By VeloNews Interactive Wires Services
Pennsylvania rider Sarah Uhl won the women’s match sprint against defending champion Christin Muche (Germany) on Saturday to earn the first gold medal for the U.S. at a world junior championship since 1991. Uhl won the event in two straight rides on July 28, at the Lehigh Valley Velodrome, in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania.
The 17-year-old took the first ride after holding her lead position going in to the third turn of the final lap. With the second ride, Muche pulled close in the second turn of the last lap, but didn’t have the speed to pass.
Jessica Grieco — now an Outdoor Life Network commentator and law student — was the last USA gold medalist in the junior ranks; she medaled in the individual pursuit in 1991. Janie Eickhoff is the only other American to win the women’s match sprint at this event, winning it in 1987.
It only took to rides to determine the men’s winner of the match sprint as well. Mark French (Australia) sealed his win against Robert Gerhardt (German) as he rocketed past Gerhardt out of turn four on the last lap.
“This is awesome – very unexpected,” French said. “I was just hoping to qualify (for the first round).”
French was the top qualifier and was unchallenged until his semifinal match with Kiyofumi Nagai (Japan). Nagai won the first ride in that round, but French recovered and won the last two rides easily to advance to the final.
Giorgia Bronzini (Italy) controlled the women’s 20km points race, scoring points in nine of the 10 sprints. Bronzini finished with 29 points, ahead of Diana Elementaite (Lithuania), who won the final three sprints, scoring 25 points.
American Sarah Hammer finished ninth.
In a riveting team pursuit final, the French team trailed with one kilometer left in a see-saw race with the Germans, but the French recovered to win with a time of four minutes, 24.995 seconds. The French was only fourth in qualifying earlier in the day.
“I thought we might make the medal stand, but we never expected victory,” said Kevin Gouellain.
The American team suffered two crashes in the semi-final round and did not finish its ride against Australia. None of the four riders appeared seriously injured.
The team pursuit victory was the lone win by the French in these championships. Germany won the most overall medals, eight, followed by France (5) and Australia (4). Australia’s three gold medals were the most by any nation.
The final two sessions of action were compressed into one session due to a forecast for rain that might have canceled any racing on Sunday.
2001 WORLD JUNIOR TRACK CHAMPIONSHIPS; July 25-29, Lehigh Valley Velodrome, Trexlertown, Pennsylvania.
Women’s Match Sprint, Final
1. SARAH UHL, Perkasie, Pa. (12.505 secs and 12.557 secs); 2, Christin Muche (Germany); 3. Valentina Alessio (Italy); 4. Anna Meares (Australia); 5. Clara Sanchez (France); 6. Sofiya Pryshchepa (Ukraine); 7. Kristine Bayley (Australia); 8. Adrie Visser (Netherlands).
Men’s Match Sprint, Final
1. MARK FRENCH (Australia) (11.151 secs and 11.206 secs); 2. Robert Gerhardt (Germany); 3. Mathieu Mandard (France); 4. Kiyofumi Nagai (Japan); 5. Serguei Borissov (Russia); 6. Theo Bos (Netherlands); 7. Nico Hartmann (Germany); 8. Jason Niblett (Australia).
Also: 12. Christian Stahl, Bethany, Conn.
Team Pursuit, Final
1. FRANCE (Kevin Gouellain, Sebastien Greau, Aurelien Mingot, Fabien Sanchez), four minutes, 24.995 seconds; 2. Germany (Robert Bengsch, Henning Bommel, Karl-Christian Konig, Christoph Meschenmoser), 4:26.247; 3. Russia (Alexei Chmidt, Ilya Krestyaninov, Roman Paramonov, Alexei Tchounossov), 4:27.075; 4. Australia (Fernando Duran, Matthew Farmer, Mark Jamieson, Glen Matulich), 4:27.354;
5. Czech Republic (Milan Behunek, Alois Kankovsky, Jan Kunta, Zdenek Zdimal), 4:25.894; 6. Spain (David Muntaner Juaneda, Alvaro Noguera Sanchez, Adria Sabate Masip, Samuel Cano Flores), 4:34.343; 7. Ukraine (Andriy Buchko, Volodymyr Dyudiya, Vitaliy Kondrut, Maskym Polishchuk), 4:25.406 (relegated); 8. United States (Tyler Farrar, Wenatchee, Wash.; Josh Kerkhof, Fort Worth, Texas; Guillaume Nelessen, Princeton, N.J.; Hans Taufen, Ponte Vedra, Fla.), crashed.
Women’s 24km Points Race , Final
1. GIORGIA BRONZINI (ITALY), 29 points (1 sprint win); 2. Diana Elemetaite (Lithuania), 25 (4); 3. Natalia Boiarskaia (Russia), 20 (4); 4. Belinda Goss (Australia), 10 (1); 5. Charlotte Becker (Germany), 10 (0); 6. Vera Koedooder (Netherlands) 9 (0); 7. Monica Huerta (Mexico), 6 (0); 8. Matte Andreasen (Denmark), 5 (0); 9. Sarah Hammer, Temecula, Calif., 5 (0); 10. Nadine Marbot (Switzerland), 2 (0).
Results will also be available on www.veloresults