Home turf terrific for Australian team on day one

Meares brilliant whilst Jayco stitches up the team sprint

Men’s points race final

The anticipated match up eventuated in the men’s points race final, with world champion in the event, Cameron Meyer, riding against experienced British rider Chris Newton (Sky +HD) and Argentina’s Madison gold medallist from Beijing, Walter Perez.

And the anticipation was well founded, with the result hinging on the final sprint. After 11 of the 12 sprints, Greek rider Ioannis Tamouridis led Meyer by two points. Newton had faded out of contention, as had Perez, although it looked like Meyer’s race wasn’t going to go to plan.

The Australian’s chances of victory looked slim after compatriot Michael Freiburg attacked with 67 laps remaining and was joined by Kazuhiro Mori (Japan), Lukasz Bujko (Poland) and Walter Perez (Argentina), the group taking a lap on the field and looking in prime position.

After two stunningly dogged attacks from Meyer, resplendent in his world champion’s jersey, he managed to retake the lap with his Greek companion in tow. It was then a drag race to the finish, which Meyer managed to benefit from, ahead of Tamouridis. “I was getting a bit worried [when the group containing Perez took a lap] I didn’t have that many points and the leaders were on 25 points,” said Meyer afterwards.

“I had a lot to do in the final bit of the bike race but I knew that I still had some legs and I was going to have a crack; I wasn’t going to go home disappointed in front of a home crowd. I really gave it a crack on that last bit and got the points I needed, so I’m really happy,” he explained.

“My tactic and belief has always been to lay it out there and I’m really happy to show that I’ve got some form coming back and this is a real confidence boost going into next season, including the world championships, where I hope to defend my title.”

Men’s individual pursuit final

The men’s individual pursuit began well for Australia, with talented young South Australian Rohan Dennis recording the fastest time of 4.19.255 in qualifying, the 19-year-old recognising that his performance came after a solid domestic road season.

“I’ve got some good form off a few of the domestic road races in Australia and I came out with the goods,” said Dennis. “I’ve been training on the track for about three-and-a-half weeks and I’ve been feeling really strong every day,” he added.

He was pushed in the qualifying rounds by Jesse Sergent, the New Zealander producing a time less than seven tenths of a second below the Australian’s benchmark. In the final however, Dennis couldn’t match Sergent’s smooth, powerful display – he was ahead at the first time split and remained that way until the 4000 metres had expired, finishing with a time of 4.23.192.

While results at the Melbourne World Cup are encouraging, Dennis has his sights firmly set on Copenhagen next March. “I was hoping for a low 20 and I’ve still got a bit of work to do,” Dennis said after qualifying. “Hopefully when Jack comes good we’ll have a strong team for worlds with a couple of juniors coming up – Michael Hepburn and Luke Durbridge are coming in as well,” he explained.

Men’s team sprint final

Qualification for the men’s team sprint saw both Australian teams make it to the medal rides, with Team Jayco taking out the gold against Germany’s trio of Carsten Bergemann, Rene Enders and Tobias Wachter.

Team Jayco’s time of 44.449 meant that Scott Sunderland, Daniel Ellis and Shane Perkins went into the ride off as favourites, and they didn’t disappoint, taking out the race with a solid time of 44.589.

With Ellis leading the charge and producing a powerful burst of speed over the opening lap, Perkins then Sunderland remained strong and brought the Jayco boys’ effort to a conclusion that drew the crowd to it feet.

Sunderland’s effort at third wheel came after being forced to peg back a gap in the opening lap, coming off the wheel of Shane Perkins to bring the team home in a smooth, powerful display. “It was a big effort,” said Sunderland. “Dan [Ellis] got away from us a bit and then Perk delivered a really good lap; I tried not to panic and then just made my run like normal and just use that momentum. I ran a little bit too early and almost clipped his wheel on the way through.

“The hard work is paying off – I felt really good all the way through and I could push myself. The hardest thing for me was coming back from Manchester and my nan dying. That postponed my training a little bit and I haven’t been in the gym for two weeks. I felt that a bit in my start, but I still hit a PB in my peak power.

The Australian national team of Alex Bird, Jason Niblett and Peter Lewis scored a coup in its qualification round against the powerful Cofidis squad, which boasted sprint world champion Kévin Sireau, Teun Mulder and Quentin Lafargue.

The local trio made the bronze medal ride-off with a time of 45.252, lining up against Russia’s outfit of Sergey Borisov, Denis Dmitriev and Sergey Kucherov, who rode to a time of 45.010.

