Meares tops Pendleton in 500m TT
Australia's Anna Meares conquered a truly world class field to win the Women's 500 metre time trial on Saturday night in Manchester. A two-time World Champion and Olympic gold medallist in the event, Meares started in the final pairing and stopped the clock in 33.632, to snatch victory from Victoria Pendleton (Sky+ HD) and Willy Kanis (Netherlands).
"I’m really happy. It’s nice to get a good ride as it’s been a while since I’ve raced internationally, since Beijing actually," said Meares, who was knocked out of the women's sprint final on Friday by China's Shuang Guo. "The sprint wasn’t the result I was looking for, but as it’s been so long I was quite nervous and very rusty so I was content to get in the top five."
Tension had built as times dropped steadily throughout the ten heats. Hong Kong's Wal Sze Lee was a popular early leader. She was the first to drop below 35 seconds, with 34.844. However, Lee's time wasn’t to stand for long, as China's Jinjie Gong (34.302) and Belorussian Olga Panarina (34.280) bumped one another down the timesheet.
But as expected it was the final two pairings that would decide the medals. Dutchwoman Willy Kanis was the only one of the final four riders who had missed out on a medal at the World Championships in March. Drawn against a heavily backed Pendleton, she led the Briton through the first lap, but slipped behind in the final 250 metres to record 33.984. Pendleton finished in 33.838 and had a short, but anxious wait to see whether her personal best time would be enough to keep her in the gold medal position.
Moments after Pendleton had completed her lap, Meares strode out on to the Manchester track. On the opposite side of the track would be Simona Krupeckaite, giving the Australian the opportunity to avenge her loss to the Lithuanian at this the World Championships.
Meares got off to a rapid start and quickly dismissed any international competition cobwebs to claim the fastest intermediate time checks of the evening. While Meares rode to a time two tenths faster than Pendleton's mark, Krupeckaite flattered to deceive and was only able to secure fourth place, with 34.066, almost a full second outside her own World record.
For Meares however, victory was a welcome return to winning form ahead of her team sprint final. "The more this tournament has moved on the more comfortable I’ve been getting. I love riding the team sprint and I’m looking forward to that later on this evening."
Pendleton, too, was satisfied with her silver medal performance. "That’s a personal best for me so I’m pleased. I did it on drops and that was a little less aerodynamic, but I thought that was best in practice."
Houvenaghel claims women's pursuit gold
Wendy Houvenaghel (Great Britain) won the women’s individual pursuit in Manchester, beating former junior world champion Josephine Tomic (Australia) into second. Vera Koedoorer (Netherlands) took the bronze, relegating Liere Olaberria (Spain) to fourth.
Houvenaghel set a blistering pace in the qualifying round of 3:30.800 and looked set to match that time over the opening laps as she set about catching her less experienced opponent.
“The ride was something that I hadn’t realty targeted for this World Cup bearing in mind the changes to the Olympic programme, so my main focus is tomorrow and the team pursuit. But today went well and it’s something that I’ve picked up from last year’s World Cup series. Our coaching programme is being revised and it will reflect the Olympic programme that will take place in London,” said Houvenaghel.
With a partisan crowd urging her on Houvenaghel gained time on each lap and caught a despairing Tomic within the final few laps. Despite pushing all the way to the finish Houvenaghel was unable to beat her qualifying time, finishing in 3:31.929.
“Wendy is much faster than me in qualifying and has a lot more experience than me. It’s only my second year doing this event. I was trying to do a personal best, but it didn’t happen. She was just too good for me tonight,” Tomic told Cyclingnews.
The race for the bronze should have been a much closer affair but Olaberria set off at a blistering pace but faded in the final laps just Koedoorer started to apply the pressure.
Belgium nabs gold in Men's Madison
The Belgian combination of Kenny De Ketele and Tim Mertens put on a demonstration of tactical Madison riding to take victory in front of an appreciative Manchester crowd. With no laps taken throughout the race, consistency was the key to the Belgian's victory as they finished one point clear of German pair of Roger Kluge and Robert Bartko. Russia's Sergey and Alexey Shmidt claimed bronze.
Australia's Leigh Howard and Glenn O'Shea were the most enthusiastic duo in the opening laps of the race and were rewarded with victory at the first sprint. Belgium was attentive and took second. The European teams appeared happy to allow the race to settle as the Australians traded blows with the Lokomotiv Russia (Kirill Yatsevich and Alexander Petrovskiy).
At the second sprint Russia (Sergey and Shmidt) chalked up their first points with the maximum available. They scored again at the next sprint, too, as Belgium nestled into second overall.
Germany came to the fore and collected points at each of the next three sprints, a tally that moved them into a joint lead with the Belgians. Despite determined efforts by the Spanish and Dutch teams to snatch a lap, it was the USA's Daniel Holloway and Colby Pearce who looked the most likely to succeed. The two Americans stretched out to a half a lap lead, but couldn't press hard enough before the sixth sprint.
