GB dominate round 1 of the UCI Track World Cup in Manchester

 

British riders were looking to put down some serious results at the first round of the 2009/1010 World Cup series.  A chance to demonstrate to the world that, after a slight dip in performance post Beijing, they are now back in the saddle and back in business.

 

Such is the buzz about the sport these days, that it is not unusual to see ticket touts operating outside the velodrome. 

 

Certainly, none of the supporters that got tickets to cheer on the team could have been disappointed.  British riders struck gold 10 times across 17 events, not to mention the four silvers and a bronze.  Significantly, no less than four of the gold medals were won by women

 

DAY 1

 

Women’s Sprint

 

As the host nation, GB had entered a very strong field of riders at this World Cup and that included no less than three women sprinters.  Vicky Pendleton, the reigning World Champion was joined by Jess Varnish and, making her debut in at a senior international even, the junior World Champion, Rebecca James.

 

In qualifying, Pendleton riding off last and resplendent in the rainbow stripes, was the only rider to go under 11 seconds.

 

 

Photograph: Jeff Baird

 

QUALIFYING

1 V. Pendleton GBR 10.998
2 S. Guo CHN 11.098
3 J. Gong CHN 11.149
4 O. Panarina BLR 11.193
5 W. Kanis NED 11.289
6 S. Krupreckaite LTU 11.337

With the top 16 progressing to the next round, Varnish and James earned themselves another ride, but both were defeated in round one.

 

All of top seeds progressed untroubled thro ugh to the next round, where Pendleton, Guo and Krupeckaite defeated their opponents 2-0 to progress to the semis.  It was Panarina who upset the order by defeating the 2009 world silver medallist, Kanis and progressing through to the last four.

 

At this stage, whilst Pendleton might have left it rather late to come around her opponent in some of the early rounds, she never looked troubled.  However that was all to change in the semi-finals when she met Panarina, a relative unknown on the international circuit.  Here Pendleton lost the first heat, in a shock result that silenced the home crowd.  However, she managed to win the next two heats to progress through to the gold medal ride off with Guo.

 

Once again, Pendleton was made to work for it, as Guo managed to pass her in heat two, forcing a third and deciding heat.

 

It was an emotional Pendleton who won the final heat to secure the gold medal and she admitted to feeling a little ashamed by her poor tactical awareness, especially whilst wearing the rainbow stripes.

 

Result:

GOLD: PENDLETON Victoria GBR

SILVER: GUO Shaung CHN

BRONZE: KRUPECKAITE Simona LTU

 

Women's Scratch Final 

 

It was a strong field that lined up for the women’s scratch final, but sadly for home rider Lizzie Armitstead her every move was marked.  That played to advantage of six riders who gained a lap following an attack by the Cuban rider, Gonzalez, on lap 26.  Once back in the pack, these riders kept the pace on and no one else gained a lap.

 

The eventual winner was Belinda Goss of Australia, who secured gold in a bunch sprint.

 

Result

GOLD: GOSS Belinda AUS

SILVER: ROMANYUTA Evgeniya RUS

BRONZE: OLDS Shelley PRO

10 ARMITSTEAD Elizabeth GBR

 

DAY 2

 

Women's 500m Time Trial

 

Former World Champion, Anna Meares of Australia, looked to be in stunning form for her specialist event, the 500m TT.  The former world record holder put in a stunning performance just after Vicky Pendleton had bought the home crowd to their feet by recording 33.838, which proved good enough for silver.

 

Result

GOLD: MEARES Anna AUS 33.632

SILVER: PENDLETON Victoria SKY 33.838

BRONZE: KANIS Willy NED 33.984

 

Women's Individual Pursuit

 

Wendy Houvenaghel, the silver medallist from Beijing, looked unbeatable throughout the competition.  She recorded the fastest qualifying time with an enormous margin of 9 seconds to the Australian, Josephine Tomic, who was going to have to do something spectacular to overhaul her in the medal ride off.

 

It was therefore no surprise that the gold was taken by Houvenaghel, who caught her opponent in the final and then went on to finish the distance, once again bringing the home crowd to their feet in appreciation.

