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Germany comes apart, British pull together in finale
French team's riders Michael D'Almeida, Gregory Bauge and Kevin Sireau show their gold medal during the podium ceremony for the team sprint
The men's team sprint went the way one might have expected, with France continuing its season-long domination of the three-man, three-lap discipline. For Germany the gold medal final was frought with mistakes, while for the French it was another picture perfect performance at warp speed.
It was team sprint gold number five and the sixth rainbow jersey for 26-year-old Grégory Baugé, while for Kévin Sireau, it was the third rainbow jersey in the discipline. It was a special victory which Sireau dedicated to his young son, who was born while the 23-year-old was racing the World Cup in Cali, Colombia.
Michaël d'Almeida, also 23, gained his first career rainbow jersey and became part of a continuing tradition of French sprint champions - the country has now claimed 6 of the last 10 team sprint titles.
The French set a 43.867 en route to gold, a solid wallop to the German's 44.483.
The win was especially sweet for d'Almeida after being part of the team that fell to Germany in the gold medal final last year. "Last year I had the fastest last lap, but our team still took second, and the other years when France won I was not on the team, so this is very satisfying," d'Almeida.
Germany's Max Levy was annoyed that he and his teammates Stefan Nimke and Rene Enders didn't live up to their potential to defend last year's world title. "We didn't show what our main strength is today - to ride as a team - everyone was riding alone so we're not so happy.
"The first lap was great, but I couldn't follow the way I should, and same as our guy in third position. Everyone did a single race, and it's a team sprint - not a single sprint.
"We have to ride as a team again - like we did last year. It's necessary to train together more, more, more. We need some more power training so we can go as a team and everyone can have the slipstream of the rider in front of him."
Sir Chris Hoy led the British squad with Jason Kenny and Matthew Crampton to its second world bronze medal in a row, but rather than show disappointment, the Scot saw the result as a progression and focused on the team's time (44.235 to Australia's 45.241), and looked toward defending the team's 2008 Olympic medal instead.
"I think it's encouraging. The gap [to the other teams] is coming down. Pre-Beijing we didn't win the world title - we haven't won a world title since 2005. I'd happily trade in any gold medals between now and London for the important one in the Olympics.
"I think Jason was a fraction down on the French and Germans at the start, but I think it's our best performance as a team since Beijing. We may have won the odd World Cup, but not been against the strongest opposition, so it's good to get a proper marker of where we are.
"There's a lot of work to be done, we're not unrealistic in that respect, but I think it's encouraging and we'll be looking for areas to improve."
France fastest in qualifying
France has been the fastest group of sprinters throughout the season, and they showed they're still on form by setting the quickest qualifying time in the team sprint, a 43.951.
The big surprise came from Germany, who pipped Great Britain by 27 thousandths of a second to enter the gold medal final. It is the second consecutive year the Olympic champions have failed to contend for the rainbow bands.
It was also Britain's second disappointment of the night after its men's pursuit team was knocked to the bronze medal final. They set a 44.128 to Germany's 44.101, while Australian was at a fairly distant 44.501 to nudge out Russia for the last spot in the final round.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|Roy Van Den Berg|
|8||People's Republic of China||0:00:45.112|
|12||United States Of America||0:00:46.190|
|Juan Peralta Gascon|
|Ruben Donet Gregori|
|Itmar Esteban Herraiz|
|Angel Ramiro Pulgar Araujo|
|Cesar Mervin Marcano Sanchez|
|Hersony Gadiel Canelon Vera|
|Josiah Ng Onn Lam|
|Muhammad Edrus Md Yunos|
|Mohd Rizal Tisin|
|Christian Leandro Tamayo Saavedra|
|Ruben Dario Murillo Minota|
|Puerta Zapata Fabian Hernando|