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Track World Cup 08-09 Round 1 - CDM
Manchester, Great Britain, October 31-November 2, 2008
Session 4 - November 1: Men: Sprint final, Team Pursuit final, Points race final; Women: Team Sprint, Scratch race final, 500m TT
Britain sweeps the board once more
By Ben Atkins in Manchester
In an unprecedented fashion, British riders took all six of the available gold medals in this evenings session. The British men confirmed their dominance in both sprinting and endurance events, while the women recovered from disappointing qualification positions. As this morning, the session was marred with crashes, one big one saw a medal lost, but another led to victory as Jason Kenny took the sprinters prize without a bike.
Pendleton takes 500
Victoria Pendleton (Sky+ HD) underlined the fact that she is currently the fastest woman in the world by taking victory in the 500m time trial. Not well seeded because she has not ridden a competitive 500 for some time, the Briton nevertheless set 34.356 to best the time set by Russian Victoria Baranova, and held on as the final four came close but failed to match her time.
"I was apprehensive coming in but there was no need to be, Pendleton told the BBC. "I've never had a strong first lap as I'm not a powerful athlete, but I came good in the second lap."
The silver medal went to Gong Jinjie of China, less than two-tenths slower than Pendleton, and bronze went to Germanys Miriam Welte - who had ridden the team sprint qualifying round this morning - a further third of a second back.
"I am [surprised]," Welte told Cyclingnews, "I didnt suspect that I can go so fast today and Im pretty happy. The break was too long between the team sprint this morning and the 500, so I had to do a second warming up, but it was good to get a feeling for the track and from a standing start."
Great Britain catches Denmark, Lokomotiv derailed
Great Britains Olympic champion team pursuiters once again put on a masterful display as they caught their Danish opponents with two of the sixteen laps remaining. Despite going under four minutes in this mornings qualifiers, the British were determined to put on a show for their home crowd, but were actually disappointed that they were unable to finish the full 4000m and record a time.
"It was great," Geraint Thomas told Cyclingnews. "The only thing about it was that we were hoping that theyd go a bit faster; we wanted that track record, you know. Back in March when we did that record we thought it was unbelievable.
"We just wanted to get that track record just to show them. We havent been training for that, but its just in there now. I think weve just moved on that much and have to adapt now, we just wanted to stamp our authority all over the event I think, and thats what we did."
While slightly short of their World record, set at the Beijing Olympics, a new best time for the Manchester Velodrome was on the cards as they completed the 3rd kilometre in a time of 2:58.767, 2 seconds slower than Beijing, but marginally faster than the time set at the World championships in March. Catching their opponents though meant that the race was over before they had the chance.
"Definitely," he confirmed, "wed started out fast; we were just on it. We were up on schedule; we knew we were going to get it. We were just hoping - wed seen them with about five laps to go and it was like: it looks like were going to get them, and we got them with two to go which was a bit unfortunate really, but you cant have everything."
In the race for the bronze medal the Russian Lokomotiv team was on for a victory against the Netherlands when the second place rider touched the leaders rear wheel as he swung up the banking. The subsequent crash brought down all but the front rider, meaning that the Dutch took the medal by default.
Lizzie Armitstead of youth squad 100% Me has added gold in the womens scratch race to the gold she won in yesterdays points. The 19-year-old won a bunch sprint to take victory after an attack in the final few laps from Canadian Tara Whitten looked like it might succeed. Despite being caught just metres from the line Whitten held on to take the silver medal and Great Britains Alex Greenfield took the bronze.
"I dont know whats happened this weekend!" Armitstead laughed to Cyclingnews. "Its been really good; it wasnt easy though.
"Basically it was a faster race," she explained, "I was pleased because the qualifiers were a bit negative and I was on a bigger gear so I needed the race to be fast really, and it was a lot faster. There was attacks and I thought with three laps to go oh, Im blocked in here, but a gap opened up and I took it on."
It could have all been so different though as the crash that ended the chances of Switzerlands Andrea Wolfer and Italys Marta Tagliaferro so nearly cost Armitstead her own qualification.
"I was twelfth qualifier," she said [actually she was seventh, but it may have felt like twelfth - ed]. It [the crash] was just behind me, and it kind of made me hesitate a little bit and I was last qualifier so I was pretty lucky to get through really."
