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Track World Cup 08-09 Round 2 - CDM
Melbourne, Australia, November 20-22, 2008
Session 6 - November 22: Men: Madison, Sprint; Women: Team Pursuit, Keirin, 500m TT,
Spoils shared on the final night
By Les Clarke in Melbourne
Melbourne's round of the track world cup wound up this evening with a packed schedule that offered fans a taste of sprint sensation and endurance intrigue. The host nation took out the event overall, having enjoyed medal performances over the spectrum of races. The British women scored the highest strike rate however, and continued to prove that they're the outfit to beat on the international stage.
Spanish smarts lead to Madison gold
The start list for the men's Madison final was packed with riders capable of taking the gold. The likes of Cameron Meyer, Chris Sutton and Jesper Morkov, plus local favourites Leigh Howard and Glenn O'Shea had all indicated earlier in the meet that the Madison would be their highlight. The quality field didn't disappoint either, with Spain's Unai Elorriaga and David Muntaner taking a hotly-contested 40km event.
After 55 laps it became a race of three teams, after Sutton and Meyer dragged the eventual winners and the German duo of Henning Bommel and Fabian Schaar around to take a lap on the field. It was a great effort from the Australian pair, having missed a turn early in the race. Sutton said of the mistake, "It was early on in the piece that we missed the lap - we'd only done about 20-40 laps. It's not very good missing a change, because on average you change every two laps, so when you miss a change it messes up the rhythm and hurts the person who misses the change even more - they're in there for double the time."
Meyer took responsibility for the mistake, and said with a wry chuckle, "I was very annoyed with that first missed change; that was my fault. I was actually having a word to Matt Gilmore on the sidelines and he was giving me a few pointers. Chris was coming around and I missed him, which was a bit annoying, but I didn't miss one after that!"
In those early stages of the race, fancied Toshiba pairing Howard and O'Shea had shot out of the blocks to take the first, second and fourth sprints, although they were joined by the Spaniards, which in essence set up the platform for their success.
"We didn't get any points in the early part of the race," said Meyer. "It took a while for me and CJ to get the feel of it [the race]. With Glenn and Leigh being so good at their technique in the Madison they were in there with the early points, and because we didn't have any points we knew we had to sit back and wait for a moment to hit them really hard."
As the German pair fired their second attack off the front Meyer countered, unleashing a furious burst of speed and taking his opportunity to 'hit them hard'. With 52 laps remaining he and Sutton made contact with the field, moving them into second overall. Three laps later they were joined by the Spanish and German pairs, turning it into a three-way drag to the line.
Meyer explained that, "When I hit them, I had the legs - I was going really well tonight and I went as hard as I could and I thought, 'I'm not going to wait for these Germans and the Spanish' so I blew them off the wheel and went across and I wanted to keep going. They caught us back and the Spanish got a few points early so it was too hard to beat them that way."
"We never panicked," said Sutton of their tactics after the early setback. "We regathered, and Cam's a fast bike rider so when I said, 'Come on, we've got to get to the front', he was up there in a flash. I saw him launch and I thought, 'Here we go, this is it.'
"Even though I'm a bit older than Cam, he's got more experience than me racing at this world cup level," continued Sutton. "The last time I rode at a world cup was in 2005. The game's just changed so dramatically since then. Cam's 19, I'm 24, and usually the older one's more experienced… Cam and I talked and he said that we had to play it cool; when he went, that was it - it was game on. I just waited, relaxed, and when I saw Cam go that was it."
As the race sped to its concluding laps, Elorriaga and Muntaner turned on the pace in a bid to hold onto their eight-point lead. The tactic worked, although behind them it was a hectic finale as Sutton and Meyer hit the gas to hold off the German challenge for silver. The Australians were successful, taking fourth in the final sprint and a silver medal, as Meyer told Cyclingnews. "We finished off well - we beat the Germans in the last sprint, which showed some character. That was really good."
Sprint psyche-out is Perkins' delight
The gold medal final of the men's sprint was always going to be a French-Australian affair - Shane Perkins met compatriot Jason Niblett and François Pervis took on countryman Michaël D'Almeida in their respective semi finals.
After D'Almeida beat Pervis and Perkins eliminated Niblett in the semis, D'Almeida and Perkins faced each other in the premier match race of the evening. It was the Australian who drew first blood in the opening heat, as D'Almeida noticeably stood off the wheel of Perkins in the back straight and virtually gifted him the win. Perkins didn't look back and motored home to a time of 10.617.
In the second heat it was obvious that the Australian had the Frenchman's measure, powering away in the final bend as a hapless D'Almeida backed off the gas and conceded defeat. Perkins' delight was palpable, and the crowd drew a collective sigh of relief as they witnessed the local boy savouring the cheers from his home fans.
