By VeloNews Interactive and wire reports
Host nation Australia was rolling in medals after the first day of competition in the fourth and final round of the 2003 UCI World Cup track-racing series, May 16-18 at Dunc Gray Velodrome in Sydney.
Australia has won two gold medals and one bronze in the six finals contested so far in the three-day event, which features almost 200 riders representing 42 countries.
Mark Jamieson, Australia’s 19-year-old 4km individual-pursuit champion, posted the fastest qualifying time in the morning – 4:24.425, good enough for selection to the national team for July’s senior world championships in Stuttgart, Germany – and backed it up with a thrilling performance in the final to claim gold ahead of New Zealand’s Hayden Godfrey.
Godfrey set the early pace in the final, with Jamieson lagging behind – but the young Tasmanian erased a one-second gap over the final four laps to claim the win.
“It was a plan to go out slower than this morning, and I rode a bigger gear, which made it a bit harder,” said Jamieson. “But I managed to bring it home.”
In the men’s kilometer time trial, Shane Kelly, the three-time world champion and two-time Olympic medalist, came back from the disappointment of missing the Australian championships due to a sinus infection to win in 1:02.859, almost a second faster than silver medalist Mathieu Mandard of France. Colombian Wilson Meneses Gutierriz was third in 1:04.181.
“I knew the French time before I started and thought it was a really good time for the [cool, humid conditions], so I’m absolutely rapt with my time,” said the 31-year-old Kelly. “It means I’m on the right track for the world championship, where hopefully I’ll be able to stand up again.”
The action-packed men’s keirin event saw victory go to Germany’s Jens Fiedler ahead of Toshiaki Fushimi (Japan) with 2001 world keirin champion Ryan Bayley of Australia third.
“I set the tactics, which is what I wanted to do, and I’m pleased to be back in the keirin again and happy to win it,” said the 33-year-old Fiedler.
In the women’s 20km points race, Vera Carrara claimed her first World Cup win and the overall 2003 World Cup points-race crown. The 23-year-old Italian, the 1998 junior world champion in the event, placed second in round three in South Africa and sixth in the opener in Moscow.
“It was my goal to defend my overall (World Cup) lead, but it is a really special day because it’s the first time I have won the event at a World Cup,” said Carrara.
Carrara said she didn’t feel that good, despite winning the first two sprints, and was happy to follow eventual silver medalist Marion Clignet of France as the pair teamed up to lap the field and earn a bonus 20 points. Carrara took three of the intermediate sprints to cement her win by 35 points ahead of Clignet (26) and New Zealand’s Sarah Ulmer (13).
New Zealand celebrated a win when Greg Henderson, 26, sprinted to gold in the 15km scratch race ahead of Austrian Roland Garber, 30, with Germany’s Andreas Muller third.
In the women’s sprint, the top seed and fastest qualifier, Mexico’s Nancy Contreras, won the gold in straight heats against Victoria Pendleton of Great Britain. Canadian Lori Ann Muenzer was awarded the bronze in a walkover after Venezuela’s Daniela Larreal withdrew due to illness.
The second day of competition includes the women’s 500-meter time-trial final, keirin and 3km individual pursuit, and the men’s team pursuit, points race and sprint.
After three rounds of competition in Moscow, Mexico and South Africa, Germany leads the World Cup competition with 289 points followed by France (252), Russia (219) and Australia (195).
Results from the World Cup track cycling event May 16 in Sydney, Australia:
1. Greg Henderson (NZ)
2. Roland Garber (A)
3. Andreas Miuller (G)
4. Vasyl Yakovlev (Ukr)
5. Noriyuki Iljima (Jpn)
6. Nikolai Troussov (Rus)
1. Mark Jamieson (Aus)
2. Hayden Godfrey (NZ)
3. Guido Fulst (G)
4. Tomas Vaitkus (Lit)
1. Shane Kelly (Aus), 1:02.859
2. Matthieu Mandard (F), 1:03.617
3. Wilson Gutierriz (Col), 1:04.181
4. Ahmed Lopez (Cub), 1:04.441
5. Athanasios Mantzouranis (Gr), 1:05.199
6. Andrei Vynokourov (Ukr), 1:05.323
1. Jens Fiedler (G)
2. Toshiaki Fushimi (Jpn)
3. Ryan Bayley (Aus)
4. Lampros Vasilopoulos (Gr
5. Josiah On Lam (Mal)
6. Florian Rousseau (F)
1. Vera Carrara (I), 35 pts
2. Marion Clignet (F), 26
3. Sarah Ulmer (NZ), 13
4. Ludmila Vypyraylo (Ukr), 10
5. Rebecca Quinn (USA), 7
6. Rochelle Gilmore (Aus), 7
1. Nancy Contreras (Mex)
2. Victoria Pendleton (GB)
3. Lori-Ann Muenzer (Can)
4. Daniela Larreal (Ven)
5. Rosalee Hubbard (Aus)
6. Tamilia Abassova (Rus)