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Australia overpowers Britain for team pursuit gold

 Confounding the expectations caused by today’s qualification round, the Australian team went considerably quicker than its afternoon time to beat Great Britain in the evening finals, thus denying the favourites gold. The quartet of Jack Bobridge, Rohan Dennis, Michael Hepburn and Cameron Meyer smashed the track record with its time of 3 minutes 55.654 seconds, two and a half seconds faster than the earlier mark.

Meyer had stood in for Leigh Howard in the final, the team opting to replace the latter after he raced this morning. He had been ill during the week and there was a chance that he was running slightly below his usual level.

“I can’t say anything at the moment,” said Bobridge, who was visibly ecstatic after the finish. “Last year I went home with two silver medals. This year I started off not that good, I got a bronze yesterday. I was still happy, but to take the win now…I can’t describe it. And the time we rode just shows we are coming for London, we won’t stop here.

“The boys tonight rode so well as a team. Leigh Howard was fantastic for us in the qualifying. All five of us, we have just got to take it away and soak every minute of it up,” he added.

One of the most remarkable things is the age of the team. Meyer is the oldest, being the grand old age of 22, while Bobridge (20), Howard (20), Dennis (19) and Hepburn (18) are all younger again. In fact, Hepburn was a junior last year, taking the world individual pursuit championship for that age group.

“I’m over the moon. This is amazing…becoming first year senior and getting a start like this is amazing,” he said, clearly very emotional.

The team started rapidly and were over half a second clear of Great Britain by the halfway point. According to Dennis, this was deliberate. “I went out a bit slow in the heats. I thought that I needed to up my game a little bit to get a lead up from the word go, and to just to try to hold on to it,” he said. “I think it was until about two kilometres into it that we extended our lead.”

The British riders came back at them a bit from the halfway point on. However at the finish there was still .152 between them, more than enough for gold to go to Australia. That meant that Meyer added to the title he took on day one.

“It’s unbelievable, a dream come true. To come to the worlds and get two rainbow jerseys is just unbelievable,” he said. “The boys rode so well…we have to congratulate Leigh too. He rode a fantastic time in the qualifying. We did a bit of a switch around but he was very much part of this rainbow jersey, as all of we were.”

Ed Clancy was part of the British team which won in 2007 and 2008, but was able to look for positives in defeat today. “Obviously we are disappointed to lose. But in hindsight, we had the fastest qualifying time ever. We did a 55 in the final…we didn’t have Geraint Thomas and Bradley Wiggins, although you can’t say that we would necessarily be faster with those guys.

“Anyway, we have a little bit more to come. We certainly didn’t underperform today. We thought 56, 57 would win, but not this time,” he added.

Mulder repeats history ahead of French duo in men’s kilo

Dutchman Teun Mulder repeated his 2008 victory in the kilometre time trial today, going almost precisely one second quicker than when he took the rainbow jersey in Manchester. He blasted around the Ballerup velodrome in a time of 1:00.341 seconds, setting a new world record for sea level.

This was a considerable 0.325 seconds faster than the mark set by 2009 champion Stefan Nimke (Germany) at last year’s worlds.

Coincidentally, the two other riders on the podium with Mulder were Frenchmen Michaël D'Almeida and François Pervis (France), who were also second and third behind him in 2008. D’Almeida was .543 seconds back, also dipping under 1.01.

Nimke went off last as defending title holder but simply wasn’t on the same form as 12 months ago. He had to make do with fourth place, thus ending his time in the rainbow jersey.

Mulder already knew what it was like to end up just outside the medals, finishing in that position in yesterday’s Keirin. “Yesterday I was fourth so I was really determined to get a medal today. I knew my condition was good but I didn’t know it was so good to win today,” said the 2005 world keirin champion. “There were a lot of good riders and when I saw at the end that I won, I was really, really happy.”

Coming out on top was a surprise, and so too his time. “I didn’t expect this,” he admitted. “I was hoping to do 1.01, so to do 1.0 is unbelievable. I am the happiest person in the world right now.”