The USA claimed the sprint, but the pressure exerted by the teams behind for the minor placings nullified the attack shortly thereafter. The Dutch and Spanish once again tried to move away, but by the time the race reached the penultimate opportunity for points, De Ketele had closed the gap and swung past to push his team into the outright lead.
With ten laps to go and Germany and Russia locked in a battle for silver and bronze, the impetus to take a lap fell out of the bunch. Germany took the final sprint, but fourth place for the Belgians gave them the point that they needed to seal their win.
Hoy claims another gold in men's sprint
Sir Chris (Sky) Hoy reigned supreme in the sprint final, providing the home crowd with a virtuoso display in sprinting as he took the gold medal ahead of Matthew Crampton (GBR). Hoy won both contests in their match up while Jason Kenny rounded out the podium for the home nation by beating Australia’s Shane Perkins in the bronze medal contest by two rounds to zero.
“I was trying to build on my performance at nationals but to do a 9:86 today was really pleasing. Other than in Beijing it was my fastest ever time and I think that Beijing is a faster track than Manchester for 200s.
"The team performance throughout the weekend has been brilliant and we have more events to come. I’ve said it before but we’re looking forward now and not looking back to the success we had in Beijing,” Hoy said, before praising his two young podium compatriots.
“Sometimes Matt and Jason are faster than me in training and if they weren’t around I wouldn’t be performing. They inspire me,” Hoy said.
In Race 1 of the final Hoy beat Crampton by a bike length, and repeated the feat in the second and decisive contest.
“There were a few big guns missing from this event but it was good,” Crampton said. “I’ll keep chipping away and if I can nip some time off it’ll be good. Chris is still the man to beat though."
Kenny won his first sprint against Shane Perkins (Australia). In the second heat the pair went shoulder to shoulder in the final lap with Kenny narrowly edging out Perkins, guaranteeing Great Britain a clean sweep of the medals.
Earlier in the evening Chris Hoy (Sky) powered through to the final beating Shane Perkins (AUS) in a one sided contest. In the first race Hoy left a large gap develop as he let Perkins dangle on the front before the manoeuvre of the World Cup so far as he dived down from the top of the banking with Perkins caught napping and unable to respond. In their second match up Hoy flipped tactics, dictating the action from the front and setting to out pace Perkins to the line.
The second semi final was a much tougher affair with Matthew Crampton eventually edging out compatriot and training partner Jason Kenny by two rounds to one. Crampton won Race 1, coming over the top of Kenny in the final meters. But Kenny fought back to take Race 2 before Crampton saw off Kenny with a powerful burst of speed that left him trailing home.
Meares doubles gold tally in women's team sprint
World Champion pairing Anna Meares and Kaarle Mcculloch won gold in the Women’s Team Sprint, beating the Dutch team of Yvonne Hijgenaar and Willy Kanis into silver. Germany rounded out the medals to take bronze ahead of the British team of Jessica Varnish and Rebecca James.
Australia had qualified fastest and as World Champions went into the final as favourites before producing a time of 33:653 to take gold.
“My preparation was hampered by sickness but I’m pleased to take gold,” said McCulloch.
It was Meares’s second gold of the evening after winning the 500 meter time trial. “It’s been great but I’ve done a lot of work to get here. I wanted to get the season off to good note,” she said.
Women's Points race
Lizzie Armitstead closed the second night of competition at the Manchester World Cup with a stellar performance in the women's points race. In a comprehensive victory, Armitstead took the final two sprints, including the finale at the line, to win by a clear margin from Yumari Gonzalez (Cuba) and Evgeniya Romanyuta (Russia).
After a nervous start to the race Gonzalez opened the first of the eight sprints with a win. Russia's Romanyuta levelled with her Cuban colleague at the next opportunity, as Armitstead grabbed her first points with second in the sprint.
With nerves settled by the opening pair of sprints, Switzerland's Andrea Wolfer, France's Pascale Jeuland and World road race Champion Tatiana Guderzo (Italy) took their leave from the main pack. Wolfer and Guderzo stayed out in front long enough to secure a sprint each. However, their forays were brought to naught and Czech Jarmila Machacova scored in the fifth sprint to move into a narrow outright lead with seven points. Boxed in, Armitstead managed to nab third place, but was left in a gaggle of girls level on five points.
A concerted attack by Belorussian Tatsiana Sharakova pulled her into a share of the lead with Gonzalez, while Armitstead gained another point. With two sprints to race, the Briton played her cards. She chose to ride high on the banking to avoid the squeeze on the inside of the track, but needn't have worried as she moved into the lead for the first time.
With the partisan crowd brought to their feet by the penultimate sprint, Armitstead positioned herself once more for the final dash to the line. The order at the finish reflected the final podium as Armitstead left Gonzalez and Romanyuta mopped up the minor points.
