By Fred Dreier
American Jenny Reed owns a trophy case full of World Cup medals — 17 to be exact. But before Sunday night, only one of them was gold. The 29-year-old Reed doubled that Sunday night by winning the keirin, holding off a hard charging Willy Kanis of the Netherlands in the finals.
“With the keirin I’ve always had a good level of confidence,” said the Momentum Cycling ace, who took her other World Cup gold in the keirin at the Manchester World Cup in 2004. “But when I know my sprint is going good, that bumps my confidence up even more.”
Indeed Reed knew she had the form to win the keirin after grabbing silver in the women’s sprint on Friday night. She accounted for two of the U.S.’s five medals earned throughout the third round of the 2007-08 World Cup, held at the ADT Events Center velodrome in Carson, California.
Reed’s dominated the semi finals of the keirin by simply riding the other women off of her wheel. But in the finals Reed waited for one lap to go before launching her powerful sprint. The Washington native sat in fourth wheel before overtaking Cuban Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez — Saturday’s 500-meter time trial — and surging to the front of the pack. Kanis tried to come around Reed at the line but came up short.
“It’s hard to remember what happened, but I remember that I was very patient. I just went without thinking,” Reed said. “I came to the line with a clear mind.”
Reed’s victory came after the United States grabbed its fourth medal of the World Cup, as the team pursuit squad of Kristin King, Lauren Franges and reigning time-trial national champion Kristin Armstrong finished third behind Russia and Ukraine. This year marks the debut of the women’s team pursuit, however the United States did not field at team at the opening two World Cups, held in Sydney, Australia and Beijing.
King, Franges and Armstrong rode only a handful of times together in the lead up to the Los Angeles World Cup.
“We had two camps, but sometimes Kristin and I would have time together — very few times was it all three of us,” said King, the reigning U.S. national champion in the scratch race.
The Americans rode to a fourth-place finish in qualifying, and decided to let Armstrong do double pulls in the finals. The result paid off, and the team dropped five seconds from its qualifying time.
“Kristin did the pursuit on Friday and she’s pretty rested and strong,” said Franges.
Armstrong, whose goal for the year is the Olympic road time trial, said she will contemplate racing the women’s team pursuit at the world championships.
“I would go if we were capable of having a championship team,” Armstrong said. “But it is focus that would take away from my road racing. If Sarah Hammer came, I’d go. The opportunity to win a world champion jersey doesn’t come around that often.”
Roberto Chiappa of Italy scored his first World Cup points of the season by taking the men’s sprint ahead of France’s Kevin Sireau of the Cofidis team. Chiappa finished second in the event at the Los Angeles World Cup in 2007. American Adam Duvendeck of the Momentum Cycling team finished eighth in the sprint.
By winning the women’s team pursuit, the Ukranian team of Yelizaveta Bochkarova, Svitlana Galyuk and Lesya Kalitovska took control of the series lead from Russia.
The Belgian team of Kenny De Ketele and Tim Mertens took the men’s Madison after lapping the field early in the race. The Slipstream/Chipotle team of Michael Friedman and Colby Pearce finished fifth.
2008 Los Angeles UCI Track World Cup
LDT Events Center Velodrome, Carson, California
1. Ukraine (Yelizaveta Bochkarova, Svitlana Galyuk, Lesya Kalitovska) 3:27.44
2. Russia (Anastasiya Chulkova, Olga Slyusareva, Elena Tchalykh), 3:30.02
3. United States (Kristin Armstrong, Lauren Franges, Christen King), 3:31.45
4. Germany (Charlotte Becker, Christina Becker, Verena Joos), 3:31.86
1. Roberto Chiappa (I)
2. Kevin Sireau (F), Cofidis
3. Teun Mulder (Nl)
4. Gregory Bauge (F)
1. Jennie Reed (USA), Momentum Cycling
2. Willy Kans (Nl)
3. Jinjie Gong (Chn), Giant Pro
4. Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez (Cub)
5. Swetlana Grankowskaja (Rus)
1. Belgium (Kenny De Ketele, Tim Mertens), 8 points (lapped the field)
2. Denmark (Michael Morkov, Alex Rasmussen), 18
3. Germany (Robert Kluge, Olaf Pollack), 12
4. Netherlands (Pim Ligthart, Wim Stroetinga), 8
5. Team Slipstream (Michael Friedman, Colby Pearce), 7