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Australia dominates opening night in Copenhagen

Meyer dominates points race for repeat victory

Defending champion Cameron Meyer made the points race look almost easy this evening, doubling the points total of silver medallist, Peter Schep. He lapped the field twice, firstly with Schep (Netherlands), Milan Kadlec (Czechslovakia) and Ingmar de Poortere (Belgium) before sealing his second rainbow jersey by taking another lap later in the event.

As time passed, it became increasingly clear that the Australian was on another level. His final points total of 70 to Schep's 33 reflects that, but so too the calm, confident way that he rode the 40 kilometre event. Meyer never appeared to panic and long before the end of the race, it appeared clear that the gold was his.

"I had a really good night. I was very confident going into it," he said. "I had very good legs and kept to my tactic. I knew that in the second half of the bike race I was going to be one of the strongest there, and I knew I just had to be confident going into that second half. That's what I did.

"I didn't think the win would be quite so convincing. But I knew tonight would probably be won on laps. I knew the last two years when I rode - and when I won last year - no laps were taken, it was always won on sprints. But I thought tonight the track was quick and going into the second half of the race, a lot of guys were going to be so tired that it was going to break up."

Meyer bided his time right after the start, not placing in the first of 16 sprints and then netting fourth in the second. That started the ball rolling and he finished just behind Daniel Kreutzfeldt in the third, the Dane enjoying a massive cheer from the home crowd.

Others were wearing themselves out early on, with Roger Kluge (Germany) netting first, first and second early on but failing to take any more points after that. It was something that Schep commented on afterwards, saying that he deliberately held back before he and the other three tried - and succeeded - in gaining their lap.

"It was a tough race. The plan beforehand was to hope for a breakaway with three or four men," explained Schep. "Kluge is one of the best riders in the points, but he spent a lot of energy in the first two or three sprints. Then you get a hard moment."

The quartet clipped away with approximately 90 laps remaining and worked hard to lap the field. That gave them 20 points each and, unless other riders managed to do the same, ensured that the medals would almost certainly be shared between them.

Meyer continued to accumulate points after the effort and was clearly in pole position at the halfway mark. However, he had no intention of leaving anything to chance and decided to go for it again with 49 laps remaining. His rivals chased but he drew further ahead, succeeding in his move with 37 laps from the finish.

From that point on, all he had to do was monitor his key rivals in order to ensure the victory.

"I think second was the best place to hope for today," Schep admitted afterwards. "Cameron was the best, no doubt about it. So I am very happy with the silver. You could see he was the strongest well before halfway. Then, you look to your opponents for second and third. I think that was the best way to do it."

The Dutchman will do the Madison on Saturday and will target a podium place with Danny Stam. They took silver in 2007 and he believes it's possible to net a high finish once again.

Third today was Kadlec, who held off former world champion Chris Newton (Great Britain) by one point. The latter had a very strong race, winning four of the sprints and being placed in five others, but missed out when the others gained a lap. He fought hard to try to nab bronze, but hit the front too early in the push for the final sprint and had to make do with fourth.

Third world title for resurgent Hammer

Sarah Hammer bounced back from a long period of injury to take her third world title, dominating qualifying and the finals of the women's individual pursuit today.

The American rider was two and a half seconds quicker than Wendy Houvenaghel (Great Britain) early this afternoon, recording a time of three minutes 27.826 seconds for the 3000 metres. She opened up a bigger gap in the finals, taking the lead after 500 metres and extending it to almost four full seconds by the finish.

Hammer topped the podium in 2006 and 2007, but then had a couple of years hampered by back problems. She's now back on top of things and said that it has made things all the more sweet.

"This is my third title, every one has been special in its own way," she told Cyclingnews immediately before receiving her new rainbow jersey. "But this one I feel like I enjoyed it from the start... I heard the gunshot, saw my name... I enjoyed it from the very beginning. That's about getting older, enjoying the process of getting to race in the final.

