U.S. team rides to 12th
By Andrew Hood
Great Britain was fastest in morning qualifying for the men´s team pursuit while the upstart Americans finished 12th on a day when they were hoping for more.
The Brits stopped the clock in 4:04.074, relegating Australia to second place in 4:04.403. The Dutch were third and the Ukraine fourth to secure spots in the medal rounds on Saturday evening.
The Americans – featuring Mike Creed, Mike Friedman, Danny Pate and Brad Huff – posted a time of 4:14.952. It was well short of their goal of 4:09, but faster than the team´s previous best of 4:16 at the Los Angeles World Cup race.
“We have the engines, we just have to learn how to warm them up,” said Huff, who also raced in Friday´s points race. “We did 14:08 in practice, but we came here way too early. We were off in everything. Creed and Pate didn´t rip us off their wheel like they normally do.”
The team admits it has some kinks to work out in its “David vs. Goliath” challenge against the established powerhouses in team pursuit.
“We´re not experienced enough to make a mistake and make up for it,” Creed said. “Yesterday we were great in training, we rode our fastest ever kilometers at a flying start, but we knows things are different with a standing start.”
Saturday´s qualifying was only the second time the team has raced in international competition and marked the first American men´s team pursuit in world championships competition since 2000.
The effort is just the first steps for what officials hope will be a run for an Olympic medal at the 20008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games.
“We´re still heading in the right direction,” said Jonathan Vaughters, manager of TIAA-CREF, the trade team where all the four starters compete. “Our guys are strong, but they´re not nearly as fast as the Aussies and the Brits. The biggest hurdle now is just that they´re inexperienced.”
The team hopes to remedy that inexperience by regularly working track training and racing into their road racing schedule.
In a show solidarity with injured rider Saul Raisin, the team wrote, “Raisin Hell” on their racing helmets.
“We´ve been thinking about him all week,” Creed said. “It´s hit everybody pretty hard.”
In other morning qualifying:
Theo Bos – winner Friday of the men´s keirin – was fastest in morning qualifying for the men´s sprint with a time of 10.100 seconds.
Among the Americans, Christian Stahl earned the 23rd seed for the men´s sprint, but lost to second-seeded Craig McLean (Great Britain) in the single-elimination 1-16th round. Stahl was fastest among the U.S. team in the 200-meter qualifying run, stopping the clock at 10.551 seconds and was the only one of three Americans to advance.
Stephen Alfred was 10.657 in 32nd and Ben Barczewski was 10.924 for 41st, but only the top 24 advanced among the 43 starters. Racing finals action continues Saturday evening, but Bobby Lea will be the only American in competition when he´ll start the men´s 15km scratch.
Lea´s fourth-place finish in the scratch race at the Sydney World Cup last month was the top finish for a U.S. men’s endurance rider in a mass start event this season.
Qualifying(fastest 24 into next round)
1. Theo Bos (NED) 10.100sec
2. Craig McLean (GBR) 10.111
3. Lukasz Kwiatkowski (POL) 10.116
4. Maximilian Levy (GER) 10.149
5. Stefan Nimke (GER) 10.177
6. Ross Edgar (GBR) 10.189
7. Arnaud Tournant (FRA) 10.230
8. Gregory Bauge (FRA) 10.237
9. Damian Zielinski (POL) 10.238
10. Mickael Bourgain (FRA) 10.256
11. Teun Mulder (NED) 10.276
12. Ryan Bayley (AUS) 10.339
13. Jose Antonio Escuredo (ESP) 10.346
14. Matthew Crampton (GBR) 10.348
15. Tim Veldt (NED) 10.377
16. Travis Smith (CAN) 10.404
17. Kazunari Watanabe (JPN) 10.427
18. Roberto Chiappa (ITA) 10.427
19. Andriy Vynokurov (UKR) 10.506
20. Michael Siedenbecher (GER) 10.510
21. Ricardo Lynch (JAM) 10.512
22. Tsubasa Kitatsuru (JPN) 10.542
23. Christian Stahl (USA) 10.551
24. Qiming Wang (CHN) 10.553
25. Lei Zhang (CHN) 10.553
26. Takashi Kaneko (JPN) 10.589
27. Pavel Noskov (RUS) 10.591
28. Denis Dmitriev (RUS) 10.608
29. Sergey Borisov (RUS) 10.618
30. Lin Feng (CHN) 10.648
31. Steven Alfred (USA) 10.657
32. Adam Ptacnik (CZE) 10.657
33. Josiah Ng (MAS) 10.666
34. Bejamin Wittmann (GER) 10.688
35. Kasper Lindhom Jessen (DEN) 10.709
36. Alois Kankovsky (CZE) 10.806
37. Krzysztof Szymanek (POL) 10.834
38. Ivan Vrba (CZE) 10.836
39. Vasileios Reppas (GRE) 10.852
40. Wilson Meses (COL) 10.890
41. Benjamin Barczewski (USA) 10.924
42. Konstantinos Pentarakis (GRE) 10.977
43. Rene Wolff (GER) 11.001Team pursuit-Qualifying (two fastest race for gold)
1. Great Britain (Stephen Cummings, Robert Hayles, Paul Manning, Geraint Thomas) 4:04.074sec
2. Australia (Peter Dawson, Matthew Goss, Mark Jamieson, Stephen Wooldridge) 4:04.403
3. Netherlands (Levi Heimans, Jens Mouris, Peter Schep, Niki Terpstra) 4:06.494
4. Ukraine (Volodymyr Dyudya, Lyubomyr Polatayko, Maksym Polyshchuk, Vitaliy Shchedov) 4:07.165
5. New Zealand 4:07.530
6. Germany 4:07.878
7. Spain 4:08.542
8. Russia 4:09.954
9. France 4:10.162
10. Denmark 4:10.174
11. Belgium 4:11.989
12. United States 4:14.952
13. Italy 4:17.276
14. Poland 4:20.892