The United States team faced a light schedule on Saturday evening at the 2006 UCI Track Cycling World Championships as Bobby Lea (Mertztown, Pa./Toyota-United) was the only athlete in action. Lea competed in the men's 15 km scratch race but succumbed to the blistering pace, dropping out with 10 laps remaining in the 60-lap event. With a breakaway off the front of the main pack throughout most of the race, Lea spent most of his time in the chasing peloton before retiring. Jerome Neuville of France took a close sprint from Angel Colla of Argentina to win the world title.
Earlier on Saturday, the U.S. fielded its first team pursuit squad at the world championships since 2000. The foursome of Michael Creed (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Danny Pate (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Brad Huff (Fair Grove, Mo.) and Michael Friedman (Boulder, Colo.) placed 12th in the qualifying round, setting a new personal best time of 4:14.952. The squad consisting of young pros from the TIAA-CREF team shaved over a second off their previous record.
Entering the world championships, the major goal for the pursuit team was to gain experience at the international level. "We're not experienced enough to make a mistake and make up for it," Creed said. "Yesterday we were great in training, we rode our fastest ever at a flying start, but we know things are different with a standing start."
In the finals of the team pursuit, Australia beat Great Britain for the world title and The Ukraine beat The Netherlands for the bronze medal.
In the men's sprint, Christian Stahl (Bethany, Conn./CKR Racing) fell to second-seeded Craig McLean of Great Britain in the single-elimination 1/16 finals after earning the 23rd seed. Stahl was the best American qualifier, posting 10.551 seconds for the flying 200m, and was the only rider from the USA to advance to the 1/16 finals.
The 2006 UCI Track Cycling World Championships conclude on Sunday with two Americans set to compete. Jennie Reed (Kirkland, Wash./Team Spike) will contest the women's keirin and Becky Quinn (Quakertown, Pa./Team Spike) will ride the women's 10-kilometer scratch race.