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Gane takes sprint; Slusareva doubles with scratch win
They’ve said the track in Stuttgart, with its aged wooden surface is a fast one. It took the Australian pursuit team to prove just how fast as the four-man team of Graeme Brown, Peter Dawson, Luke Roberts and Brett Lancaster smashed the existing world mark – set by the Aussie squad a year ago – by more than two seconds Saturday.
Facing a British team that included Robert Hayles, Paul Manning, Bryan Steel and individual pursuit champion Bradley Wiggins, the Australians knew they had to ride a sub-four-minute pursuit just to remain competitive in the final.
The two teams both appeared nervous as they lined up on opposite sides of the 285-meter velodrome. As the gun sounded, Lancaster bobbled at the line and slipped sideways down the boards. Officials labled it a false start and both teams lined up for second shot at the starting blocks.
“I think, in a way it help break the tension,” Lancaster said afterwards. “Either way, I guess you can’t say it hurt us too much, eh?”
Lined up again, both teams rocketed off to a fast start and were both well on to holding a world record pace. Over the first laps of the opening kilometer the two squads traded the lead back-and-forth as both worked to establish a strong rhythm. And both knew that victory probably lay on the other side of the 3:59.583 set by Australia last year at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester.
“We knew the Brit’s would do at least a four-minute ride, so we knew we would have to ride as hard as we could,” Brown said of his team’s plan of attack.
The British team had in fact set its sites on riding a 3:58, a mark they saw as realistic.
“We really thought we could have them,” Wiggins later said. “For a while there, we were on a (three-minute) 58 pace.”
And so were the Aussie’s. At the one-kilometer mark, the Australian squad enjoyed only a slight 0.169-second advantage over the British foursome. At 2km, that gap had widened to a still-not-insurmountable 0.562.
But just as the British team stepped up its tempo, it’s luck ran out as Steel mis-timed his swing off the front and found himself chasing hard to catch his three teammates.
“It’s disheartening,” British coach Simon Jones said. “You have to have all four men to accomplish anything. I’m still impressed with how our boys held up through those last two k.”
Indeed, the remaining British riders maintained a furious pace and finished up with a 4:00.629, the second fastest time set at this world championship. But the Australian squad remained intact for the bulk of the race and stayed on their world-record pace.
The team finally lost Dawson with two laps remaining, but at that point, it made little difference. The crowd, disappointed by the loss of the German pursuit squad to internal squabbling, was quick to embrace the Australians as their own. The grandstands erupted into loud cheers as the gun went off and the new world-record mark was flashed on scoreboards.
Stretching their victory “lap” into a five-minute celebration, the four circled the track carrying Australian flags and blowing kisses to the crowd.
Asked whether the team might do better in the future, Brown noted that preliminary estimates by Australian Institute of Sport coaches suggest that the track to be used in the Athens Olympics next year is probably capable of producing a 4:55…
“With the right team,” he added with a smile.
Asked to react to the internal collapse of the German squad – a story that has hogged headlines in Stuttgart – Dawson smiled and said it hadn’t really affected the Aussie effort, “but sure has made for some interesting reading here.”
AIS pursuit coach Ian McKenzie said that he was disappointed that the team could not face off against last year’s silver-medal squad, adding that the British effort was itself quite formidable.
“We are not taking anything for granted going into an Olympic year,” McKenzie said. “The German team fell apart. It would have been interesting to see how they would have done in front of this crowd. The Ukrainians weren’t here and then there are the British… we have a lot of teams out there who can produce times like this. It just makes us all work harder.”
One obstacle the AIS, will not have to deal with, however, is a selection dispute that fractured the German squad.
“It’s just beyond comprehension,” McKenzie said, with his riders nodding in agreement, “that you would see something like that. For one thing, it’s not the athletes who make the final decision as to who makes the team. It would be unacceptable.”
In the bronze medal round, France and Russia fought a tight battle throughout their 4000-meter match-up.
The Russians led by a small margin for most of the way, but lost their momentum after losing a rider with four laps remaining. The French scooted across the line in 4:04.119, edging Russia’s 4:04.903.
Gane regains sprint crown
France’s Laurent Gane finally regained the men’s sprint title Saturday after years of waiting to win track’s blue-ribbon event for a second time.
Australia’s Jobie Dajka, who had made the final for the second year in a row, came second to take his second consecutive silver medal in the event and failed to avenge his defeat in the keirin event on Thursday when Gane also took the title.
