Sharakova becomes points race world champion

Machacova in second ahead of Bronzini in third

After her teammate Olga Panarina claimed the 500m title, Belarus' Tatsiana Sharakova followed suit, winning the women's points race with a brilliantly timed solo attack.

Sharakova was the only rider able to lap the field, netting the bonus 20 points in doing so, which in addition to one sprint during her breakaway and another earlier on netted her an unbeatable 30-point lead.

The 26-year-old's move came just after an early break containing silver medalist Jarmila Machacova (Czech Republic) had been caught, and despite the efforts of first Pascale Schnider (Switzerland) and then hometown favourite Marianne Vos, Sharakova quickly took her lap.

"Today is Belarussian day!", Sharakova declared after her victory. "It was a difficult race, there were a lot of attacks, so we did a lot of chasing. I was waiting for the second half of the race to make a move."

Sharakova paid close attention to the progress of the early breakaway, which was launched after she took sprint number two of the 100-lap race.

The move included Machacova, the 2008 Olympic points race bronze medalist Leire Olaberria (Spain), and Minami Uwano (Japan). Schnider attempted to bridge across with Pascale Jeuland (France), but the early efforts proved too costly for the French woman and she quickly dropped out.

Machacova swept up four consecutive sprints during her time in the lead, while Olaberria, second in sprint 3 and 4, then abandoned the race due to the intense pace, leaving only Uwano in tow of the Czech rider.

After sprint 5, Vos made an attempt to bridge, but was hauled back by Bronzini before a successful counter-attack with Yoanka Gonzalez Perez (Cuba), Sarah Kent (Australia) and Maria Luisa Calle Williams (Colombia) made it across to the leading duo.

Another sizzling 10 laps later, Kent was dropped and abandoned the race before Vos succeeded in bringing the race back together. Her efforts, however, only served to benefit Sharakova, who launched her move one lap later.

"I waited one lap before attacking," the gold medal winner said. "I noticed that [Machacova] was on the front for every sprint in the break, and because she had so many points my only chance to win was to lap the field. I took one sprint and then closed the lap."

Bronzini claimed sprint number 8 and a placing on the last dash to edge Uwano out of the medals.

Machacova was thrilled to take the silver medal after going into the race without any expectations. "It was very hard. I just attacked, and I tried to stay out as long as possible to take the sprints because I needed to get points. When I was caught, I was really tired and couldn't go with Sharakova. After being on the front so long I was happy to take silver."

Bronzini, the world champion on the road and the 2009 points race world champion was satisfied with the bronze medal.

"I rode for the gold, but I'm happy - it wasn't the day for me," said Bronzini. "When Sharakova got away that was the end for my gold medal hopes. I stayed in the pack and then waited to take some sprints to get into the medals. I was happy because I had good sensations in the race, and I hope to have this form for the scratch race on Saturday."

As heavily marked riders, neither Bronzini nor Vos could escape the field despite repeated attempts to get away. "Vos is a good rider, and I know she had more pressure today," said Bronzini. "I tried to go with her, but the other girl in the breakaway didn't want to work."

Vos admitted that not only was she closely watched, but rode too aggressively without the legs to back it up. "I was a bit nervous at the beginning and maybe a bit too much in the front. I was not there when I had to be there, and chasing all the time. My attacks just weren't good enough."

Coming off a winter of juggling track with netting another cyclo-cross world title, Vos has struggled with her form on the boards. She was passed over for the position in the women's omnium in favour of Kirsten Wild, and was sorry to disappoint her fans who expected more from the 2008 Olympic and world champion.

"It's difficult to combine the disciplines on top of my preparation for the road. I know it's possible to do from my other successes at the worlds and Olympic games, but I just didn't have the luck and good legs I needed. It's frustrating for the home crowd, I hope it will be better on Saturday."

American Cari Higgins put in a strong but impatient performance in her first outing at the world championship level. She claimed the first sprint of the race and third in the penultimate sprint to top Vos in sixth.

"It's my first worlds, and I went for the first sprint out of pure adrenaline. I needed to get a sprint out of my system and it probably wasn't the best idea strategically. It took a little time to get my head back after that, but I have no regrets," Higgins said.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tatsiana Sharakova (Belarus)30 pts
2Jarmila Machacova (Czech Republic)20 
3Giorgia Bronzini (Italy)14 
4Minami Uwano (Japan)12 
5Yoanka Gonzalez Perez (Cuba)10 
6Cari Higgins (United States Of America)7 
7Marianne Vos (Netherlands)7 
8Maria Luisa Calle Williams (Colombia)6 
9Joanne Kiesanowski (New Zealand)6 
10Madeleine Sandig (Germany)5 
11Pascale Schnider (Switzerland)4 
12Danielys Garcia Buttrago (Venezuela)  
13Mei Yu Hsiao (Chinese Taipei)  
14Chanpeng Nontasin (Thailand)  
15Wan Yiu Jamie Wong (Hong Kong, China)  
16Svetlana Pauliukaite (Lithuania)  
DNFOlaberria Dorronsoro (Spain)  
DNFPascale Jeuland (France)  
DNFSarah Kent (Australia)  
DNFEdyta Jasinska (Poland)  


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