Women’s individual pursuit final

Having qualified fastest for the finals in a time of 3.34.156, Sky +HD rider Wendy Houvenaghel looked favourite to add to her collection of World Cup individual pursuit palmarès and she did just that, overpowering classy kiwi Alison Shanks in the gold medal ride with a time of 3.33.771.

Houvenaghel’s return to Australia was a winning one, the Brit happy to be back Down Under and taking out her favourite event. “It’s always great to make the trip out to Australia when we can,” said Houvenaghel. “ As soon as we knew the team was heading out I put my hand up and said, ‘I’ll come if there’s a trip going.’”

Houvenaghel led during the opening 1000m before Shanks came back at her opponent and forced a considerable gap. It looked like the reigning world champion would secure the win but one of Great Britain’s most experienced squad members came back hard in the final kilometre. “It was the sort of race the crowd enjoys because it was entertaining but it was pretty hard going for both of us. At the very end there wasn’t much separating us.

She’ll now turn her attention to the women’s team pursuit, with Katie Conclough and Joanna Rowsell. The British trio will start short-odds favourites to take out the test against the clock given the pedigree of the three riders lining up on Saturday. Following the Melbourne event Houvenaghel will get a few weeks deserved rest before kicking off her 2010 program.

In the bronze medal ride-off, local girl Josie Tomic couldn’t hold off Lithuanian rider Lesya Kalitovska, who had qualified third with a time of 3.38.451. Kalitovska led at every time check to record a comfortable victory.

Women’s scratch race final

The women’s scratch race final was marred by a heavy fall for Xiao Juan Diao, who went down early in the event, bringing the race under caution until she was taken from the track.

When racing got underway again, the remaining laps were defined by a spirited attack by Iryna Shpylova, the Ukrainian hitting the bunch hard to hold it off until the final half lap. It prompted a frenetic gallop to the finish where current World Cup leader Belinda Goss was boxed in amongst the likes of Theresa Cliff-Ryan, Jo Kiesanowski and Shelley Olds.

In the final wash up however, Russia’s Evgeniya Romanyuta prevailed in the sprint finale, followed by Korean rider Eunmi Park and experienced Italian Giorgia Bronzini.

Women’s sprint final

It’s been a little over a year since Anna Meares and Shuang Guo went head-to-head in the semi-final of the women’s sprint at the Beijing Olympics. Once again pitted against each other, this time the pair was competing for a gold medal at the Melbourne Track World Cup.

It’s amazing how often Meares makes sprinting look easy, the Australian appearing to breeze through her quarter final against experienced German Christin Muche before taking on Dutchwoman Willy Kanis in the semi final.

She disposed of Kanis in the semis whilst compatriot Kaarle McCulloch battled Guo for a place in the gold medal showdown against her team sprint teammate. Unfortunately for McCulloch however, Guo proved too strong over two heats and met Kanis for a shot at the bronze medal.

Meares continued her perfect run in Melbourne with victory in the first heat of the gold medal contest, taking it out by half a bike length. In the second heat it was a closer run affair, a tyre’s width separating the pair, with Meares taking the gold medal with a memorable win.

“I really didn’t want to go to three rounds tonight,” said Meares. “The Beijing semi final was hard and so was that. I think a lot of people ask questions, ‘If it wasn’t for the disqualification would have I got through to that [Olympic sprint] final’ but I deserved that final ride tonight and I deserve that gold, so I’m really stoked,” she added.

“I’ve had 14 months out and I feel so rusty; I remember lining up in the first round of the sprint in Manchester, having qualified really badly and thinking, ‘Man, I really feel out of my depth at the moment’. That was simply nerves combined with being a bit rusty,” explained Meares. “It gives me so much confidence to come out here and not only race, but race well and win.”