"This morning was just about getting into the top two and doing the fastest time possible. Tonight was about riding the best I could and hopefully winning."

Houvenaghel qualified fastest 12 months ago in Poland, but was beaten by Alison Shanks (New Zealand) in the final. She's taken her second consecutive silver medal and, prior to that, finished fourth twice.

Rather than being frustrated to lose out on gold, she said that she knew she got everything out today.

"After this morning I was really confident about the performance I had delivered, and I was hoping to back that up with another strong performance this evening," she said. "I went out and did my performance to the best of my ability, but it is just that Sarah was a little bit stronger today. She came away with the gold and I have got the silver. I am pleased with my performance, though - the outcome is out of my control, really."

Shanks and Vilija Sereikaite (Lituania) qualified third and fourth-fastest, and scrapped it out for bronze. Shanks was over half a second faster in the early session but never got ahead in the ride-off for the medal. Sereikaite thus ended up third, edging out last year's world champion.

Meares triumphs in her 'pet' event


Australian rider Anna Meares scorched to gold on today's opening leg of the track world championships in Ballerup, Copenhagen, winning the women's 500 metre time trial with a time of 33.381 seconds.


The former Olympic champion was just 0.085 seconds off the world record set by Simona Krupeckaite during last year's worlds in Pruszkow in Poland.

Her time was eight hundredths of a second faster than Krupeckaite today, meaning that the Lituanian had to be satisfied with the silver medal. Meares took revenge for her defeat 12 months ago, and was delighted with the result.

"I am really very happy with my ride, and the fact that it was good enough to get me a world championship," she enthused. "It is my fourth world title. I remember what it felt like to win my first one back in '04 in the 500 in Melbourne. This feels just as sweet, just as good.

"The race was very hard. I knew I had to be on top of my game to beat Simona, and it was close right down to the wire. She is an incredible competitor and to be able to come over the top of her and win - it's really sweet."

Krupeckaite might have been expected to be disappointed, but she was surprisingly upbeat. "I think it is a very good result for me. This year I haven't worked a lot for the 500 metres... this result is very, very good for me and is more than I expect," she said.

"I am also very happy with regards to Anna Meares as she was very close to my record... I am very, very, very happy that the world record is still mine."

Meares was philosophical about not reclaiming the record. "I'm not disappointed," she insisted. "I beat my PB by two tenths, so I can't expect more. Even though I'd like more. You can't take away the incredible ride that Simona did last year, and the world record of 33.2.

She'll go on to do the team sprint, the sprint and the keirin. The Australian said that the busy programme means that she is taking things one day at a time. Winning today took a big chunk of pressure off; she said afterwards that the race was her biggest goal heading into the championships. "This is the event that I love the most, and I have the most fun in" she said.

The bronze medal went to the Belarussian Olga Panarina, who started eleventh and remained in pole position right until the last two riders - Meares and Krupeckaite - went off. She clocked a time 0.4 off Meares' pace, improving considerably from her eighth place last year.

"I am exited by this; I wanted only to improve my world championship result of last year," she said. "I am 24 years old and I want to improve more.

Germany beats France to win team sprint final

Few would have expected the outcome in the team sprint final, with the victors Germany admitting afterwards that even they didn't think they would be standing on the top step of the podium on Wednesday evening.

The trio of Robert Förstemann, Maximilian Levy and Stefan Nimke were second quickest in the evening qualifiers, clocking 43.458 seconds to France's 43.373. They turned that around in the final, going .025 than their previous time and pulling off a surprise upset over Grégory Baugé, Michael d'Almeida and Kévin Sireau. The French riders, who have taken the past four world titles, had to be content with silver.

"Today was the last time I had my world champion jersey from the keirin because you are not allowed to wear it anymore when it gets to 24 hours before the worlds," said a beaming Levy after the race. "I thought it was gone, that I would never win a jersey again. But now, just five hours later, I have it again and I can wear it for one year more.