This result once again causes Armitstead to re-evaluate her focus in the coming months, particularly with regard to the World Track championships in March.
"Im guessing Im going to have to go down the track route really," she laughed, "and see what I can do at the World championships. Itll be interesting to see what my form is against the top girls who perhaps havent got the form to be here after the Olympics at the moment. Im looking forward to a really, really competitive race to see where I am in that kind of environment."
Great Britain team sprinters peg back the Germans
The Great Britain duo of Jess Varnish and Anna Blyth have reversed the qualification result to take victory in the team sprint over Miriam Welte and Christin Muche of Germany. Welte was again faster over the first lap - and slightly quicker than in qualification - but Varnish was considerably faster than her qualification time and the reduced deficit allowed Blyth to close the gap to Much and win by just 0.024 of a second.
"Not really [surprised]," said Blyth after the race. "I think theres a lot more strength and depth now in the womens scene and so nothings easy. Miriams got a really good 500 as well, and Chrissy [Muche] was going well in the sprint yesterday. Its a sweet victory I think."
"I don't know what happened," she said of the reversal from the qualification round. "I just put my head down. I think Jess said that her lap was a bit quicker. I think we just maybe stepped up a bit for the final."
"I think first of all we thought 'okay we'll just give it everything' and we've taken a tenth off," said 17-year-old Varnish. "I knew we could do it you know, I thought we could."
In the bronze medal race, the Russian team took a straightforward victory over Poland by almost three-quarters of a second.
Kenny takes gold lying down
Sky+ HDs Jason Kenny took the mens sprint in spectacular fashion as he and silver medallist Shane Perkins of Australia both crossed the line on their backs in the second race. Kenny, having won the first race was pronounced the winner and gold medallist as he crossed the line first. The first race had been a close affair with Perkins just failing to overcome the Olympic silver medallist, and the second was just as tight until the pair came together with just a few metres remaining. Both riders were unhurt save for a few friction burns from the track surface.
"That was a bit different, wasnt it!" joked Kenny as he warmed down afterwards. "We just came together in the home straight, I think he went down first and then eventually I went down as well. I watched the replay; I dont think it was anyones fault as such, we just kind of came together a little bit and unfortunately we ended up on the floor. Nine times out of ten you just bounce off each other.
"It is tricky," he explained, "me and Matt [Great Britain team mate Crampton] touched in our race and it was fine, Ive touched people before and its fine... its just sometimes you get it a bit awkward and someone goes down; and we both went down that time.
"Its no big deal, its part and parcel of what we do really," he added. "I was pleased with the result, obviously," he said, smiling, "They all count - it doesnt matter how you finish. I knew he was going to be a really good race, and to beat him I was going to have to do my best and make sure I made no mistakes, and I was really pleased.
"I was pleased with my race in the semi [where he bested compatriot Crampton in two races] and so I just needed to carry it on - to try to carry it into the final really, and I just did enough in the first one and just held on to it in the second one."
Perkins overcame Michael DAlemida of US Creteil to reach the final against Kenny, but the Australian was just unable to beat the young Briton on his home track. He too was philosophical about the second lap incident. "I was coming up the straight," he explained to Cyclingnews, "both [of us] going for it, wrapped handlebars and we both came down. Its all part of racing though. It happens."
Getting over his disappointment for being beaten by Kenny in the semi-final, Crampton beat DAlmeida in two races to take the bronze.
Newton takes textbook points race
Great Britains Chris Newton put on a masterclass in the mens points race to take victory by a massive 20-point margin over Eloy Teruel of Spain and six-day star Iljo Keisse of Belgium. Newton took second in the first sprint, then won the second and picked up points in all but two. The three eventual medallists also took off in mid race to take a lap - and the 20 points that came with it - and as no one else managed to lap the field finished well ahead of Elia Viviani of Italy, the star of the qualification round.
"I think that when someone wins the points race thats how its done," said Newton to Cyclingnews, denying that his race was particularly special. "In the last few races its always been like that. Its always been there, its just very fortunate that it came right on the right night, in Manchester with this crowd."