Women's Individual Pursuit Final
1Wendy Houvenaghel (Great Britain)0:03:33.771 
2Alison Shanks (New Zealand)0:00:00.362 
3Lesya Kalitovska (Ukraine)0:00:04.276 
4Josephine Tomic (Australia)0:00:08.285 
5Eleonora Van Dijk (Netherlands)  
6Ausrine Trebaite (Lithuania)  
7Madeleine Sandig (Germany)  
8Pascale Schnider (Switzerland)  
9Jolien D'hoore (Belgium)  
10Kimberly Geist (United States Of America)  
11Helen Kelly (RDN)  
12Victoria Kondel (Russian Federation)  
13Min Hye Lee (Korea)  
14Wan Yiu Jamie Wong (Hong Kong, China)  
15Adriana Martinez (Mexico)  
Women's Scratch Final
1Evgeniya Romanyuta (Russian Federation)  
2Giorgia Bronzini (Italy)  
3Theresa Cliffryan (VBR)  
4Joanne Kiesanowski (New Zealand)  
5Iryna Shpylova (Ukraine)  
6Elke Gebhardt (Germany)  
7Belinda Goss (Australia)  
8Leire Olaberria Dorronsoro (Spain)  
9Shelley Olds (United States Of America)  
10Andrea Wolfer (Switzerland)  
11Laura Mccaughey (SAL)  
12Ashlee Ankudinoff (Australia)  
13Anna Nagirna (Ukraine)  
14Rochelle Gilmore (RDN)  
15Eleonora Van Dijk (Netherlands)  
16Jessie Maclean (VBR)  
17Jessie Daams (Belgium)  
18Lisa Brennauer (Germany)  
19Min Hye Lee (Korea)  
20Marta Tagliaferro (Italy)  
21Lauren Ellis (New Zealand)  
RELEunmi Park (Korea)  
DNFXiao Juan Diao (Hong Kong, China)  
DNFDulce Pliego (Mexico)  
Men's Team Sprint Final
1Team Jayco0:00:44.589 
 Daniel Ellis  
 Shane Perkins  
 Scott Sunderland  
 Carsten Bergemann  
 Rene Enders  
 Tobias Wachter  
 Sergey Borisov  
 Denis Dmitriev  
 Sergey Kucherov  
 Alex Bird  
 Peter Lewis  
 Jason Niblett  
5New Zealand  
10Grace Institute  
Men's Individual Pursuit
1Jesse Sergent (New Zealand)0:04:23.192 
2Rohan Dennis (Australia)0:00:01.182 
3Vitaliy Shchedov (Ukraine)0:00:08.914 
4Levi Heimans (Netherlands)0:00:14.647 
5Stefan Schäfer (Germany)  
6Asier Maeztu Billelabeitia (Spain)  
7Claudio Imhof (Switzerland)  
8Sun Jae Jang (Korea)  
9Pawel Brylowski (Poland)  
10Viktor Shmalko (Katusha)  
11King Lok Cheung (Hong Kong, China)  
12Yuta Wakimoto (Japan)  
13Simon Llewellyn (Ireland)  
199Po Hung (Chinese Taipei)  
Men's Points Race Final
1Cameron Meyer (Australia)33pts
2Ioannis Tamouridis (Greece)33 
3Lukasz Bujko (Poland)28 
4Michael Freiberg (SAL)26 
5Chris Newton (Great Britain)24 
6Walter Fernando Perez (Argentina)24 
7Kazuhiro Mori (Japan)21 
8Thomas Scully (New Zealand)16 
9Angelo Ciccone (Italy)12 
10Muhamad Adiq Othman (Malaysia)11 
11Unai Elorriaga Zubiaur (Spain)6 
12Ivan Kovalev (Russian Federation)5 
13Tristan Marquet (Switzerland)4 
14Erik Mohs (Germany)2 
15Arno Van Der Zwet (Netherlands)1 
16Tosh Van Der Sande (Belgium)1 
17Ho Ting Kwok (Hong Kong, China)  
18Daniel Kreutzfeldt (Denmark)  
19Roman Kononenko (Ukraine)  
DNFViktor Shmalko (KTA)  
Women's Sprint Semifinals
Heat 1
1Shuang Guo (People's Republic of China)11.643 11.913 
2Kaarle Mcculloch (Team Jayco)  
Heat 2
1Anna Meares (Australia)11.836 11.858 
2Willy Kanis (Netherlands)  
Women's Sprint final
1Anna Meares (Australia)11.646 11.782 
2Shuang Guo (People's Republic of China)  
3Willy Kanis (Netherlands)11.772 11.800 
4Kaarle Mcculloch (Team Jayco)12.069 
5Jinjie Gong (People's Republic of China)  
6Christin Muche (Germany)  
7Yvonne Hijgenaar (Netherlands)  
8Clara Sanchez (France)  
9Lyubov Shulika (Ukraine)  
10Emily Rosemond (Australia)  
11Jessica Varnish (Great Britain)  
12Sandie Clair (France)  
13Olga Streltsova (Russian Federation)  
14Wai Sze Lee (Hong Kong, China)  
15Eunmi Park (Korea)  
16Fatehah Mustapa (Malaysia)  
17Apryl Jessica Eppinger (Philippines)  
18Won Gyeong Kim (Korea)  
19Zhao Juan Meng (Hong Kong, China)  
20Angeliki Koutsonikoli (Greece)  
21Eleni Klapanara (Greece)  
22Huang Ting Ying (Chinese Taipei)  
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