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Italy takes first Madison gold in Minsk - Women's News Shorts

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Italy's Letizia Paternoster celebrates the team pursuit win

Italy's Letizia Paternoster celebrates the team pursuit win (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Macey Stewart (Wiggle HIgh5)

Macey Stewart (Wiggle HIgh5) (Image credit: Wiggle High5)
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Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Canyon-SRAM)

Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Canyon-SRAM) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/

The Italian duo of 18-year-old Letizia Paternoster and Maria Giulia Confalonieri scored the country's first gold medal in the Madison at the UCI Track World Cup in Minsk, Belarus on Sunday.

The duo defeated the more experienced Dutch pair of Amy Pieters and Kirsten Wild by 29 points to 25 after swapping the lead throughout the race. Coming into the seventh of eight sprints, the two teams were tied on points, but the Italian team shot clear to take the five points while the Dutch duo missed out. The Italians managed to get over the Dutch in the final sprint, taking second behind the Russian duo of Olga Zabelinskaya and Martia Novolodskaya to seal the win.

After coming third in Pruzkow, Manchester and Santiago, the Italians claimed the World Cup overall victory in the Madison for the season.

Paternoster, a five-time junior track world champion, is in her first season at the elite level. The success of her Madison partnership with Confalonieri came after the country's team pursuiters sealed the overall World Cup in that discipline after taking three silvers and one gold during the series.

Canada's 'NextGen' team takes bronze, second overall in World Cup Team Pursuit

Canada's 'NextGen' squad of young team pursuiters claimed an important bronze medal and second overall for the country in the final World Cup in Minsk.

Erin Attwell, Maggie Coles-Lyster, Devaney Collier, and Laurie Jussaume set the third fastest time in the two early rounds to make the bronze medal final against France. Already ahead in the 4km race, the Canadians were assured victory when the French team crashed out of the race.

"We started out really smooth, and the plan was to focus on the technical aspects of our ride; executing well, staying on the black line and communicating," Attwell said in a team press release. "We did a really good job of working together as a team. It's the first time that we have executed everything perfectly; we had such a smooth ride for all three [races], and every ride got better technically and we got faster in every ride. It's exciting for the future."

Canada is building up its programme after the Olympic success of past years, most recently the bronze medal in Team Pursuit by Allison Beveridge, Jasmin Glaesser, Kirsti Lay, Georgia Simmerling and Laura Brown.

Head coach Jacques Landry Chief was pleased with the young riders' progress. "Saturday was a good day for the team. Our NextGen TP squad rode three great rides, on schedule, every time," he said. "The strategy was easy for them - it was to focus on their own race, communicate and strive for flawless execution. They met the strategic goals which led to a bronze medal; a bronze medal that may not have happened without the great preparation from NextGen coach, Jenny Trew, along with on-point in the field input from our physiologist, Emily Wood."

Ferrand-Prévot scores home World Cup medal

Pauline Ferrand-Prévot worked her way up from the back of the bunch to a hard-fought third place in her home round of the 2018 UCI Cyclocross World Cup in Nommay, France. It was the first World Cup podium of the season for the Canyon-SRAM rider, who out-powered Helen Wyman and Christine Majerus on the final lap to take third behind winner Katie Compton and runner-up Katie Keough.

"It was a muddy, old school track," Ferrand-Prévot said in a team press release. "You needed a lot of power to get through the mud and you had to run quite a lot on that course."

Since beginning her 'cross season in December, Ferrand-Prévot has been forced to start from the back of the grid. On Sunday she had 56 riders to get past. "I didn't have the best start, I was quite far away. But I didn't panic. I just kept pushing and fighting right from the start," she explained. "Lap by lap I felt better. In the end I could gain some positions and I'm happy to get third, especially because it's a World Cup podium. We're also in France and it's always special to finish on the podium here."

Thanks to her podium, Ferrand-Prévot is now 19th in the World Cup rankings, but is still quite distant in the rolling individual UCI standings, and will still start near the back at the next World Cup in Hoogerheide and at the World Championships next month in Valkenburg.

Stewart recovering after Santos Women's Tour crash

Macey Stewart (Wiggle High5) is recovering from successful plastic surgery to fix the facial injuries she sustained in a crash in the first stage of the Santos Women's Tour. She crashed after hitting the foot of a metal barricade in the final sprint.

"I underwent plastic surgery on my eye on Wednesday, which ended up being more invasive than first thought," Stewart said in a team press release. "I now have a plate replacing my orbital floor and holding my eye in place. It has taken more out of me than I thought, however, I am hoping to recover quickly and be back on an ergo as soon as possible."

Stewart, 22, joined Wiggle High5 at the four-day race in what was her debut event with the team. She crashed on the final corner, with in the final few hundred metres of the 115km stage in Gumeracha. The crash happened after she finished a successful lead-out that brought teammate Nettie Edmondson to the stage win.

"On the first stage of the TDU we had had a really great team race, especially being our first race together," Stewart said. "Within the last 200 metres I had dropped Nettie off for the sprint – which she won – and whilst still sprinting for the finish myself I clipped a metal barricade that was protruding onto the road.

"As I was travelling so fast and was stopped very abruptly when hitting the barricade, I sustained injuries to most of my body."

A medical update from race organisers initially said that she was pulled from the race due to a concussion. According to a recent team press release, however, subsequent test revealed a fractured eye socket.

"After a trip via ambulance to hospital and many doctor visits and X-rays due to the pain I was in, it was discovered I had a severe fracture/collapse in my eye socket, a fractured big toe and lots of skin off," Stewart said. "I am now in a moon boot to allow my toe to heal as quickly as possible."

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