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The Dutch continued their gold medal form on day two of the Sydney World Cup at the Dunc Gray...
The Dutch continued their gold medal form on day two of the Sydney World Cup at the Dunc Gray Velodrome claiming three gold from the five events contested. Reigning World Sprint Champion Theo Bos smashed the Australian record for the flying 200m in qualifying for the men's sprint with a blistering 10.068 seconds to knock a tenth of a second of the time of American Marty Nothstein, who posted 10.166 in Sydney 2000. Bos then cruised through to the final against Australian Jobie Dajka, the World Championship silver medallist in both 2002 and 2003.
In the final, Bos made short work of Dajka, defeating him in two straight heats to take his second gold medal of the meet. "I planned to be good here this one month before the worlds and it seems that has worked but I think there is room for a little more improvement," said Bos who sees Dajka as a major threat to his goal of back to back world sprint crowns. "I saw Jobie coming back (into form) at the last world cup in Manchester and he was really good last week at the Australian championships, so he's a serious rider to keep an eye on."
Dajka admitted, "He's the world champion and he showed that tonight but I proved I'm in the ball park again and I know what I need to work on before the World Championships (Los Angeles March 22nd). Now it's nose to the grindstone for the next few weeks to fine tune my preparation."
The men's 4km team pursuit saw New Zealand (Jason Allen, Hayden Godfrey, Greg Henderson and Marc Ryan) qualify fastest and go onto meet Great Britain (Matthew Brammeier, Mark Cavendish, Edward Clancy and Thomas White) in the final, defeating them by nearly two seconds, finishing in 4:09.049 to take the gold medal and the overall World Cup classification in the team pursuit.
"We were a but off the pace this morning so used a different game plan for the final and as a result it was a lot smoother," said Henderson. "We kept the pace high and almost caught them."
The Australian team of Richard England, Sean Finning, Matthew Goss, and Miles Olman finished third after overtaking Russia in their final in a time of 4:09.453. "We all wanted to go a bit quicker this morning and were disappointed we didn't get in the top two but it's good to get bronze and it's given us confidence for the next time," said Richard England. "There is a multitude of people vying for a team pursuit place in Los Angeles and only three definites at the moment (2004 World Champions Ashley Hutchinson and Stephen Wooldridge and Junior World Champion and 2005 Australian champion Mark Jamieson.)
"They (the Athens gold medal team) are off doing their road thing and not coming back to track so it's a great opportunity for a few young guys to jump in and see how we go," he said. "But seven guys are fighting for three spots so it's a tough call on who's going to go."
Sean Finning was on fire in the men's 30 km points race that followed, winning five of the 12 sprints to amass 49 points. But an early attack by two riders, Volodymyr Rybin (Ukr) and Ioannis Tamouridis (Gre), saw them gain a lap which earned them an instant 20 points. Finning fought back to gain a lap of his own but his two rivals went with him, with the end result that Rybin took the gold with 62 points, Tamouridis the silver with 55 points, and Finning the bronze.
"'Damn I missed it' was my reaction when they took the first lap without me," said a philosophical Finning. "Last week was my first senior points race and this is my first one at this level so while it's a pity I missed the first lap - you get that."
In the women's 500 metre time trial, the reigning Olympic and World Champion and world record holder Anna Meares didn't line up for Australia: instead it was her sister Kerrie who was in the gate continuing her comeback from a back injury which ended her Athens aspirations in 2004. Kerrie posted a time of 35.943 seconds, but it wasn't good enough for a medal as the Dutch struck again with Yvonne Hijgenaar posting 35.024 for gold ahead of Italian Elisa Frisoni (35.204) and Lori-Ann Muenzer (35.608).
The other final of the night saw another Dutch rider on the top of the podium with Marlijn Binnendijk taking out the women's 3km individual pursuit in a time of 3:48.742, almost three seconds faster than the silver medal ride of New Zealand's Dale Tye who crossed in 3:51.518. The bronze medal went to Tatsiana Sharakova in 3:52.661.
"That is my best time by two tenths of a second," said the former speed skater who is racing her first year in the senior ranks. "I'm very happy to have my first major senior win and I hope to go even faster in Los Angeles but my goal is the Beijing Olympics."