Posted by Editoress on 03/27/11
The 2011 Track Worlds concluded with the highlight of the week for the Canadian team - a repeat world title in the Women's Omnium by Canada's track star Tara Whitten. Titles were also awarded for the Women's Keirin, the Men's Kilo and the Men's Madison. Overall, they were a very well run championships, and our Dutch hosts should be very proud.
Women's Omnium Photos: Pursuit, Scratch, TT and podium
Kirsten Wild (Netherlands) held a slim two point lead over Whitten after the first three events on Day One, with American Sarah Hammer ten points behind Wild. However, the second day started with the Individual Pursuit and, Hammer and Whitten finished 1-2 while Wild could only manage ninth. Whitten was five points up on Wild and seven on Hammer, and effectively sealed the title in the Scratch Race when she managed to lap the field with Tatsiana Sharakova (Belarus). Going into the final event - the 500 metre time trial - Whitten had eight points on Wild, with Hammer only one point behind the Dutch rider. In the final event Whitten was a respectable fifth and Hammer fourth, while Wild imploded to finish sixteenth, allowing the American to move ahead into the silver medal.
"I knew it would be hard to defend the title," explained Whitten. "As we get closer to the Olympics the competition is getting stronger and stronger, so I came in prepared for anything, and I just gave everything in every event. I'm incredibly thrilled to come away on top again. Last year I think I was maybe too overwhelmed to appreciate it, but this year I had an idea of what to expect, so it almost feels more satisfying."
Note: Watch our video interview with Tara Whitten here.
Women's Keirin Photos
Australia's Anna Meares made it three for three in sprint events, when she took the Keirin title, to go with her Team Sprint and Sprint golds. Olga Panarina (Belarus) took silver and Clara Sanchez (France) bronze. However, the big name missing was Victoria Pendleton, the British rider who has dominated the speed events for the past few years. Pendleton didn't make the final, and looked almost disinterested as she missed the cut in the second round of competition.
Men's Kilo Photos
Traditionally, the Kilometre Time Trial was the ultimate race of truth in men's track cycling, however, once it was removed from the Olympics after the 2004 Games, unfortunately, the top riders (such as Chris Hoy of Great Britain) abandoned it. The field did not have great depth, but at the top end there were good riders, and turned out to be a very good competition. This was the event that Dutch star Teun Mulder was focussing on for his home Worlds, and there were posters and banners all over the city of Apeldoorn promoting 'Hop Teun' - Go Teun. The stands were full of Mulder supporters for the session.
Joachim Eilers (Germany) set the early fast time, but his team mate Stefan Nimke - the 2000 Olympic silver medalist - really set the bar with an incredible 1:00.793 - on a track that is not considered particularly fast. Neither of the French riders who followed him could come close, with Michael D'Almeida beating Francois Pervis for the second spot. Last off was Mulder, and his blazing fast opening lap put him nearly half a second up on Nimke, as the roar of supporters was deafening. Mulder was still in the lead with half a lap to go (125 metres), but slowing, and he could not quite manage to hold on, finishing nearly fourth-tenths of a second behind Nimke.
Men's Madison Photos
The Australian duo of Cameron Meyer and Leigh Howard were the defending champions for this crowd favourite and they showed that, once again, they are the masters of the event. After watching patiently while other teams fought for points in sprints - led by the Dutch, French and Spanish - the Australian pair lapped the field to take control of the race. The Czech team had previously lapped the field, but they had been allowed to sneak away while everyone waited for Australia to chase them down. Instead, Australia rode away from a serious chase effort to join the Czechs at the front (the Ukraine team managed to go across with the Australians, but then blew up and fell back again, eventually losing a further lap). Australia sealed their victory over the Czech Republic by taking a late sprint as well. The Netherlands, with a final charge from Theo Bos, overtook the French for the bronze medal.
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