D’Almeida had bittersweet feelings about his own result. “I am only slightly happy because I got the silver medal,” he said. “My objective was to win the kilo and the team sprint. In two disciplines I got the silver medal, so I’m only slightly happy.”

The Frenchman said that he was surprised that Mulder was so good today. “In some ways I’m surprised, in some ways not. Two years ago, he won the kilo and I was second. Today, I thought Stefan Nimke would be the best. It was a little unexpected to see Mulder win…in the World Cups, he did not win and did not do very, very good times. But today he had an exceptional time.”

Guo on track for world title

World Cup winner Shuang Guo (China) won the first quarterfinal of the women’s sprint, coming from behind to comfortably beat Olga Panarina (Belorussia). She repeated the tactic in heat two and progressed to the semi finals.

500 metre TT winner Anna Meares (Australia) led from the front against Kristina Vogel in their first test and held off the German. She then ushered her opponent up the banking in heat two, then jumped with a lap to go and hit the line well clear. However she was disqualified due to changing her line.

That ensured things went to a third round, where Vogel struck out very early but was overhauled before the finish by a confident Meares.

Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain) showed well in her clash against Victoria Baranova, easily passing the Russian after the bell. Baranova went with a lap to go in heat two but Pendleton had no problems at all in passing her and going through, looking far stronger than her qualifying time trial place of seventh suggested.

Kaarle McCullough looked to be a doubtful starter in her 1/8 final against Simona Krupeckaite (Lituania), suffering from severe cramp just before the off. After about five minutes she did make it onto the track, and jumped hard from behind with just over a lap to go. However the Australian was easily passed by her opponent.

She was even more hampered in the second heat, and had no answer at all when Krupeckaite jumped with two laps to go.

Vogel wins women’s sprint 5-8 final

After her disappointment in losing out to Anna Meares (Australia), Kristina Vogel (Germany) refocussed and ended up the winner of the women’s 5-8 finals. She made her move with a lap to go, passing the Russian rider Victoria Baranova and accelerating to the line.

Kaalre McCulloch appeared to have recovered from the cramping problems which frustrated her aim to get into the final. The Australian chased Vogel all the way to the line and finished sixth overall in the competition, while Olga Panarina (Belorussia) and Baranova were seventh and eighth.

The medal contenders will line out tomorrow afternoon for their finals.

Jeuland avoids accidents to win women’s scratch

French rider Pascale Jeuland avoided two spectacular crashes to win the women's scratch race, beating the Cuban Yumari Gonzalez and Belinda Goss, with the Australian salvaging a medal after falling with seven laps to go.

"I used a bigger sprocket than usual for the race and that really helped," the 22 year old from Rennes said afterwards. "The race was very good, I had nice sensations. My objective was to wait for the sprint. With the crash, that complicated things. I was quite close to it but had enough time to react and avoid it. So everything worked out well for me."

Early on, Iryna Shpylyova (Ukraine) was clear for several laps but was caught with about 20 to go. More attacks followed, with Goss, Jarmila Machacova (Czech Republic) and Jueland racing ahead with 14 laps left. The bunch reacted, however, with Vera Koedooder (Netherlands) particularly active in bringing the trio back.

Several riders went down in a big crash with 12 laps to go, after which Koedooder went clear. She was chased by Machacova but both were caught with seven laps remaining. Danish rider Julie Leth then clipped a wheel on the finishing straight and fell, sliding down the track and into the path of several oncoming riders.

This second big crash saw Shelley Evans (USA) go straight over the bars and break a tooth, as well as several bikes being badly damaged. Goss also fell, and said afterwards that her only thoughts were to quickly get going again.

"As soon as I was up in the air and I knew I was crashing, I was just thinking 'I've got to get up, got to get up,' as we were nearing the end. You can't get back in after five laps to go, and all I could think about was getting on my bike," said Goss. "I fell pretty hard but I guess the adrenaline kicked in."

Several riders tried to clip away before the end but it came down to a bunch finish. Jeuland kicked hard on the back straight, getting out of the saddle to pull slightly ahead and then buried herself to hit the line first. Gonzalez and Goss came in next, with Kelly Druyts (Belgium), Machacova and Malgorzata Wojtyra (Poland) finishing just
outside the medals.