A particularly cunning move by Newton, just as the trio were about to latch onto the back of the peloton, saw him check the pace slightly so they could first take the sixth sprint points.
"The Spanish rider is new to it and he was just going to whack on the back and wed just get 20 points," he explained, "so we could get an extra five there, so I hung back until they rung the bell for the sprint lap. Then you wait for the commissaire to point that youre the front of the bike race; then you take the lap. Thats something that even three or four races ago, I would have done the same thing."
Third-placed Keisse was pleased with his medal, but more so with the fact that he has gained enough qualification points for a Belgian entry to the world championships next year. Much of his success, he acknowledged, was down to choosing the right rider to follow.
"Mission accomplished," he agreed. "I saw Chris was riding very strong in the quallies, and I knew if I had good legs Id try to follow him and it worked out really well. We had a good lap together with the Spanish guy, but in the end I had it."
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Gerry McManus/www.gerrymcmanus.co.uk
Final for gold 1 Jason Kenny (GBr) Team Sky + Hd 0.10.545 2 Shane Perkins (Aus) Australia 1 Jason Kenny (GBr) Team Sky + Hd 0.10.848 2 Shane Perkins (Aus) Australia Final for bronze 1 Matthew Crampton (GBr) Great Britain 0.10.736 2 MichaŽl D'almeida (Fra) Us Creteil 1 Matthew Crampton (GBr) Great Britain 0.10.775 2 MichaŽl D'almeida (Fra) Us Creteil Final placings 1 Jason Kenny (GBr) Team Sky + Hd 2 Shane Perkins (Aus) Australia 3 Matthew Crampton (GBr) Great Britain 4 MichaŽl D'almeida (Fra) Us Creteil 5 David Daniell (GBr) Great Britain 6 FranÁois Pervis (Fra) Cofidis 7 Adam Ptacnik (Cze) Czech Republic 8 Mathias Stumpf (Ger) Germany 9 Kazunari Watanabe (Jpn) Japan 10 Wen Hao Li (Chn) China 11 Teun Mulder (Ned) Netherlands 12 Quentin Lafargue (Fra) Cofidis 13 Lukasz Kwiatkowski (Pol) Poland 14 Craig Maclean (GBr) Plowman Craven Racing Team 15 Andriy Vynokurov (Ukr) Ukraine 16 Sebastian Doehrer (Ger) Germany 17 Qi Tang (Chn) Max Success Pro Cycling 18 Andrea Guardini (Ita) Italy 19 Charlie Conord (Fra) Us Creteil 20 Hodei Mazquiaran Uria (Spa) Cespa Euskadi 21 Christopher Sellier (Tri) Trinidad &Tobago 22 Pavel Yakushevskiy (Rus) Russia 23 Gaddy Chaid (RSA) South Africa 24 David Alonso Castillo (Spa) Spain 25 Maciej Bielecki (Pol) Poland 26 Zafeirios Volikakis (Gre) Greece 27 Yuriy Tsyupyk (Ukr) Ukraine 28 Vasileios Galanis (Gre) Greece 29 Stoyan Vasev (Rus) Russia 30 Juan Peralta Gascon (Spa) CalapieReyno de Navarra 31 Itmar Esteban Herraiz (Spa) Catalunya 32 David Askurava (Geo) Georgia 33 Pablo Galan Carrasco (Spa) Spain 34 Jean Christiaan Smith (RSA) Willie Engelbrecht Track Development Team 35 Michal Rohon (Svk) Slovakia 36 Roman Jajcay (Svk) Slovakia
Men's Team Pursuit
Final standings 1 Great Britain Steven Burke Edward Clancy Geraint Thomas Robert Hayles 2 Denmark (OVL) Michael Faerk Christensen Casper Jorgensen Daniel Kreutzfeldt Jenserik Madsen 3 Netherlands IsmaŽl Kip Peter Schep Wim Stroetinga Arno Van Der Zwet 4 Lokomotiv Artur Ershov Valery Kaykov Leonid Krasnov Vladimir Shchekunov 5 Ukraine 6 Germany 7 Spain 8 Russia 9 Belgium 10 Colombia 11 Team†100%†Me 12 Poland 13 Italy
Women's 500m Time Trial