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Aussies tops at Melbourne World Cup

By Agence France Presse
Anna Meares claimed a golden double as Australia finished the top nation at the UCI Melbourne track cycling World Cup leg on Saturday.

Meares captured the keirin and 500-meter time trial gold medals as Australia completed the three-day event winning eight of the 17 events at their home event.

After two rounds, Australia leads the overall World Cup standings with 210 points, 11 points ahead of Britain (199) with Germany (189) third.

Meares, who won the 500-meter time trial in the second-fastest time in history at 33.583 seconds, came away with three gold medals at the event following her earlier victory in the sprint.

Lithuanian Simona Krupeckaite holds the 500-meter time trial world record at 33.296.

Meares came from the rear of the field with two laps left in the six-lap keirin to shade her Chinese rival Guo Shuang and Christin Muche of Germany in the final.

“I was really quite worried about the load this evening and once the 500 (time trial) was out the way, I really didn’t get the chance to celebrate, I was straight into the mindset of the keirin,” Meares said. “I was tired, I was hurting, but I actually felt half decent.”

The keirin win was particularly significant for Meares because she suffered a serious neck injury in a race fall in January last year and it was only the second time she has won a World Cup keirin gold medal.

Shane Perkins, riding for the Australian Jayco professional team, beat Frenchman Kevin Sireau two heats to nil to take out the men’s sprint.

New Zealand won two gold medals on the final night in the women’s team pursuit and men’s Madison.

The New Zealand team of Kaytee Boyd, Lauren Ellis and Alison Shanks clocked 3:24.771 in beating Britain and Australia in the women’s team pursuit, while Marc Ryan and Thomas Scully combined to win the Madison from Germany and Ukraine.

The Kiwis finished second overall to Australia in the Melbourne leg with Germany third.

The third round of the World Cup will be staged in Cali, Colombia, from December 10-12.

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