Victorian Shane Perkins claimed the World Cup Series crown for the keirin after victory on day one...
Victorian Shane Perkins claimed the World Cup Series crown for the keirin after victory on day one of competition in the fourth and final round in Manchester, England, being raced from February 23- 25.
The 20 year-old, riding in the SouthAustralia.com-AIS colours, won the gold medal ahead of China's Qi Tang and Spain's Hodei Mazquiaran Uria in a final marred by a serious crash.
"Four of the six finalists crashed with 100 metres to go," said Australian Track Cycling Head Coach, Martin Barras. "The rider in front of Shane swung up the track and Shane executed a sharp race move to slot into the sprinter's lane but then the guy swung back down and created a wave that bowled over four riders.
"The officials looked at the video and ruled Shane was not at fault and his win was valid," added Barras, who rushed to the aid of Australian team member Joel Leonard who was caught up in the crash. "I pulled a nice splinter out of his back and then got him on his bike so he could walk across the line and post a result (5th)."
Perkins win added 12 points to the eight points he scored for third place in Los Angeles last month to give him a World Cup keirin tally of 20 points, six clear of his nearest rival.
In the women's sprint, Queensland's Anna Meares, 23, posted a personal best time of 11.161sec to qualify second fastest behind eventual winner Victoria Pendleton of Great Britain. In her semi-final against China's Shuang Guo, Meares claimed the first race of the best of three but her rival fought back to win the next two and a berth in the gold medal final. Meares went on to secure bronze in two straight heats against Britain's Anna Blyth.
"I'm extremely pleased with what was a fantastic qualifying time and her bronze is a good solid result for match sprinting," said Barras. "After her semi-final we clearly identified one area of racing in which she still has some work to but the good news is she did that in the bronze medal ride off."
Olympic medallist, Brad McGee, began his bid for selection for the Beijing Olympic Games collecting bronze in the individual pursuit.
Tasmanian Belinda Goss clinched silver in the women's 20km points race, sprinting home first on the final sprint to amass a total of nine points, four behind race winner Yoanka Gonzalez Peres of Cuba.
"In the qualifying and in the final she was very impressive," said Barras. "Belinda wasn't afraid to get in there and mix it up with the best and she's demonstrated significant improvement since last season."
Barras was also impressed with the efforts of Victorian junior cyclist Leigh Howard, who placed fourth in the men's 15km scratch race.
"Leigh wasn't afraid to put it on the line and create opportunities for himself," said Barras of Howard, who earlier this month was named Champion of Champions at the Australian Titles. "The efforts he put in the final laps gave him the opportunity to win but he wasn't quite strong enough.
"I have no doubt that will come and I'm very pleased with his lack of fear and 'have a go' attitude in the event."
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