After claiming a gold medal in Friday's points race, Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif./Ouch Pro Cycling) continued her streak of success with a record-breaking performance in the women's three-kilometer individual pursuit Saturday. Hammer earned her second gold medal of the weekend with a win over Verena Joos of Germany in the pursuit final after surpassing her own national record during the morning's qualifying session.
Hammer clocked a personal-best time and rewrote the ADT Event Center record books with a time of 3 minutes, 32.058 seconds on her way to earning the top seed before beating Joos in the head-to-head final to successfully defend her win from a year ago.
In the 12-lap contest for the gold medal, Hammer started strong, but slightly eased off the gas after realizing victory was imminent. She finished the race with a winning time of 3:37.607. Joos finished in 3:44.243. "Once I had her (Joos) in my sights, I just put it on cruise control," commented Hammer of her conservative second-half tactics.
With victories the primary objective, Hammer wasn't sure she'd produce record speed after riding an aggressive points race just 24 hours earlier. "I didn't expect a new record today after my effort in the points race yesterday. I knew I could do it on fresh legs, but the points race was really one of the events I wanted to focus on this year."
The victory was Hammer's fifth-consecutive significant win in major competition after earning back-to-back World Cup wins in Los Angeles, a World Championship and USA Cycling national titles in 2005 and 2006.
Aussie teen takes senior World Cup win
Reigning triple junior World Champion, Cameron Meyer, 19, stepped up to challenge for his first senior World Cup event on Saturday and immediately made his mark beating a host of World Champions to claim the gold medal in the men's 30 kilometre points race.
Meyer, who last year won the individual pursuit, Madison and teams pursuit crowns at the Junior World Championships, won three of the 12 sprints contested and placed in four others to finish on 24 points, four points clear of 2002 points race World Champion Chris Newton (GBR) and ten ahead of bronze medallist Sergey Kolesnikov (RUS).
"Basically I was in every breakaway," said the West Australian teenager who last weekend claimed the silver medal in the U23 men's road race at the Australian Open Road Championships. "At one stage I took half a lap and was away with the Madison World Champion (Spaniard Joan Llaneras). "Because I was away on lots and lots of breaks that's where I picked up my points I guess," said Meyer who admits he was a little intimidated by the quality of the field he lined up with. "Stepping into senior ranks for my first points race was a bit scary.
"The senior riders are just a lot more experienced and smarter bike riders and at a higher level than the juniors," he said. "They're fast, strong and smart and I guess tonight I was too. There were lots of World Champions in the race so to win in such high calibre company - I'm just over the moon."