"For me, it was very hard beforehand to know how it would go. I came into the team just two weeks before, I was qualified. I always have problems with the start. It was very important that I closed the gap. I know when it is working, we go very fast. Today it worked two times. This morning, we thought that we could go for the bronze medal, and if everything is perfect maybe we could get silver. But now we have gold."

Levy said that he thought prior to the qualifiers that the French or British riders were most likely to triumph, but that he and his two team-mates decided to focus completely on their own race and not worry about others. That clearly paid off.

Great Britain was behind on the performance of recent years, qualifying only third fastest and then making do with a bronze against China. It was the first time in six years that they didn't make it into the gold/silver final. However, performance director Dave Brailsford insisted afterwards that he was pleased with the ride, given that Jamie Staff was out due to a back problem and Jason Kenny had to slot into the crucial man one position.

Hoy was also philosophical. While he was undoubtedly disappointed not to be in the final, he said that the trio did their utmost.

"It is nice to have targets, but you try to win every single race you enter. If you enter a few races, you try to win three gold medals," he said. "But maybe it just lets you realise that it is not a formality, that you are not just turning up and taking rainbow jerseys. Every colour of medal is hard-fought. We did the very best we did tonight and I am proud of my achievement."


Men's Team Sprint Final
Robert Förstemann (Germany)
Maximilian Levy (Germany)
Stefan Nimke (Germany)
Gregory Bauge (France)
Michaël D'Almeida (France)
Kévin Sireau (France)
3Great Britain0:00:43.590
Ross Edgar (Great Britain)
Chris Hoy (Great Britain)
Jason Kenny (Great Britain)
Changsong Cheng (People's Republic of China)
Lei Zhang (People's Republic of China)
Miao Zhang (People's Republic of China)

Women's Individual Pursuit Final
1Sarah Hammer (United States Of America)0:03:28.601
2Wendy Houvenaghel (Great Britain)0:03:32.496
3Vilija Sereikaite (Lithuania)0:03:32.085
4Alison Shanks (New Zealand)0:03:32.733

Women's 500m Time Trial - Final
1Anna Meares (Australia)0:00:33.381
2Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania)0:00:33.462
3Olga Panarina (Belarus)0:00:33.779
4Willy Kanis (Netherlands)0:00:33.801
5Sandie Clair (France)0:00:33.992
6Kaarle Mcculloch (Australia)0:00:34.349
7Miriam Welte (Germany)0:00:34.407
8Jinjie Gong (People's Republic of China)0:00:34.538
9Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez (Cuba)0:00:34.674
10Junhong Lin (People's Republic of China)0:00:34.803
11Wai Sze Lee (Hong Kong, China)0:00:34.974
12Jessica Varnish (Great Britain)0:00:34.992
13Virginie Cueff (France)0:00:35.017
14Monique Sullivan (Canada)0:00:35.334
15Yvonne Hijgenaar (Netherlands)0:00:35.418
16Rebecca Angharad James (Great Britain)0:00:35.515
17Olga Streltsova (Russian Federation)0:00:35.601
18Gintare Gaivenyte (Lithuania)0:00:35.603
19Helena Casas Roige (Spain)0:00:35.778
20Renata Dabrowska (Poland)0:00:35.864
21Elisa Frisoni (Italy)0:00:36.255

Men's Points Race Final
1Cameron Meyer (Australia)70pts
2Peter Schep (Netherlands)33
3Milan Kadlec (Czech Republic)27
4Chris Newton (Great Britain)26
5Ingmar De Poortere (Belgium)24
6Christophe Riblon (France)17
7Walter Fernando Perez (Argentina)13
8Roger Kluge (Germany)13
9Daniel Kreutzfeldt (Denmark)10
10Makoto Iijima (Japan)8
11Andreas Müller (Austria)8
12Carlos Torrent Tarres (Spain)5
13Lukasz Bujko (Poland)3
14Angelo Ciccone (Italy)3
15Ho Ting Kwok (Hong Kong, China)
16Tristan Marguet (Switzerland)
DNFZachary Bell (Canada)
DNFIoannis Tamouridis (Greece)
DNFThomas Scully (New Zealand)
DNFArtur Ershov (Russian Federation)
DNSJosé Ramon Infante Aguirre (Mexico)

