Events

Brits power to pursuit win; Friedman takes scratch race in Beijing

American Michael Friedman won the men’s scratch race on Saturday at the UCI Track World Cup Classics in Beijing, China. Friedman beat Walter Fernando Perez of Argentina and Tim Mertens of Belgium to score the second U.S. medal of the meet. On Friday, Sarah Hammer rode to the bronze in the women’s individual pursuit. In other racing, Great Britain collected two medals, winning the team pursuit and the keirin with Chris Hoy. France scored thrice, with Francois Pervis winning the kilometer time trial, Arnaud Tournant placing second in the keirin and Sandie Clair and Clara Sanchez claiming

By staff and wire reports

The Brits ride to gold in the team pursuit

The Brits ride to gold in the team pursuit

Photo: AFP

American Michael Friedman won the men’s scratch race on Saturday at the UCI Track World Cup Classics in Beijing, China.

Friedman beat Walter Fernando Perez of Argentina and Tim Mertens of Belgium to score the second U.S. medal of the meet. On Friday, Sarah Hammer rode to the bronze in the women’s individual pursuit.

In other racing, Great Britain collected two medals, winning the team pursuit and the keirin with Chris Hoy. France scored thrice, with Francois Pervis winning the kilometer time trial, Arnaud Tournant placing second in the keirin and Sandie Clair and Clara Sanchez claiming silver in the team sprint.

The Netherlands won the team sprint with Yvonne Hijgenaar, Willy Kanis, plus the points race with Marianne Vos, and took bronze in the team pursuit and keirin, with Teun Mulder.

Friedman scored a gold in the scratch race

Friedman scored a gold in the scratch race

Photo: courtesy Slipstream

And the host nation collected a pair of bronze medals, with Li Wen Hao in the kilo’ and Guo Shuang and Zheng Lulu in the team sprint.

Men’s team pursuit
A week after downing New Zealand in the men’s team pursuit at the World Cup opener in Sydney, Australia, Great Britain repeated the feat at round No. 2 of the World Cup Classics in Beijing when the four-man team of Edward Clancy, Stephen Cummings, Paul Manning and Thomas Geraint posted a day’s best time of 4:02.517.

New Zealand’s Sam Bewley, Westley Gough, Timothy Gudsell and Marc Ryan finished Saturday’s finals in Beijing with a 4:05:220.

In the battle for bronze the Dutch quartet of Levi Heimans, Jenning Huizenga, Jens Mouris and Peter Schep topped Denmark’s Michael Faerk Christensen, Casper Jorgensen, Jens-Erik Madsen and Alex Rasmussen, after the Danish team had to abort their run at third place when one of it riders had a mechanical problem with his bike.

Initially it appeared the third-place round would be restarted, but by rule if the mechanical takes place after the first half lap of a medal round, then the team must either continue or forfeit. The Danes stopped riding after the problem occurred.

In the finals, New Zealand took the early lead, building an advantage that topped out at 1.336 seconds. But the fast pace was too much for New Zealand’s Bewley, who fell off the pace with four laps to go.

Great Britain quickly took advantage of its opponent’s weakened team, moving into the lead on the 14th of 16 laps. Cummings lost touch with his teammates just as the bell for the final lap sounded, but by then Great Britain was comfortably on top.

Great Britain has a stable of capable pursuit riders, and used a different line-up Saturday than in Sydney where the foursome of Clancy, Cummings, Chris Newton and Bradley Wiggins earned gold.

Clancy, Manning, Wiggins and Geraint are the reigning team pursuit world champions, a title they won last March in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

In the overall World Cup standings, Great Britain has a 24-20 lead over New Zealand.
Men’s team pursuit
1. Great Britain (Edward Clancy, Stephen Cummings, Thomas Geraint, Paul Manning)
2. New Zealand (Sam Bewley, Westley Gough, Timothy Gudsell, Marc Ryan)
3. Netherlands (Levi Heimans, Jenning Huizenga, Jens Mouris, Peter Schep)

Women’s 500-meter
Cuba’s Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez became just the second woman to ever crack the 34-second barrier in the 500-meter time trial, recording a 33.994 at Beijing’s Laoshan Velodrome on Saturday night.

That was enough to earn Guerra Rodriguez World Cup gold, as she topped Lithuanian Simona Krupeckaite in the last of 11 finals heats. Krupeckaite won silver with a time of 34.447.

Belarusian Natallia Tsylinskaya posted a 34.595 to take the bronze. It was the second World Cup medal in two days for Tsylinskaya, who won gold in the women’s sprint on Friday.

A week ago at the opening round of the World Cup in Sydney, Australia, Guerra Rodriguez was second to reigning world champion and world record holder Anna Meares, who’s been under 34 seconds four times and has an all-time best of 33.944. But Meares did not contest the event in Beijing, instead focusing on the women’s sprint competition.

Meares is the reigning Olympic champion in the 500-meter time trial. But the event will not be contested in Beijing. It lost its Olympic status when BMX was added.

Guerra Rodriguez’s win pushed her into the top spot in the overall World Cup standings after two of four events.
500m time trial
1. Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez (Cub) 33.994
2. Simona Krupeckaite (Ltu) 34.447
3. Natalia Tsylinskaya (Blr) 34.595

Men’s keirin
Great Britain’s Chris Hoy captured his second straight World Cup Keirin race on Saturday, charging to the front in the final heat just as the bell sounded for the final lap, then holding his advantage all the way to the finish. Frenchman Arnaud Tournant was third, with Dutchman Teun Mulder third.