"I feel great, especially in front of a home crowd, with all the sponsors who have helped me out - it's great to give something back to them and Cycling Australia too," said Perkins after the presentation ceremony. "That feels good, and hopefully they feel good about it too… Australia has done a fantastic job with this world cup and the pressure associated with that. We've come out with some awesome results.
"It's funny how the legs came good tonight - the 200 was a bit shaky but the legs came good and I was happy with that. It just showed that the training we've been doing is working. D'Almeida back off a bit to get a good run at me but I wasn't stopping; I think he backed off a little too much and he just couldn't make it up.
"I do think we need to get some confidence back after Beijing, and we're on the way there - I mean, we're Australians. Our attitude is to get out there and give it your best. Everyone's doing that, and nobody's holding back."
It was therefore left to Niblett and Pervis to battle it out for the bronze medal, and the two proved to be well-matched, enthralling the crowd with some excellent sprinting. In the final reckoning however, it was Niblett who prevailed with a powerful display, taking the bronze without the need for a decider.
"It was unfortunate that Perko and I had to race each other in the semis - that's racing. Going by what just happened it could have been an all-Aussie final but, oh well…" said Niblett. "In saying that though, the French are at the top of their game at the moment, and they've been at the peak of the world scene for some time now.
"For both of us to knock off the French is good to have on the resume, anyway. Basically, the crew we've got now didn't go to the Olympics, except for Dan. We're a bit hungry and have a point to prove - they've [the French] got results and we want our results. It's the start of the season, and we can really only go upwards from here. There's still stuff to work on."
Kanis' knockout night in 500m time trial and keirin
Having shown herself to be the female sprinter with the best form at this meet, Willy Kanis took both the 500m time trial and keirin crowns during the final evening session to finish with three gold medals at the close of proceedings.
She dominated the keirin final after riding a 34:657 to win the 500m time trial about an hour earlier. Despite a tiring schedule, the powerful Dutchwoman was delighted with her achievements early in the season.
"I'm over the moon to have taken three gold medals at this world cup. It was totally unexpected," she explained. "Especially the 500m time trial - I wasn't sure where my form was at this stage of the season, and to win this race plus two more was excellent."
British the best pursuiters - again
A familiar scenario awaited spectators in the final for gold: Australia took on Great Britain. The British trio of Elizabeth Armistead, Joanna Rowsell and Katie Conclough made it through to the decider with the fastest time - 3:31.578 - displaying a level of control and poise that has become the hallmark of the British pursuiting style both male and female.
They maintained those characteristics as the trio hit their straps in the gold medal final, a battle of the teenagers, with Rowsell the only finalist over the age of 19. The British women accounted for the Australian combination of Ashlee Ankudinoff, Sarah Kent and Josephine Tomic in a time of 3:29.890, staying under the schedule set by coach Shane Sutton.
The senior member of the winning team, Rowsell, said after the finish that, "We were on a schedule for a 3:30, and and we were pretty much bang on that. We knew that the time to go under in qualifying was a 3:35, so as long as we were around the .35 we were into the final.
"With Lizzie hurting her arm yesterday we knew we weren't in for a world-record in the first ride; we knew we had to go under 3:35 and we did that and posted the fastest time, which was a bonus, really. Lizzie's arm was sore but she did some practice runs this morning on the track and she was fine."
Australian women's endurance coach, Gary Sutton, explained that his young team had stuck pretty well to schedule, hence the close result at the finish. "They stuck to schedule, that's where we were at," began Sutton. "The benchmark has been 3:30, and obviously we've had a bit of illness, but there are no excuses. The Great Britain team has a girl with 12 stitches in her arm. They obviously had their setbacks too."
With a very young team on the verge of breaking onto the senior international scene proper, Sutton added that, "I'd like to think this is a start. There are a lot of errors we need to work on. Last night Shane [Sutton's brother and GB coach] said they were two-up, now it's three-up. We'll look at things and reassess them in a couple of years and I think what goes around comes around.
"The good thing is that I've got a wonderful bunch of young people to work with. You've got these three girls, plus Megan Dunn, Tess Downing and a few more to come through… it's not just about these three ladies at the moment."
