Posted by Editoress on 03/25/11
Day Three of the Track Worlds saw some of the most exciting track racing of the year, with a showdown between the Brits and the French in the men's Sprint, a last lap effort for the women's Individual Pursuit title and a very gutsy ride by unheralded Colombian rider for the men's Points title. The men's Omnium also got underway, with the first three events taking place today, and the rest tomorrow.
Men's Omnium Photos: 200M, Points, Elimination
Canada's Zach Bell came into the Omnium as one of the favourites, after winning the World Cup title. He started his campaign in fine style, with a win in the Flying 200 metre time trial and 12th place in the Points Race, which put him into first place, with his usual rivals (Shane Archbold (New Zealand) and Tim Veldt (Netherlands)) well back. However, he had a poor ride in the third race, the Elimination, finishing 14th while Archbold was fourth. The real revelation was the young French rider Bryan Coquard, who was second to Bell in the opening event, 15th in the second and winning the third. He leads with 18 points, followed by Italian Elia Viviani at 21, Michael Freiberg (Australia) at 22 and Archbold at 24. Bell dropped to eighth, at 27 points.
"I was a little surprised at how much I struggled in the bunch races," admitted Bell. "That French rider is clearly a bunch rider, and I think we are seeing more bunch riders here than we did at the World Cups. There are three good events for me tomorrow, and the second day is usually better for me. I think it can still shift a lot, so no one can be too confident; and the spread isn't that big."
Women's Sprint Qualifying Photos 1/16, 1/8, 1/4 Photos
The top seeds moved through to the semi-finals, which will be run tomorrow, with Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain) facing her usual rival Anna Meares (Australia), and Olga Panarina (Belarus) - the fastest qualifer - against 200 metre world record holder Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania).
Canada's lone entry, Monique Sullivan qualified 15th, and went up against top French rider Sandie Clair in her first ride. She was defeated in the one ride format, and her race was over.
"I think that this result shows that I have made improvements, and I beat a lot of people that I haven't beaten before," explained Sullivan. "We changed my warmup with a new physiologist, and it seems to have made a difference."
"Against [Sandie Clair] I didn't execute a perfect race, so I'm disappointed with that. I think that I wasn't patient enough; I could have waited for a better opportunity to make my move."
"But it's a positive step forward - I didn't qualify last year. It just takes time. I'd like to point out that it was the support from the national team and my team - Team PCL - that has given me this opportunity to keep learning."
Men's Sprint Photos
The final two rounds of the marquee men's Sprint saw some extremely fine action. Chris Hoy went up against British team mate Jason Kenny in one semi, and was clearly beat in two straight rides by the young rider (Hoy is 35 and Kenny 23) - could this be the beginning of a passing on to a younger generation in British sprinting?
In the other semi it was two French men - defending champion Gregory Bauge against fastest qualifier Mickaël Bourgain. Bauge did not have any trouble dispatching Bourgain, and was equally efficient at beating Kenny for his third straight world title. Hoy exacted a measure of revenge by coming back from a first ride loss to Bourgain in the bronze medal race to win two straight.
Men's Points Race Photos
Two time defending champion Cameron Meyer (Australia) was the clear favourite for this race, and he was the strongest rider in the race. Unfortunately, he was a heavily marked man, with people latching onto his wheel every time he attempted to take a lap. He also had more power than everyone else, but not enough speed to consistently win the sprints.
This left the door open for a savvy young Colombian rider Avila Vanegas Edwin Alcibiades. Alcibiades was the only rider able to take a lap with an extremely fast jump when the race slowed in the middle section. Meyer steadily built up points to close within five points before Alcibiades took another sprint to lock up the title.
Women's Individual Pursuit Photos
As expected, the women's IP came down to Sarah Hammer (USA) versus Alison Shanks (New Zealand). Shanks took a strong lead in the opening laps, as Hammer seemed to struggle, but the American started to fight back in the final kilometre, making an incredible last lap surge to regain over half a second and win her fourth title.
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