Dajka’s compatriot and defending champion, Sean Eadie, was absent due to injury.
Rene Wolff of Germany claimed the bronze medal after his matchup with Arnaud Tournant, where he beat the Frenchman – a four-time world champion in the kilometer – 2-0 in their heats.
The 30-year-old Frenchman from the Pacific ocean island of Noumea has been described as “phenomenal in the last 200 meters” by Dajka in their previous tussles and proved that he will be the man to beat for the forseeable future.
Gane, who is known for his almost unrivalled speed in the home straight, lost the first heat in the final after attacking early. Dajka powered his way back and took the win in a photo finish.
Heat two went the Frenchman’s way after an attack by Dajka handed the Australian a lead of two lengths. This time it was Gane’s turn to power his way back into contention and he won convincingly at the finish line.
The third deciding heat was tense with Dajka taking the lead for almost the entire three laps of the 285-meter track. However Gane moved up to sixth gear to overtake the young Australian before the final bend to come over the finish line alone.
Gane, who is considered one of the fastest men in track cycling but has often played second fiddle to compatriot Tournant last won the world sprint title in 1999.
He came second in 2000 and 2001.
Slusareva doubles up with scratch win
Russia’s Olga Slusareva claimed her second gold medal of the world track cycling championships after winning the women’s scratch race on Saturday.
Australia’s Rochelle Gilmore came second to take her second consecutive world silver in the 10km race with Adrie Vasser of the Netherlands coming third to claim the bronze.
Slusareva, who won the opening women’s points race of 24km on the first day, attacked prior to the finish line to easily hold off 21-year-old Gilmore, a silver medallist from the Commonwealth Games last year.
The 34-year-old Slusareva had finished third in the scratch last year behind the New South Wales rider when the race was held for both men and women at world-championship level for the first time.
Lada Kozlikova, the defending champion from the Czech Republic, came 16th.
1st rd (fastest two into final)
Russia (Alexey Markov, Mikhail Mikheev, Sergey Klimov,
Alexander Serov) 4min 06.224sec beats New Zealand (Heath Blackgrove, Peter Latham, Hayden
Roulston, Marc Ryan) 4:08.295
France (Fabien Merciris, Jerome Neuville, Franck Perque,
Fabien Sanchez) 4:04.921 beats Lithuania (Linas Balciunas, Aivaras Baranauskas, Tomas
Vaitkus, Raimondas Vilcinskas) 4:06.483
Britain (Robert Hayles, Paul Manning, Bryan Steel, Bradley
Wiggins) 4:02.720 beats Spain (Carlos Castano, Sergi Escobar, Guillermo Ferrer,
Asier Maeztu) 4:09.170
Australia (Graeme Brown, Peter Dawson, Ashley Hutchinson,
Stephen Wooldridge) 4:01.368 beats Belarus (Dzmitry Aulasenka, Vasil Kiryienka,
Kanstantin Siutsou, Yauheni Sobal)
Australia (Graeme Brown, Peter Dawson, Brett Lancaster,
Luke Roberts) 3:57.280 (new WR) beats Britain (Robert Hayles, Paul Manning,
Bryan Steel, Bradley Wiggins) 4:00.269
Bronze medal match
France (Fabien Merciris, Jerome Neuville, Franck Perque,
Fabien Sanchez) 4:04.119 beats Russia (Alexey Markov, Mikhail Mikheev, Sergey Klimov,