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Shane Goss/www.licoricegallery.com
Men Sprint final For gold Race 1 1 Shane Perkins (Aus) Australia 0.10.617 2 Michaël d'Almeida (Fra) France Race 2 1 Shane Perkins (Aus) Australia 0.10.735 2 Michaël d'Almeida (Fra) France For bronze Race 1 1 Jason Niblett (Aus) Team Toshiba 0.11.469 2 François Pervis (Fra) Cofidis Race 2 1 Jason Niblett (Aus) Team Toshiba 0.10.832 2 François Pervis (Fra) Cofidis Places five-twenty-nine 5 Josiah Ng Onn Lam (Mas) Malaysia 6 Wen Hao Li (Chn) China 7 Kazunari Watanabe (Jpn) Japan 8 9 Michael Seidenbecher (Ger) Germany 10 Matthias John (Ger) Germany 11 Thierry Jollet (Fra) France 12 Joel Leonard (Aus) Australia 13 Daniel Ellis (Aus) Team Toshiba 14 Qi Tang (Chn) China 15 Yuriy Tsyupyk (Ukr) Ukraine 16 Christos Volikakis (Gre) Greece 17 Didier Henriette (Fra) Cofidis 18 David Alonso Castillo (Spa) Spain 19 Kazuya Narita (Jpn) Japan 20 Edward Dawkins (NZl) New Zealand 21 Pavel Yakushevskiy (Rus) Russia 22 Adam Stewart (NZl) New Zealand 23 Hodei Mazquiaran Uria (Spa) Spain 24 Steven Sansonetti (Aus) Bike Technologies Australia 25 Lae Seon Choi (Kor) Korea 26 Sergey Kucherov (Rus) Russia 27 Clemens Selzer (Aut) Austria 28 Yeong Gyu Jeon (Kor) Korea 29 Adrian Sansonetti (Aus) Bike Technologies Australia Madison final 1 Spain 19 pts Unai Elorriaga Zubiaur David Muntaner Juaneda 2 Australia 7 pts Cameron Meyer Christopher Sutton 3 Germany 6 pts Henning Bommel Fabian Schaar 4 Team Toshiba 17 pts Leigh Howard (Aus) Glenn O'Shea (Aus) 5 Poland 11 pts Lukasz Bujko Rafal Ratajczyk 6 Italy 11 pts Alex Buttazzoni Andrea Pinos 7 Austria 10 pts Andreas Graf Georg Tazreiter 8 New Zealand 1 Jason Allen Thomas Scully 9 Ukraine 1 Sergiy Lagkuti Lyubomyr Polatayko 10 Denmark 2 pts Jesper Morkov Christian Ranneries 11 Argentina 2 pts Jose Fernando Antogna Angel Dario Colla 12 Switzerland 1 Tristan Marguet Loïc Perizzolo DNF Korea In Hyeok Hwang Dong Hyun Shin Women 500m time trial final 1 Willy Kanis (Ned) Netherlands 0.34.657 (51.937 km/h) 2 Jinjie Gong (Chn) China 0.34.676 3 Kaarle McCulloch (Aus) Team Toshiba 0.34.844 4 Elisa Frisoni (Ita) Italy 0.35.542 5 Yulei Xu (Chn) Max Success Pro Cycling 0.35.670 6 Kerrie Meares (Aus) Australia 0.35.677 7 Wai Sze Lee (HKg) Hong Kong 0.36.015 8 Fatehah Mustapa (Mas) Malaysia 0.36.351 9 Fang Tian (Chn) Giant Pro Cycling 0.36.391 10 Helena Casas Roige (Spa) Spain 0.36.727 11 Jutatip Maneephan (Tha) Thailand 0.37.233 Team pursuit final For gold 1 Great Britain 3.29.890 (51.455 km/h) Elizabeth Armitstead Katie Colclough Joanna Rowsell 2 Australia 3.30.506 Ashlee Ankudinoff Sarah Kent Josephine Tomic For bronze 1 Ukraine 3.34.842 Svitlana Galyuk Lesya Kalitovska Lyubov Shulika 2 Spain 3.37.858 Debora Galvez Lopez Leire Olaberria Dorronsoro Ana Usabiaga Balerdi 5 Russia 6 New Zealand Keirin final For first 1 Willy Kanis (Ned) Netherlands 2 Elisa Frisoni (Ita) Italy 3 Christin Muche (Ger) Germany 4 Kaarle McCulloch (Aus) Team Toshiba 5 Yvonne Hijgenaar (Ned) Netherlands 6 Jinjie Gong (Chn) China For seventh 7 Fatehah Mustapa (Mas) Malaysia 8 Kerrie Meares (Aus) Australia 9 Swetlana Grankowskaja (Rus) Russia 10 Emily Rosemond (Aus) Australia DSQ Natasha Hansen (NZl) New Zealand Places 13 through 20 13 Xiao Juan Diao (HKg) Hong Kong 13 Apryl Eppinger (Aus) Philippines 13 Cari Higgins (USA) Proman Racing Team 16 Yulei Xu (Chn) Max Success Pro Cycling 16 Sutharat Bonsawat (Tha) Thailand 16 Jutatip Maneephan (Tha) Thailand 19 Helena Casas Roige (Spa) Spain 19 Wai Sze Lee (HKg) Hong Kong