With a clear points margin and a comfortable win in the final sprint, Armitstead had appeared to complete the race on her own terms. However a tired, though elated Armitstead admitted that the victory hadn't come easily. "I was talking to my coach and he was saying I was in second. I won [that second last] sprint and went into the lead," she said afterwards.
"Coming into this I wasn’t sure about my form though. It was one of the hardest points races I’ve ever done. They’re hard enough when you’ve got form but when you’re slightly off they’re just painful from beginning to end."
|1||Anna Meares (Aus) Australia||0.33.632|
|2||Victoria Pendleton (GBr) Team Sky + HD||0.33.838|
|3||Willy Kanis (Ned) Netherlands||0.33.984|
|4||Simona Krupeckaite (Ltu) Lithuania||0.34.066|
|5||Olga Panarina (Blr) Belarus||0.34.280|
|6||Jinjie Gong (Chn) People's Republic of China||0.34.302|
|7||Miriam Welte (Ger) Germany||0.34.359|
|8||Wai Sze Lee (HKg) Hong Kong||0.34.844|
|9||Virginie Cueff (Fra) France||0.35.191|
|10||Elisa Frisoni (Ita) Gruppo Sportivo Fiamme Azzurre||0.35.506|
|11||Renata Dabrowska (Pol) Poland||0.35.660|
|12||Helena Casas Roige (Spa) Catalunya||0.35.770|
|13||Victoria Baranova (Rus) Russian Federation||0.35.827|
|14||Angeliki Koutsonikoli (Gre) Greece||0.36.865|
|15||Fatehah Mustapa (Mas) Malaysia||0.36.942|
|16||Sumaia Ribeiro (Bra) Brazil||0.37.381|
|17||Ainhoa Pagola Alvarez (Spa) Fullgasnutrition.net||0.37.434|
|18||Pelin Cizgin (Aut) Austria||0.37.854|
|19||Estefany Marisol Tinajero Cobos (Mex) Mexico||0.39.012|
|1||Wendy Houvenaghel (GBr) Great Britain||0:03:31.929|
|2||Josephine Tomic (Aus) Australia||Lapped|
|3||Vera Koedooder (Ned) Netherlands||0:03:41.522|
|4||Leire Olaberria Dorronsoro (Spa) Spain||0:03:42.255|
|5||Lada Kozlikova (Cze) Czech Republic|
|6||Verena Joos (Ger) Germany|
|7||Ausrine Trebaite (Ltu) Lithuania|
|8||Elissavet Chantzi (Gre) Greece|
|9||Victoria Kondel (Rus) Russian Federation|
|10||Edyta Jasinska (Pol) Poland|
|11||Kimberly Geist (USA) United States of America|
|12||Fiona Dutriaux (Fra) France|
|13||Jessie Daams (Bel) Belgium|
|14||Lotte Van Hoek (Ned) Rodin|
|15||Olatz Ferran Zubilaga (Spa) Fullgasnutrition.net|
|16||Ana Usabiaga Balerdi (Spa) Cespa-Euskadi|
|1||Chris Hoy (GBr) Team Sky + HD||0.10.313||0.10.523|
|2||Shane Perkins (Aus) Australia|
|1||Matthew Crampton (GBr) Great Britain||0.10.545||0.10.822|
|2||Jason Kenny (GBr) Great Britain||0.10.539|
|1||Chris Hoy (GBr) Team Sky + HD||0.10.340||0.10.259|
|2||Matthew Crampton (GBr) Great Britain|
|3||Jason Kenny (GBr) Great Britain||0.10.611||0.10.700|
|4||Shane Perkins (Aus) Australia|
|5||Ross Edgar (GBr) Team Sky + HD|
|6||Damian Zielinski (Pol) Poland|
|7||Daniel Ellis (Aus) Team Jayco|
|8||Michaël D'Almeida (Fra) US Cretei|
|9||Lukasz Kwiatkowski (Pol) Alks Stal Grudziaduz|
|10||Lei Zhang (Chn) People's Republic of China|
|11||Tobias Wachter (Ger) Germany|
|12||Maximilian Levy (Ger) Germany|
|13||Kazunari Watanabe (Jpn) Japan|
|14||Scott Sunderland (Aus) Team Jayco|
|15||François Pervis (Fra) Cofidis|
|16||Andrii Vynokurov (Ukr) Ukraine|
|17||Azizulhasni Awang (Mas) Bike Technologies Australia|
|18||Adrian Teklinski (Pol) Alks Stal Grudziaduz|
|19||Qi Tang (Chn) People's Republic of China|
|20||Teun Mulder (Ned) Cofidis|
|21||Tomas Babek (Cze) Czech Republic|
