Posted by Editoress on 03/3/16
Steph Roorda won Canada's second medal of the 2016 Track World Championships on Thursday, when she attacked the field in the last 500 metres of the Women's Scratch Race, and held on to take the bronze medal. Canada sits fifth in the standings with two bronze medals after two days of competition.
Four titles were awarded on the second day of competition at the Lee Valley Velopark in London. Germany was the big winner of the day, taking two world titles to add to the two bronze medals they won on the first day. Australia also won their second gold medal, while host Great Britain took their first.
Roorda launched what would prove to be the decisive attack with less then two laps to go in the 40 lap Scratch Race, catching a breakaway group with half a lap left and still leading with 100 metres to go. However, Laura Trott (Great Britain) came up fast from behind with Kirsten Wild (Netherlands), and the pair caught Roorda on the final straight to take gold and silver, with Roorda hanging on for third.
Steph Roorda attacks
Final sprint won by Laura Trott, Kirsten Wild 2nd, Stephanie Roorda 3rd
Wild, Trott, Roorda
This was Roorda's first individual medal at a world championships, and she said "It feels great. I think it's a testament to the work we do on the Team Pursuit. We're really fit and it proves we can perform in other events as well, so I'm really, really happy."
"No one was really keen to catch that [breakaway] group and there was a bit of a hesitation, and that was the moment that I saw it was the right move to make, and I knew some of the big names were behind me, and if I could open the gap and go over that [breakaway] group of riders, then it was going to be to my advantage. You just go as hard as you can at that point, sprinting for the finish line, and not thinking about anything, really."
In other Canadian action, the Women's Team Pursuit squad of Allison Beveridge, Jasmin Glaesser, Kirsti Lay and Georgia Simmerling, finished second in the qualifying round, with a time of 4:20.664 . The United States were the top qualifiers. Canada will face New Zealand in the next round on Friday, with the winner going on to the gold medal final.
"I'm optimistic for our team," said Simmerling. "Today was not our best ride, but we can make some small changes and go a lot faster. It was a crazy day out there but we're sitting in a good position. We can execute."
Canada also had two entrants in the Women's Keirin - Kate O'Brien and Monique Sullivan. Both raced aggressively in the opening rounds, but did not make it past the Repechage round.
"Anything can happen in the Keirin," said Sullivan. "It was pretty exciting to have two of us in the race today; that's never happened before. It was actually Katie's first real international Keirin at the world championships, so it's a pretty big step for us. We've been focussed on getting that Team Sprint spot [for Rio], so that was the real mission for the season, and we were both feeling the effects of that here. We don't really have the best legs, but that's a sacrifice for the Olympics."
"We were focussed on execution, and getting good, aggressive rides in, so that when we have the legs, we'll know what to do with them. For me personally, in the second race I used up my bullets too early and misjudged the speed of the racers coming behind me. We were both racing aggressively and were in the mix, and it does show progress and that we are going in the right direction, even though it doesn't always look like it from the results."
Kristina Vogel brought Germany their second gold medal of the day in the Keirin. The final put the German rider up against defending and multi-time world champion Anna Meares (Australia) and the 2013 world champion, Rebecca James (Great Britain). Meares tried to take the lead on the final lap, but Vogel was too strong. James took the bronze medal.
The first title of the day was awarded to Germany's Joachim Eilers in the Men's 1000m Time Trial. Former world champion Theo Bos (Netherlands) set the first fast time as the second rider out of the start gate. It wasn't until Eilers, the final rider, finished, that Bos was pushed down to second place. Quentin Lafargue (France) took the bronze medal. There were no Canadian starters.
The session concluded with crowd-favourite Men's Team Pursuit. After Denmark won the bronze medal over Italy, the two dominant nations of the event - Great Britain and Australia - faced off against each other for the gold medal. Australia took an early lead, but the British team battled back to take the lead themselves in the final 1000 metres. Despite the deafening cheers of their supporters, Great Britain slipped back to second and the Australians took a well-deserved win, with a time only 1.068 seconds off the world record. Canada did not move past the qualifying round.
On Friday, Canadians will race in the Women's Team Pursuit, Men's Sprint and Men's Individual Pursuit.