 

Result

GOLD: HOUVENAGHEL Wendy GBR 3.31.929

SILVER: TOMIC Josephine AUS (caught)

BRONZE: OLABERRIA DORRONSORO Leire ESP 3.42.255

 

 

Wendy Houvenaghel on the podium 

 

Photograph courtesy of www.trackcycling.me.uk The only website dedicated to track cycling - from local track leagues to top level international competition

 

 

Women's Team Sprint

 

Australia’s team of Anna Meares and Kaarle McCullock, the current world champions, were unstoppable in the team sprint.  They qualified fastest and then went on to win the gold medal by almost half a second from the Netherlands.  This was Meares second gold medal of the day, having secured the 500mTT earlier in the session.

 

The young British pairing of James and Varnish, did well to qualify for the bronze medal ride off and came within 1/10th of a second of taking the medal but sadly were beaten by the German team of Gloss and Welte.

 

Result:

GOLD: Australia 33.653 (MCCULLOCH Kaarle, MEARES Anna)

SILVER: Netherlands 34.014 (HIJGENAAR Yvonne, KANIS Willy)

BRONZE: Germany 34.390 (GLÖSS Dana, WELTE Miriam)

4th: Great Britain 34.414 (JAMES Rebecca, VARNISH Jessica)

 

 

Women's Points Race

 

In the women’s points race, Lizzie Armitstead kept her head to secure the win, a result which was clinched in the very last sprint.  Armitstead was working hard for points throughout the race and appeared to be suffering towards the end, but she dug deep and went long to take maximum points in the final sprint and with it the gold medal.

 

Silver went to the Cuban, Gonzalez, who won the first sprint of the race and then tried to take the race to the rest of them by attacking to gain a lap, but it was not to be.

 

Another move that looked as if it might stick was made by the rider from Belarus, Sharakova.  She gained half a lap on her own before the field closed her down.

 

Result:

GOLD: ARMITSTEAD Elizabeth GBR 16pts

SILVER: GONZALEZ VALDIVIESO Yumari CUB 11pts

BRONZE: ROMANYUTA Evgeniya RUS 10pts

 

DAY 3

 

Women's Keirin

 

Simona Krupeckaite, who had progressed to the final via the repechage in round one, took the gold medal in the Women's Keirin, beating World Champion, Shuang Guo of China and Australian Anna Meares.

 

When the derny pulled off, Meares was the first to take the race on, with Guo on her wheel.  Guo moved to the front with Krupeckaite following and the Lithuania attacked with a lap to go and the determination to hold on for the win.

 

Vicky Pendleton, who had won her first round heat with apparent ease and then done just enough to qualify for the final in round two, took up a position at the back of the string of six, as it was paced by the derny.  She tried to come around her opponents in the final stages, but once the pace was on, there was little she could do to improve her position and she finished in 5th.

 

Pendleton was the only British rider to make the final.  Jess Varnish was disqualified in the first round for passing the derny, while Becky James rode well to finish third in her heat, but did not progress through repechage.

 

Result:

Gold - Simona Krupeckaite

Silver - Shuang Guo

Bronze - Anna Meares

 

Women's Team Pursuit

 

The current world champions from Great Britain: Lizzie Armitstead, Wendy Houvenaghel and Joanna Rowsell smashed the world record with an incredible 3.21.875 ride to take top honours in the Team Pursuit, once again lighting up the crowd who had been treated to a feast of superb British performances all weekend.

 

Silver went to the German team of Brennauer, Joos and Sandig whilst the Australian team of Downing, Goss and Tomic took bronze pushing the Netherlands into fourth.

 

 

Result:

GOLD: Great Britain 3.21.875 WR (ARMITSTEAD Elizabeth, HOUVENAGHEL Wendy, ROWSELL Joanna)

SILVER: Germany 3.26.403 (BRENNAUER Lisa, JOOS Verena, SANDIG Madeleine)

BRONZE: Australia 3.28.005 (DOWNING Tess, GOSS Belinda, TOMIC Josephine)

 

 

Check out the results from the other rounds of the World Cup here:

 

UCI Track World Cup Round 2 Melbourne  

 

UCI Track World Cup Round 3 Cali 

 

 

 

And you can read an interview with Wendy Houvenaghel here:

 

Interview with Wendy Houvenaghel 

 

 

 

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