|22||Denis Dmitriev (Rus) Moscow Track Team|
|23||Anton Lapshinau (Blr) Belarus|
|24||Adrien Doucet (Fra) France|
|25||Charlie Conord (Fra) US Cretei|
|26||Ilya Okunev (Rus) Russian Federation|
|27||Maciej Bielecki (Pol) Poland|
|28||Roy Van Den Berg (Ned) Netherlands|
|29||Filip Ditzel (Cze) Czech Republic|
|30||Zafeirios Volikakis (Gre) Greece|
|31||Vasileios Reppas (Gre) Greece|
|32||Sergey Kucherov (Rus) Moscow Track Team|
|33||Francesco Ceci (Ita) Italy|
|34||Edrus Md Yunos (Mas) Malaysia|
|35||Thomas Bonafos (Fra) France|
|36||Pavel Yakushevskiy (Rus) Russian Federation|
|37||Clemens Selzer (Aut) Austria|
|38||Tomokazu Sato (Jpn) Japan|
|39||Alfredo Moreno Cano (Spa) Catalunya|
|40||Yorrick Bos (Ned) Netherlands|
|41||Artem Frolov (Ukr) Ukraine|
|42||Sergio Aliaga Chivite (Spa) Calapie-Reyno de Navarra|
|43||Itmar Esteban Herraiz (Spa) Catalunya|
|44||Hariff Saleh (Mas) Malaysia|
|45||David Askurava (Geo) Georgia|
|46||Juan Peralta Gascon (Spa) Calapie-Reyno de Navarra|
|47||Oscar Ezker Martin (Spa) Fullgasnutrition.net|
|48||Velasquez Morales Santiago (Col) Colombia|
|1||Kaarle McCulloch / Anna Meares (Aus) Australia||0.33.653|
|2||Yvonne Hijgenaar / Willy Kanis (Ned) Netherlands||0.34.014|
|3||Dana Glöss / Miriam Welte (Ger) Germany||0.34.390|
|4||Rebecca James / Jessica Varnish (GBr) Great Britain||0.34.414|
|1||Kenny De Ketele / Tim Mertens (Bel) Belgium||17||pts|
|2||Roger Kluge / Robert Bartko (Ger) Germany||16|
|3||Sergey Kolesnikov / Alexey Shmidt (Rus) Russia||11|
|4||Philip Nielsen / Michael Morkov (Den) Denmark||9|
|5||Christophe Riblon / Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) France||8|
|6||Antonio Tauler Llull / Unai Elorriaga Zubiaur (Spa) Spain||6|
|7||Colby Pearce / Daniel Holloway (USA) United States||5|
|8||Leigh Howard / Glenn O'shea (Aus) Australia||5|
|9||Peter Schep / Danny Stam (Ned) Netherlands||3|
|10||Andreas Graf / Andreas Muller (Aut) Austria||2|
|11||Elia Viviani / Fabrizio Braggion (Ita) Italy||1|
|12||Angelo Ciccone / Alex Buttazzoni (Ita) Gruppo Sportivo Fiamme|
|13||Ho Ting Kwok / Ki Ho Choi (HKG) Hong Kong Pro Cycling|
|14||Shane Archbold / Thomas Scully (NZl) New Zealand||-1 lap|
|DNF||Silvan Dillier / Claudio Imhof (Swi) Switzerland|
|DNF||Kirill Yatsevich / Alexander Petrovskiy (Rus) Katyusha|
|1||Elizabeth Armitstead (GBr) Great Britain||16||pts|
|2||Yumari Gonzalez Valdivieso (Cub) Cuba||11|
|3||Evgeniya Romanyuta (Rus) Russian Federation||10|
|4||Tatsiana Sharakova (Blr) Belarus||8|
|5||Belinda Goss (Aus) Australia||7|
|6||Jarmila Machacova (Cze) Czech Republic||7|
|7||Elke Gebhardt (Ger) Germany||5|
|8||Andrea Wolfer (Swi) Switzerland||5|
|9||Olaberria Dorronsoro (Spa) Spain||5|
|10||Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) FFA||5|
|11||Pascale Jeuland (Fra) France||4|
|12||Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Italy||2|
|13||Jolien d'Hoore (Bel) Belgium||1|
|14||Heather Wilson (Irl) Ireland||1|
|15||Vera Koedooder (Ned) Netherlands||1|
|16||Wan Yiu Jamie Wong (HKg) Hong Kong, China|
|17||Monia Baccaille (Ita) FFA|
|18||Malgorzata Wojtyra (Pol) Poland|
|19||Valentina Scandolara (Ita) Italy|
|20||Penny Day (NZl) PHN|
|21||Ausrine Trebaite (Ltu) Lithuania|
|22||Kelly Druyts (Bel) Belgium|
|DNF||Skye Lee Armstrong (Aus) Rodin|
|DNF||Elissavet Chantzi (Gre) Greece|