Goss was disappointed with how things played out, but rode strongly to take a medal. "It (the crash) threw the race completely and everyone was in a different spot to when I left the race. I just jumped back in and tried to find a good wheel, but in the end I didn't quite have it to come over everybody. I got another bronze but I guess a medal is a medal."

Men's Team Pursuit Final
Jack Bobridge
Rohan Dennis
Michael Hepburn
Cameron Meyer
2Great Britain0:03:55.806
Steven Burke
Edward Clancy
Ben Swift
Andrew Tennant
3New Zealand0:03:59.475
Sam Bewley
Westley Gough
Peter Latham
Jesse Sergent
Niki Byrgesen
Michael Faerk Christensen
Jens­Erik Madsen

Men's Kilometre TT
1Teun Mulder (Netherlands)0:01:00.341
2Michaël D'Almeida (France)0:01:00.884
3François Pervis (France)0:01:01.024
4Stefan Nimke (Germany)0:01:01.086
5Edward Dawkins (New Zealand)0:01:01.372
6Miao Zhang (People's Republic of China)0:01:01.520
7David Daniell (Great Britain)0:01:02.033
8Scott Sunderland (Australia)0:01:02.291
9David Alonso Castillo (Spain)0:01:03.004
10Yevgen Bolibrukh (Ukraine)0:01:03.038
11Kamil Kuczynski (Poland)0:01:03.056
12Rene Enders (Germany)0:01:03.058
13Quentin Lafargue (France)0:01:03.100
14Chongyang Wang (People's Republic of China)0:01:03.140
15Ethan Mitchell (New Zealand)0:01:03.389
16Joachim Eilers (Germany)0:01:03.503
17Nikolay Zhurkin (Russian Federation)0:01:03.525
18Adrian Teklinski (Poland)0:01:03.568
19Myron Simpson (New Zealand)0:01:03.691
20Yudai Nitta (Japan)0:01:03.762
21Clemens Selzer (Austria)0:01:03.766
22Francesco Ceci (Italy)0:01:04.101
23Philip Nielsen (Denmark)0:01:04.609
DSQTomas Babek (Czech Republic)
DSQGiddeon Massie (United States Of America)

Women's scratch race final
1Pascale Jeuland (France)
2Yumari Gonzalez Valdivieso (Cuba)
3Belinda Goss (Australia)
4Kelly Druyts (Belgium)
5Jarmila Machacova (Czech Republic)
6Malgorzata Wojtyra (Poland)
7Ah Reum Na (Korea)
8Tatsiana Sharakova (Belarus)
9Julie Leth (Denmark)
10Xiao Juan Diao (Hong Kong, China)
11Elissavet Chantzi (Greece)
12Vera Koedooder (Netherlands)
13Paola Munoz (Chile)
14Andrea Wolfer (Switzerland)
15Rushlee Buchanan (New Zealand)
16Elke Gebhardt (Germany)
17Alzbeta Pavlendova (Slovakia)
18Iryna Shpylyova (Ukraine)
19Ana Usabiaga Balerdi (Spain)
20Anna Blyth (Great Britain)
21Svetlana Pauliukaite (Lithuania)
22Giorgia Bronzini (Italy)
DNFEvgeniya Romanyuta (Russian Federation)
DNFShelley Evans (United States Of America)

Women's Sprint 1/4 Final Heat 1
1Suang Guo (China)0:00:11.3220:0:11.353
2Olga Panarina (Belarus)

Women's Sprint 1/4 Final Heat 2
1Anna Meares (Australia)0:00:11.5870:0:11.704
2Kristina Vogel (Germany)0:0:11.982

Women's Sprint 1/4 Final Heat 3
1Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain)0:00:11.7550:0:11.843
2Victoria Baranova (Russian Federation)

Women's Sprint 1/4 Final Heat 4
1Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania)0:00:11.6710:0:15.102
2Kaarle Mcculloch (Australia)


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