Alexander Serov) 4:04.903
5. Lithuania 4:06.483,
7. New Zealand 4:08.295,
8. Spain 4:09.170, 9.
Laurent Gane (FRA) 10.605 and 10.503 beats Rene Wolff
(GER) 2-0 Jobie Dajka (AUS) 10.813 and 10.617 beats Arnaud Tournant
Laurent Gane (FRA) beats Jobie Dajka (AUS) 2-1 (10.443 for Dajka, 10.394 and 10.769 for Gane)
Rene Wolff (GER) 10.684 and 10.538 beats Arnaud Tournant (FRA) 2-0
Theo Bos (NED)
Salvador Melia (SPA)
Mickael Bourgain (FRA)
Grzeegorz Trebski (POL)
Jens Fiedler (GER)
Jose Antonio Villanueva (SPA)
Ross Edgar (GBR)
Takashi Kaneko (JPN)
Qualifying (first 18 qualify)
1. Natallia Tsylinskaya (BLR) 11.133sec
2. Svetlana Grankovskaya (RUS) 11.233,
3. Tamilla Abasova (RUS) 11.285
4. Daniela Larreal (VEN) 11.286,
5. Lori Ann Muenzer (CAN) 11.308
6. Victoria Pendleton (GBR) 11.337
7. Katrin Meinke (GER) 11.374
8. Cuihua Jiang (CHN) 11.421
9. Susann Panzer
10. Anna Meares (AUS) 11.493
11. Nancy Contreras (MEX) 11.552,
12. Rosealee Hubbard (AUS) 11.583
13. Oxana Grishina (RUS) 11.599
Radanova (BUL) 11.625
15. Kathrin Freitag (GER) 11.633
Sanchez (FRA) 11.640
17. Iryna Yanovych (UKR) 11.643
18. Tanya Lindemuth
19. Tian Fang (CHN) 11.731
, 20. Kerrie Meares (AUS) 11.799
21. Szilvia Szabolsci (HUN) 12.003
Natallia Tsylinskaya (BLR) 11.871 beats Iryna Yanovych (UKR)
Svetlana Grankovskaya (RUS) 12.317 beats Tanya Lindenmuth (USA)
Tamilla Abasova (RUS) 12.462 beats Clara Sanchez (FRA)
Daniela Larreal (VEN) 12.298 beats Kathrin Freitag (GER)
Lori Ann Muenzer (CAN) 11.939 beats Evgenia Radanova (BUL)
Oxana Grishina (RUS) 12.335 beats Victoria Pendleton (GBR)
Katrin Meinke (GER) 11.957 beats Rosealee Hubbard (AUS)
Nancy Contreras (MEX) 11.878 beats Cuihua Jiang (CHN)
Anna Meares (AUS) 11.989 beats Susann Panzer (GER)
Victoria Pendleton (GBR) 11.47 beats Susann Panzer (GER) and Iryna Yanovych (UKR)
Rosealee Hubbard (AUS) 12.134 beats Evgenia Radanova (BUL) and Tanya Lindemuth (USA)
Cuihua Jiang (CHN) 11.693 beats Kathrin Freitag (GER) and Clara Sanchez (FRA)
Natallia Tsylinskaya (BLR) 11.768 beats Cuihua Jiang (CHN)
Svetlana Grankovskaya (RUS) 11.910 beats Rosealee Hubbard (AUS)
Victoria Pendleton (GBR) 11.542 beats Tamilla Abasova (RUS)
Daniela Larreal (VEN) 11.853 beats Anna Meares (AUS)
Nancy Contreras (MEX) 11.625 beats Lori Ann Muener (CAN)
Katrin Meinke (GER) 12.428 beats Oxana Grishina (RUS)
Cuihua Jiang (CHN) 13.60 beats Oxana Grishina (RUS) and Anna Meares (AUS)
Tamilla Abasova (RUS) 12.124 beats Rosealee Hubbard (AUS) and Lori Ann Muenzer (CAN)
Natalia Tsylinskaya (BLR) 12.656 and 11.370 beats Tamilla Abasova (RUS) 2 – 0
Svetlana Grankovskaya (RUS) 11.989 and 11.717 beats Cuihua Jiang (CHN) 2 – 0
Victoria Pendleton (GBR) 11.784 and 12.028 beats Katrin Meinke (GER) 2 – 0
Nancy Contreras (MEX) 11.801 and 11.646 beats Daniela Larreal (VEN) 2 – 0
1. Olga Slusareva (RUS) 12min 33sec
2. Rochelle Gilmour (AUS)
3. Adrie Visser (NED)
4. Giorgia Bronzini (ITA)
5. Ine Wannijn (BEL)
6. Gema Pascual (SPA)
7. Sarah Ulmer (NZL)
8. Yoanka Gonzalez (CUB)
9. Yanxia Jiang (CHN)
10. Anke Wichmann (GER)
11. Juliette Vandekerckhove (FRA)
12. Belem Mendez (MEX)
13. Evelyn Garcia (ESA)
14. Sarah Uhl (USA)
15. Mandy Poitras (CAN)
16. Lada Kozlikova (CZE)
17. Lyudmyla Vypyraylo (UKR)
18. Svetlana Ivakhonenkova (BLR)
19. Pernille Jakobsen (DEN)
DNS: Victoria Pendleton (GBR)