Anna Meares amazing in Australian round of UCI World Cup

 

DAY 1

 

Women’s Individual Pursuit

Wendy Houvenaghel was keen to ride this round of the world cup and she definitely made the most of the opportunity, putting in two great rides to take the gold ahead of Alison Shanks from New Zealand.  A victory that must have felt oh so sweet as it was Shanks who beat Houvenaghel at the 2008 World Championship.

 

Houvenaghel was well aware that she would face stiffer competition than she had in the first round in Manchester, but she kept her head and rode to her own schedule as the race swung first one way and then another.  Houvenaghel led in the first kilometre before Shanks came back at her and took the lead, but Houvenaghel had enough to respond and in the last kilometre took the lead again and clearly had no intention of letting it go.

 

No one had ever doubted the grit of Shanks, riding in the World Championship stripes and who follows in the footsteps of the current World Record holder, fellow New Zealander, Sarah Ulmer.

 

Local rider, Tomic, who had taken silver in Manchester, was pushed into the bronze medal ride off, but she was unable to challenge Kalitovska from the Ukraine, who won with ease.

 

Result:

Gold: Wendy HOUVENAGHEL GBR 36 3:33.771

Silver: Alison SHANKS NZL 28 3:34.133

Bronze: Lesya KALITOVSKA UKR 22 3:38.047

4  Josephine TOMIC AUS 21 3:42.056

 

 

Wendy Houvenaghel 

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 sprint

It was the Olympic Bronze medallist, Shang Guo of China, who qualified fastest with 11.207, ahead of Willy Kanis of Holland and local favourite, Anna Meares.

 

Vicky Pendleton sat out this round, leaving Jess Varnish to fly the flag for GB.  Varnish recorded a time of 11.728 for her flying 200m TT, which placed her 10th.  Sadly for Varnish only the top 8 qualifiers went through to next round, so any hopes of a medal were dashed.

 

Qualifying:

1.  GUO Shuang CHN               11.207

2.  KANIS Willy NED                11.348

3.  MEARES Anna AUS              11.414

4.  GONG Jinjie CHN                11.452

5.  MCCULLOCH Kaarle JAY       11.501

6.  MUCHE Christin GER           11.581

10. VARNISH Jessica GBR         11.726

 

Relishing the home crowd atmosphere, whom she credited with propelling her over the line with their support, Meares, brought the stadium to their feet by beating China's Shuang Guo in the gold medal decider, in two straight heats.  Meares was delighted with the victory and with it silenced any questions about her deserving the Olympic Silver medal last year - she won through to the final in Beijing when Guo was disqualified.

 

World silver medallist and ex BMX rider, Willie Kanis took the bronze medal, after a close tussle with Team Jayco's Kaarle McCulloch.  Kanis won the first heat but McCulloch, from Sydney, won the second to force a third and decisive race, which was won by Kanis

 

Result:

Gold: MEARES Anna AUS

Silver: GUO Shuang CHN

Bronze: KANIS Willy NED

11. VARNISH Jessica GBR

 

Women’s scratch

A crash temporarily neutralised the women’s scratch race while Xiao Juan Diao, from Hong Kong, was taken from the track.

 

Once racing resumed, Ukrainian Iryna Shpylova wasted no time in delivering a committed and brave attack.  In a nail biting finish, she held off the bunch until the final half lap, when she was overhauled by the peloton.  The bunch sprint was won by Russia’s Evgeniya Romanyuta from Italian Giorgia Bronzini with bronze taken by the American, Theresa Cliff-Ryan.

 

Result:

Gold: Evgeniya ROMANYUTA RUS

Silver: Giorgia BRONZINI ITA

Bronze: Theresa CLIFF-RYAN USA

 

DAY 2

 

Women’s Points

The world champion, Giorgia Bronzini made up for disappointment in the scratch race the day before by taking the points race in style.  Bronzini took points consistently throughout a race where no rider was able to take a lap and she finished five points ahead of American Shelly Olds.  In fact the bronze and silver medals were decided by the placings in the final sprint and it was Sandig of Germany, who pushed local rider Goss (Australia) out of the medals.

