Quinn injured in scratch race
By John Wilcockson
The final day of racing at the world track championships in Carson, California, featured two themes which had been gaining momentum throughout this four-day event. One was good for Great Britain, the other not-so-hot for the host country.
On the upside was the continued rise of the British squad. After placing a solid second behind the Australians on the track at last summer’s Olympic in Athens, the Brits climbed the final hurdle in Southern California, snagging four gold — double that of any other nation racing at the ADT Event Center velodrome. The final win came courtesy of Rob Hayles and Mark Cavendish, who snagged a surprising win in the Madison on Sunday night.
On the flip side was the plight of the American team. The final night of racing presented three opportunities for U.S. riders to break into the medal column, but it just wasn’t to be. Becky Quinn crashed out of the scratch race, Jennie Reed finished last in the finals of the keirin, and Marty Nothstein and Colby Pearce scored just one point on their way to a 10th place finish in the Madison.
“At one point the U.S. program was a powerhouse in the world,” said Nothstein, who was contesting the last world championships of a career that included Olympic gold and silver medals, and three world titles. “But this will go down as probably our worst world’s ever.”
Ironically, it was Pearce who started the break in the Madison that would eventually launch the Brits to victory. After scoring just one point in the first five sprints of the 50km, 100-lap race, Pearce decided it was go time with 39 laps left. The hope was to gain a lap on the field, thus negating the advantage of the top point collectors, the Netherlands, Belgium and Russia.
“I just had one of those moments of clarity where I knew it was the time to go,” recalled Pearce. “It just hit me like a bolt of lightning. I was like ‘this is it. Go.’ But we got out there and I could tell Marty was a little hesitant to ride in the wind because that’s not his game. He’s more of a sprinter. Then I saw the Brits go and I thought this is perfect.
“All Marty has to do is swing up and hop on the Brits. But I think there was a miscommunication. Marty thought our coach was telling him to swing up and wait for the field. He didn’t see the Brits until they had already gone past.”
And by then it was too late. While Hayles and Cavendish were working their way around to the field for the decisive lap, the Americans were again left searching for answers.
“In the kind of race where probably 90 percent of the field can win,” said Hayles, who was visibly stunned that he’d earned a second rainbow jersey to go with the one he scored as part of the winning men’s team pursuit squad the night before. “It just depends on what you do and when you do it. And more importantly what the others let you get away with. I was hoping the Americans were going to come with us, but I’m glad they didn’t because we didn’t have any points.”
Indeed, if the U.S. had managed to latch onto the winning move, victory would have been there’s, 1-0. Instead they finished 10th.
“That will go down as the moment where we timed the move right but we just dropped the ball,” added Pearce.
The Netherlands and Belgium completed the podium.
In the final medal standings, Australia scored the most with nine, but five of those were bronze, with the only gold coming from Katie Mactier in the individual pursuit. The Netherlands was next with eight: two gold, three silver, and three bronze. Next was Great Britain with four gold, a silver and a bronze.
All told 16 of the 28 nations participating earned medals — but the U.S. was not among the lucky 16.
“We didn’t expect to win medals, but we did expect to be a little bit more competitive than we were,” said USAC CEO Gerard Bisceglia. “We are the home team here. This is our home crowd. We are angry at ourselves that we disappointed the crowd.”Men’s sprint
There was drama aplenty in the oldest event of the world championships,the men’s match sprint, first held in Cologne, Germany, 110 years ago.The drama began with the semi-final matchup between the young French sprinters,Mickaël Bourgain and Grégory Baugé.
Baugé, who comes from an African family based in Paris, is just20 and riding his first world championships. He’s big and strong and lovescoming from behind. He did that to beat his teammate superbly in theirfirst match.
Bourgain is a 24 year old who lives on the French Riviera, where he’scoached by legendary national coach Daniel Morelon — who was in chargeat his final world’s this weekend. Bourgain, who took the overall sprinttitle in this winter’s World Cup series, likes to race from the front;and he did that to perfection to beat Baugé in match 2.
The deciding match between the two was building up into a superb race.Baugé started at the front and gradually accelerated the pace goinginto the final 250-meter lap. It was a surprise tactic, and he was stilla length clear, racing at 70 kph around the final banked turn, when, hisrear tire split with a rending explosion. His rear wheel slithered up thebanking and the young Frenchman fell heavily on his left hip and elbow,his feet still clipped into the pedals.