German Carsten Bergmann and Australian Ryan Bayley were the other two riders in the final heat. The keirin finals started with six, but South African Mome Blignaut was disqualified for unsafe riding and the race was restarted.

Hoy, the reigning world champion, was one of 37 riders in the field. He went undefeated on the day, winning his qualifying heat, second-round match, and finally the gold-medal race.

Hoy is also the reigning Olympic champion in the kilometer time trial, but that event will not be contested at the Beijing Games. It was dropped from the Olympic slate to make room for BMX.

The keirin is one of 10 Olympic track events being contested in Beijing.

There are 376 cyclists from 44 countries competing at the Beijing World Cup, making it the second largest track event in history, behind only the previous weekend’s World Cup opener in Sydney, which attracted 395 competitors from 48 countries.

The Beijing event marks the international debut of the Laoshan Velodrome, which will play host to the track cycling events at next summer’s Olympic games.
Keirin
1. Chris Hoy (GB)
2. Arnaud Tournant (F)
3. Teun Mulder (Ned)

Women’s points race
Dutchwoman Marianne Vos won her second World Cup gold medal in as many days, taking the women’s points race on Saturday.

Vos earned victory by crossing the finish line first at the end of the 80-lap race and taking the accompanying five points. That left her tied with Cuban Yoanka Gonzalez Perez at 12 points each, but Vos was the race winner by virtue of her better last-lap finish.

Gonzalez Perez led for much of the race, taking top points on two of the eight sprint laps. But the Cuban was shut out at the finish, placing 16th, and settling for silver.

Australian Katherine Bates finished third with nine points.

Coming into the final laps, Vos was sitting at the back of the 24-rider field. But at the sound of the bell signaling one lap to go, she darted around the high side of the field, opening up a two-bike-length lead by the finish.

Vos used similar guile on Friday night to win the scratch race, attacking with 10 laps to go in the 40-lap race, and riding to an impressive solo win.

This is the first time Vos has competed in an international track event, but she is no stranger to winning, previously taking world championship titles in both cyclocross and road racing.

American Rebecca Quinn moved into the overall World Cup series lead after finishing fifth on Saturday. Quinn is the only rider among the top eight in the series standings to score points in both World Cup races this year. Quinn was sixth at last week’s World Cup in Sydney.

Round No. 1 winner Giorgia Bronzini of Italy was 14th in the Beijing event.

The women’s points race is one of 10 Olympic track events being contested at the Beijing World Cup. The winner here automatically qualifies to race in next August’s Games.
Points race
1. Marianne Vos (Ned)
2. Yoanka Gonzalez Perez (Cub)
3. Katherine Bates (Aus)

Men’s kilo
France’s Francois Pervis powered to a convincing win in the men’s kilometer time trial on Saturday night. The 23-year-old Pervis posted three of the four fastest split times on his way to finishing the four-lap race in 1:02.029.

Yevgen Bolibrukh of Ukraine was second with a 1:02.943.

China’s Hao Li Wen took the bronze in 1:03.702. That was the first medal awarded to the host nation at this World Cup. Later in the evening, China scored another bronze in the women’s team sprint.

World Cup round No. 1 winner Michael D’Almeida of France did not contest the Beijing event, opting to return home and rest in preparation for the third round of the World Cup in Los Angeles, California.

Bolibrukh and Li Wen are now tied atop the World Cup points standings with 18 each. Germany’s Michael Seidenbecher is third with 13. Seidenbecher was fifth in the Beijing kilometer time trial race.

Great Britain’s Chris Hoy is the reigning Olympic and world champion in the kilometer time trial, but skipped the race in Beijing, opting instead to focus on the keirin, which he won earlier in the evening.

Hoy’s decision to sit out his former specialty event was in part because it and the women’s 500m TT have been dropped from the Olympic program to make room for BMX.
Kilometer time trial
1. Francois Pervis (F) 1:02.029
2. Yevgen Bolibrukh (Ukr) 1:02.943
3. Li Wen Hao (Chn) 1:03.702

UCI Track World Cup Classics
Beijing, China. Dec. 8
Men
Team pursuit

1. Great Britain (Edward Clancy, Stephen Cummings, Thomas Geraint, Paul Manning)
2. New Zealand (Sam Bewley, Westley Gough, Timothy Gudsell, Marc Ryan)
3. Netherlands (Levi Heimans, Jenning Huizenga, Jens Mouris, Peter Schep)

Keirin
1. Chris Hoy (GB)
2. Arnaud Tournant (F)
3. Teun Mulder (Ned)

Kilometer time trial
1. Francois Pervis (F) 1:02.029
2. Yevgen Bolibrukh (Ukr) 1:02.943
3. Li Wen Hao (Chn) 1:03.702

Scratch race
1. Michael Friedman (USA)
2. Walter Fernando Perez (Arg)
3. Tim Mertens (B)

Women
500m time trial

1. Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez (Cub) 33.994
2. Simona Krupeckaite (Ltu) 34.447
3. Natalia Tsylinskaya (Blr) 34.595

Points race
1. Marianne Vos (Ned)
2. Yoanka Gonzalez Perez (Cub)
3. Katherine Bates (Aus)

Team sprint
1. Netherlands (Yvonne Hijgenaar, Willy Kanis)
2. France (Sandie Clair, Clara Sanchez)
3. China (Guo Shuang, Zheng Lulu)

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