 

Result

Gold: Giorgia Bronzini (Italy) 16 pts

Silver: Shelley Olds (United States Of America) 11  

Bronze: Madeleine Sandig (Germany) 11  

 

Women’s team sprint

World champion Anna Meares teamed up with Emily Rosemond for this round of the world cup.  Her team mate from round 1, Kaarle McCullock was forced to sit out this competition because they were representing different teams, with Meares riding for Australia and McCullock part of Team Jayco.

 

They were disappointed to pick up only a bronze medal on home turf, but there was no doubting the winners; China’s Jinjie Gong and Lin Junhong, who posted a time faster than that of the World Champions, Australia, in Manchester.

 

Silver went to the Dutch pairing of Willy Kanis and Yvonne Hijgenaar, and it was the French team, Clara Sanchez and Sandie Clair, who went home empty handed.

 

Result:

Gold: CHINA (Jinjie GONG, Lin JUNHONG) 33.500  

Silver: NETHERLANDS (Yvonne HIJGENAAR, Willy KANIS) 33.828  

Bronze: AUSTRALIA (Anna MEARES, Emily ROSEMOND) 34.238  

 

DAY 3

 

Women’s Team Pursuit

An event with much greater focus, as a result of it’s proposed inclusion in the 2012 Olympics, the team pursuit is an event that is getting hotter and hotter.

 

GB have dominated this event since its inception, but they fully expected to have to put up a fight for the win in Melbourne.  In addition to expecting strong competition they were missing Lizzie Armistead, one of the original World Championship team who was taking a break after a busy road season, so the line up included Katie Colclough, with Jo Rowsell and Wendy Houvenaghel.

 

And it was the Kiwis, with a team that included the current individual pursuit World Champion, Alison Shanks riding with Rushlee Buchanan, Lauren Ellis, who threw down the gauntlet, laying down a qualifying time almost half a second faster than the British.

 

The margin at this stage was not decisive, although clearly the NZ women were feeling confident going into the gold medal ride off and the well drilled team posted a time two seconds faster than they had in qualifying to take the win by over a second.

 

The Aussies picked up the bronze, defeating the team from Ukraine by over 3 seconds

 

Result:

Gold: NEW ZEALAND 3.24.741 (Boyd, Ellis, Shanks)

Silver: GREAT BRITAIN 3.25.938 (Colclough, Houvenaghel, Rowsell)

Bronze: AUSTRLIA 3.26.869 (Ankudunoff, Kent, Tomic)

 

Women’s Keirin

Anna Meares was magnificent again in the keirin and gave the home crowd plenty to shout about.

 

The only female sprinter sent by GB to this world cup was Jessica Varnish, who did well to finish 3rd in the first round and 2nd in the second round, thereby qualifying for the final.

 

The final itself was mix of some very fine sprinters and the win was taken decisively by Meares.  A victory that saw her push the current World Champion, Shuang Guo into second place.  The bronze medal was picked up by Christin Muche, from Germany with GB’s Varnish in 6th.

 

Result:

Gold: Anna Meares, Australia
Silver: Shuang Guo, China
Bronze: Christin Muche, Germany
6. Jess Varnish, Great Britain

 

Women’s 500 Metre Time Trial

Later the same day, Anna Meares had rounded off what was for her a stunning world cup, by taking gold in a time of 33.583.  The former world record holder set a new Australian record, bringing the crowd to their feet and helping to secure Australia’s position at the top of the league table of World Cup points.

 

Result:

Gold: Anna Meares, Australia, 33.583
Silver: Karrle McCulloch, Australia 34.267
Bronze: Sandi Clair, France, 34.339
5. Jessica Varnish, Great Britain, 34.979

 

 

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

 

UCI Track World Cup Round 1 Manchester 

  

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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