The brave Baugé remained lying on his stomach as he was placedon a gurney and wheeled away. “The crash was a big disappointment,” helater said. “I wanted a medal.”
He wanted it so much that after he was patched up and his bike fixed,he lined up for the re-run against Bourgain. This time, Bourgain took thefront position, didn’t give his shaken teammate a chance of challenginghim, and so went through to the final.
There, Bourgain’s opponent was an experienced yet unfulfilled Germantalent, René Wolff. He did win a gold medal in the team sprint twoyears ago, but he’s regularly been outshone in the individual event. The26-year-old German defeated Australia’s colorful Jobie Dajka in the semi’sby taking the lead early and simply blasting away his opponent in rapid200-meter times of 10.524 and 10.739 seconds.
The final was of the highest order. Bourgain looked as though he wouldwin the first matchup, taking his favorite position at the front, and heand Wolff drag-raced down the final straight, with the German showing hissuperior speed to take it by a length. He was just as impressive in theirsecond match, which he took from the front and was simply too fast forthe Frenchman, to clinch the title.
“The track is very good for coming from the back, but it’s also notbad to go from the front,” said Wolff, who has honed his speed this seasonon the winter six-day circuit. “I don’t want my opponents to know whatI’m going to do, so I always try something different.”
As for Bourgain, he said he was not too disappointed in his silver medal,and was looking forward to his next goal: the 2006 track world’s in France.His teammate Baugé had to cede the bronze medal to an excellentDajka, who timed his challenges to perfection to beat Baugé by lessthan a tire’s width in each of their two rides.
Like sprint silver medalist Bourgain, the defending champion in thewomen’s keirin, Clara Sanchez, is coached by Morelon. The veteran 60-year-oldsprint guru, who won countless world and Olympic titles in the 1960s, helpedher win a second rainbow jersey.
“I saw in the men’s keirin that going from a long way out was a successfultactic,” said Sanchez, 21. “So that’s what I did.” She applied that tacticin every round, winning them all. In the final, she left silver medalistElisa Frisoni of Italy a length back, with Yvonne Hijgenaar of the Netherlandstaking the bronze.
There were high hopes for America’s Jennie Reed, who won her openinground heat from the front, and was so resilient in the semifinal of thekeirin that when multi-world champion Natalia Tsylinskaya tried to shoulderReed out of the way, she held her line and the Belorus veteran crashed.
That crash, admittedly of an opponent, probably bugged Reed in the six-womanfinal, which she had to ride from the back. “It was too bad that I pickedthe sixth place for the start,” said Reed, who much prefers to ride fromthe front. She said she wasn’t more aggressive as she didn’t think shehad the speed to come through the pack on the last banking. “And I didn’twant to crash,” she added, before breaking into tears.
Reed’s sixth-place finish may have been a disappointing way to end thisfirst track world’s in North America in 20 years, but at least it was thehighest place by any American at these championships.
Women’s scratch race
Just like the men’s scratch race the night before, the women’s event came down to a sprint on the final night of racing at the world track championships. But unlike the men’s race, it was not a clean finish on Sunday night at the ADT Event Center in Carson, California.
With the 16-rider field roaring around the final turn of the 40-lap race, Canadian Mandy Poitras came down into American Rebecca Quinn’s line and that sent both riders slamming into the Siberian pine track. France’s Virginie Moinard also got caught up in the melee, and another rider had to veer way high on the track, barley avoiding the carnage.
Poitras and Moinard were able to leave the track under their own power, while an alert and sitting up Quinn was taken off on a stretcher, then transported to a local hospital. Quinn was later diagnosed with two broken ribs and a broken collarbone.
At the front of the race, Russian Olga Slyusareva won the sprint going away, with Australia’s Kate Bates and Ukraine’s Lyudmyla Vypyraylo completing the podium. Both Slyusareva and Bates added to their medal haul in Southern California. Slyusareva took silver in the women’s points race two nights ago, while Bates was third in that race and second in the women’s individual pursuit.
Tatsiana Sharakova was the only rider to take any real shot at the solo win in the women’s scratch race. The Belarusian peeled off the front of the peloton at the 30-lap-to-go mark and built a half-lap advantage, before fading and being reeling in with 24 to go. The field slowed the pace for the ensuing 10 laps, before German Charlotte Becker took a shot off the front. But her move failed as well, and the race was all together with nine to go.
