By Shane Stokes in Manchester
Having made history on Saturday by being the first woman to win World Championship titles for road competition, cyclo-cross and track, 20 year-old Dutchwoman Marianne Vos has said that her points race victory has boosted her expectations for the Olympic Games.
"This race gives me a lot of confidence," she stated. "It [the Olympics] won't be until August but I will do my best to be 100% there. I will ride both the road race and then track... the road race is a week before the points race, so I plan to compete in two of them and hope to do well in both."
Vos' past victories plus her well-know talent meant that she went into the points race as one of the big favourites. She was closely watched by her rivals early on, but as the race progressed she proved too strong and ripped clear on two occasions. The first of these saw her collect maximum points for sprint five and then gain a full lap on the rest of the field. She then finished second in sprint eight, moving into the overall lead, and then went away from the bunch once more inside the final five laps, hitting the finish line alone and thus making sure of her win.
"I felt good although in the first few sprints I didn't have enough speed to sprint with the best," she continued. "So I had to do it another way. That was to take a lap.
"To win the race is great. After my cyclo-cross and road title, I couldn't imagine that I would do it on the track. But here it happened, I can't believe it."
The Dutch team were also very happy with the success. The dominant Great Britain team has mopped up most of the gold medals on offer in Manchester but Vos' showing means that Netherlands is also on the scoreboard as having won a world title.
"We have silver and bronze medals but didn't get a gold until now," she said, clearly happy to have helped relieve some of that pressure. "This is our first gold but I hope that there will be more.
"I did some speed-work prior to this [to get ready for track racing]. I tried to be in good shape for the road so I did a very good winter and put in a good base. That is what helped me win here."
Given her past success in cycling plus the World Cup points race in Beijing in December, many were predicting that she was capable of adding another rainbow jersey to her collection. She appears to have been less sure, telling her family not to expect too much.
"They didn't make the trip over here," she said. "They usually are at my big races but I said to them that it didn't matter, I am not going to win [laughs - ed.]."
She's undoubtedly happy to have proved herself wrong.
See full coverage of the women's points race.
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