balears DNF Vladimir Tuychiev (Uzbekistan) DNF Inaki Anzizar (Spain) DNF Brad Huff (USA) Team Slipstream Women's sprint Semi final Heat one 1 Jennie Reed (USA) Momentum Cycling 12.288 11.945 2 Clara Sanchez (France) 11.87 Heat two 1 Natallia Tsylinskaya (Belarus) 11.64 12.271 2 Willy Kanis (Netherlands) Final For Gold & Silver 1 Natallia Tsylinskaya (Belarus) 11.954 11.907 2 Jennie Reed (USA) Momentum Cycling For Bronze 3 Willy Kanis (Netherlands) 12.064 12.104 4 Clara Sanchez (France) 12.21 5 Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez (Cuba) 6 Swetlana Grankowskaja (Russian Federation) 7 Yvonne Hijgenaar (Netherlands) 8 Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania) 9 Lyubov Shulika (Ukraine) 10 Dana Glöss (Germany) 11 Lulu Zheng (People's Republic of China) 12 Jinjie Gong (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling 13 Anna Meares Team Toshiba 14 Kaarle Mcculloch (Australia) 15 Anastasiya Chulkova (Russian Federation) 16 Sandie Clair (France) 17 Olga Panarina (Ukraine) 18 Valentina Alessio (Italy) 19 Diana Maria Garcia Orrego (Colombia) 20 Jane Gerisch (Germany) 21 Monique Sullivan (Canada) 22 Elisa Frisoni (Italy) 23 Kerrie Meares (Australia) 24 Lenka Valova (Czech Republic) 25 Nancy Contreras Reyes (Mexico) 26 Joanne Van Der Westhuizen (South Africa) 27 Monika Alango (Estonia) Men's Individual pursuit Final For Gold & Silver 1 Taylor Phinney (USA) Team Slipstream 0.04.26.09 2 Jenning Huizenga (Netherlands) 0.04.28.24 For Bronze 3 Sergi Escobar Roure (Spain) 0.04.34.50 4 Antonio Tauler Llull (Spa) Illes Balears 0.04.40.72 5 Jason Allen (New Zealand) 6 Phillip Thuaux (Aus) Drapac Porsche 7 Valery Kaykov (Rus) Lokomotiv 8 David O'loughlin (Irl) Pezula Racing 9 Vitaliy Popkov (Ukraine) 10 Dominique Cornu (Belgium) 11 Bradley Mcgee (Australia) 12 Michael Faerk Christensen (Denmark) 13 Matti Pajari (Finland) 14 Damien Gaudin (France) 15 Sergiy Lagkuti (Ukr) Arda Natura Pinarello Ukraina 16 Jose Fernando Antogna (Argentina) 17 Vladimir Tuychiev (Uzbekistan) 18 Enzo Cesario Farias (Chile) 19 Viktor Rapinski (Belarus) 20 Chun Kai Feng (Chinese Taipei) 21 Sun Jae Jang (Korea) 22 Roger Rilling (USA) Momentum Cycling 23 Roman Kilun (USA) Proman Cycling Team Men's team sprint Final 1 Cofidis 0.44.49 Didier Henriette Kévin Sireau Arnaud Tournant 2 France 0.44.83 Gregory Bauge Mickaël Bourgain François Pervis 3 Australia 0.45.24 Mark French Ben Kersten Jason Niblett 4 Team Toshiba 0.45.33 Daniel Ellis Shane John Kelly Scott Sunderland 5 Russia 6 China 7 Japan 8 Spain 9 Greece 10 Malaysia 11 Germany 12 Poland 13 Korea 14 Ukraine 15 Hong Kong Pro Cycling 16 Czech Republic 17 Colombia 18 Trinidad & Tobago 19 Venezuela Women's scratch race final 1 Charlotte Becker (Germany) 2 Evgeniya Romanyuta (Russian Federation) 3 Elena Tchalykh (Russian Federation) 4 Eleonora Van Dijk (Netherlands) 5 Trine Schmidt (Denmark) 6 Yumari Gonzalez Valdiuieso (Cuba) 7 Kate Cullen (GBr) BraveheartCyclingFund.com 8 Rebecca Quinn (USA) South Bay Wheelmen 9 Pascale Jeuland (France) 10 Theresa Cliff-Ryan (USA) Verducci Breakaway Racing 11 Annalisa Cucinotta (Italy) 12 Marianne Vos (Ned) DSB Bank Track Cycling 13 Shelley Olds (USA) Proman Cycling Team 14 Joanne Kiesanowski (New Zealand) 15 Gema Pascual Torrecilla (Spain) 16 Evelyn Arys (Belgium) 17 Belinda Goss (Australia) 18 Hyo Seong Noh (Korea) 19 Inga Cilvinaite (Ltu) Ausra Gruodis 20 Eneritz Iturriagaecheverria Mazaga (Spa) Cespa-Euskadi 21 Lauren Franges (United States Of America) 22 Belem Guerrero Mendez (Mexico) 23 Jarmila Machacova (Czech Republic) 24 Seon Ha Ha (Korea)