One final move of four riders, including Quinn slipped away a lap later. But a hard chasing field was having none of it, and it was quickly time to set up for the sprint. Bates spent the early portions of the final lap at the front, but was no match for the hard-charging Slyusareva, who had time to sit up and pump her fist at the finish.Final National Medal Tally
2005 UCI Track Cycling World Championships
Session Six Results – Sunday, March 27, 2005
Women's 10km Scratch Race
1. Olga Slyusareva (Rus)
2. Katherine Bates (Aus)
3. Lyudmyla Vypyraylo (Ukr)
4. Adrie Visser (Nl)
5. Eleonora Soldo (I)
6. Catherine Sell (Nz)
7. Nikki Harris (GB)
8. Katarzyna Jagusiak (Pol)
9. Charlotte Becker (G)
10. Pascale Schnider (Swi)
11 Li . Meifang (Prc)
12. Tatsiana Sharakova (Blr)
Did Not Finish
Mandy Poitras (Can)
Virginie Moinard (F)
Rebecca Quinn (USA)
Norazian Alias (Mas) -1 Lap
1. Great Britain 0 ( Mark Cavendish, Robert Hayles)
2. Netherlands 22 -1 (Robert,Slippens Danny Stam)
3. Belgium 20 -1(Matthew Gilmore, Iljo Keisse)
4. Russia 19 -1 (Mikhail Ignatiev, Nikolai Troussov)
5. France 14 -1 (Andy Flickinger, Jérôme Neuville)
6. Czech Republic 11 -1(Martin Blaha, Petr Lazar)
7. New Zealand 7 -1 (Gregory Henderson, Peter Latham)
8. Denmark 6 -1 (Michael Mørkøv, Alex Rasmussen)
9. Germany 4 -1 (Robert Bartko, GuidoFulst )
10. United States 1 -1 (Marty Nothstein, Colby Pearce)
11. Australia 0 -1 (Sean Finning, Christopher Sutton)
12. Ukraine 0 -1 (Volodymyr Rybin, Vasyl Yakovlev)
13. Argentina 0 -1 (Juan Esteban Curuchet, Walter Perez)
14. Kazakhstan 0 -1 (Ilya Chernyshov, Yuriy Yuda)
15. Slovakia 4 -2 (Martin Liska, Josef Zabka)
16. Belarus 0 -3 (Siarhei Daubniuk, Yauheni Sobal)
Did Not Finish
Switzerland (Alexander Aeschbach, Franco Marvulli)
Italy Biolo Gianpaolo Marcotto Martino)
1. Clara Sanchez (F)
2. Elisa Frisoni (I)
3. Yvonne Hijgenaar (Nl)
4. Céline Nivert (F)
5. Shuang Guo (PRC)
6. Jennie Reed (USA)
7. Anna Meares (Aus)
8. Willy Kanis (Nl)
9. Tamilia Abassova (Rus)
10. Victoria Pendleton (GB)
11. Oxana Grishina (Rus)
Did Not Start
Natallia Tsylinskaya (Blr)
1. René Wolff (G)
2. Mickaël Bourgain (F)
3. Jobie Dajka (Aus)
4. Grégory Bauge (F)
5. Ross Edgar (GB)
6. Teun Mulder (Nl)
7. Theo Bos (Nl)
8. Craig Mclean (GB)
9. Stefan Nimke (G)
10. José A. Villanueva Trinidad (Sp)
11. Tim Veldt (Nl)
12. Damian Zielinski (Pol)
13. Lukasz Kwiatkowski (Pol)
14. Jamie Staff (GB)
15. Michael Seidenbecher (G)
16. Kazuya Narita (Jp)
17. Rafal Furman (Pol)
18. Sergey Ruban (Rus)
19. (Bar)Ry Forde (Bar)
20. Kin Chung Wong (Hk)
21. Giddeon Massie (USA)
22. Athanasios Mantzouranis (Gr)
23. Christos Tserentzoulias (Gr)
24. Arnaud Tournant (F)
24. Kazunari Watanabe (Jp)
24. Andrei Vynokurov (Ukr)
Final National Medal Tally