USA's Huff third in scratch race
By staff and wire reports
Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins returned to the track with a winning individual-pursuit ride on Friday during the final round of the 2006-07 UCI Track World Cup series in Manchester, Great Britain.
In his first individual pursuit since winning gold in Athens in 2004, the 26-year-old beat Russia’s Alexander Serov in a time of 4 minutes, 17.864 seconds while Australia’s Brad McGee was almost five seconds slower.
“To do that in a first competitive race – I’m really pleased,” said Wiggins. “Because you can go as hard as you like in training but you never know until you get on the track.”
Wiggins was one of three British gold medalists on the first of three nights.
Chris Hoy won the kilometer over up-and-coming French rider Francois Pervis in the kilometer. The 30-year-old had trailed Pervis going into the final 250 meters but produced a surge of power to finish in one minute 1.5 seconds – his fastest competitive time on a British track. Meanwhile, Victoria Pendleton clamed victory in the women’s sprint, defeating Guo Shuang of China in the final.
The keirin produced the usual thrills and spills when Spain’s Hodei Mazquiaran, who had been brought down in a crash on the home straight, picked up his bike – minus a front wheel – and ran over the line ahead of Britain’s Jamie Staff.
In the men’s scratch race, Poland’s Rafal Ratajczyk took a very close win over German Roger Kluge with American Brad Huff third. The three were part of a group of 12 that lapped the other half of the field. —Agence France Presse contributed to this report