Men's Team Sprint - Qualifying
Gregory Bauge (France)
Michaël D'Almeida (France)
Kévin Sireau (France)
Robert Förstemann (Germany)
Maximilian Levy (Germany)
Stefan Nimke (Germany)
3Great Britain0:00:43.802
Ross Edgar (Great Britain)
Chris Hoy (Great Britain)
Jason Kenny (Great Britain)
4People's Republic of China0:00:44.017
Changsong Cheng (People's Republic of China)
Lei Zhang (People's Republic of China)
Miao Zhang (People's Republic of China)
5New Zealand0:00:44.450
Edward Dawkins (New Zealand)
Adam Stewart (New Zealand)
Sam Webster (New Zealand)
6Russian Federation0:00:44.498
Sergey Borisov (Russian Federation)
Denis Dmitriev (Russian Federation)
Sergey Kucherov (Russian Federation)
Daniel Ellis (Australia)
Jason Niblett (Australia)
Scott Sunderland (Australia)
Teun Mulder (Netherlands)
Yondi Schmidt (Netherlands)
Roy Van Den Berg (Netherlands)
Maciej Bielecki (Poland)
Kamil Kuczynski (Poland)
Damian Zielinski (Poland)
Kota Asai (Japan)
Yudai Nitta (Japan)
Kazunari Watanabe (Japan)
Stephane Cossette (Canada)
Travis Smith (Canada)
Joseph Veloce (Canada)
12Czech Republic0:00:45.674
Tomas Babek (Czech Republic)
Adam Ptacnik (Czech Republic)
Denis Spicka (Czech Republic)
Vasileios Reppas (Greece)
Christos Volikakis (Greece)
Zafeirios Volikakis (Greece)
Danylo Dutkevych (Ukraine)
Artem Frolov (Ukraine)
Andrii Vynokurov (Ukraine)
David Alonso Castillo (Spain)
Itmar Esteban Herraiz (Spain)
Alfredo Moreno Cano (Spain)
Valerio Catellini (Italy)
Francesco Ceci (Italy)
Luca Ceci (Italy)

Women's Individual Pursuit - Qualifying
1Sarah Hammer (United States Of America)0:03:27.826
2Wendy Houvenaghel (Great Britain)0:03:30.377
3Alison Shanks (New Zealand)0:03:31.259
4Vilija Sereikaite (Lithuania)0:03:31.905
5Ellen Van Dijk (Netherlands)0:03:33.704
6Lesya Kalitovska (Ukraine)0:03:36.159
7Jaime Nielsen (New Zealand)0:03:37.212
8Vera Koedooder (Netherlands)0:03:37.466
9Tara Whitten (Canada)0:03:38.315
10Fan Jiang (People's Republic of China)0:03:38.519
11Pascale Schnider (Switzerland)0:03:39.111
12Ah Reum Na (Korea)0:03:39.518
13Sarah Kent (Australia)0:03:40.779
14Verena Joos (Germany)0:03:41.092
15Dalila Rodriguez Hernandez (Cuba)0:03:41.277
16Charlotte Becker (Germany)0:03:42.068
17Elissavet Chantzi (Greece)0:03:44.802
18Ausrine Trebaite (Lithuania)0:03:45.286
19Vaida Pikauskaite (Lithuania)0:03:45.782
20Debora Galvez Lopez (Spain)0:03:46.051
21Nontasin Chanpeng (Thailand)0:03:54.945
22Wan Yiu Jamie Wong (Hong Kong, China)0:03:59.093


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