Posted by Editoress on 12/30/10
The final day of the Elite men's and women's competition saw a continuation of the aggressive racing that has made this week some of the best track racing ever seen in Canada. The crowd was also the highest ever seen at the Burnaby velodrome, with a line up of over 30 minutes just to get into the in-field beer garden. The action continues tomorrow for a separate Omnium event (non-UCI).
Sarah Hammer (Ouch) continued her winning ways in the opening event of the women's competition, a 50 lap Scratch Race. After a slow start, the action began to heat up with an attack halfway into the race by Jeanann McKirdy (Local Ride). McKirdy gained half a lap before the top riders decided to chase her down. A few laps later three more riders decided to take a flyer - Jenny Lehmann (Mighty Riders), Rachel Canning (Local Ride) and Morgan Cabot (Glotman Simpson). With seven laps to go it was starting to look pretty good for them, since no one wanted to initiate the chase. However, Pascal Schnider (Switzerland) was the first top-ranked rider to attack, then Hammer exploded off the front, scooping up the leaders with a lap to go and taking the win. Just as importantly, Schnider took second, allowing her to erase four of her six points deficit to Tara Whitten (Velocity).
The second race of the evening for the women was an Elimination event, with the last rider across the line on every second lap pulled. Overall leader Sarah Hammer was the third rider eliminated, and Pascal Schnider the seventh, giving Whitten the opportunity to make up ground on both her rivals. The Omnium and Points world champion played a dangerous game of sitting at the back until the last half lap of each elimination lap and then moving up. It served her well until the final against Junior rider Jasmin Glaesser (Cycling BC), when she reacted late to an attack by Glaesser and had to settle for second.
The ninth and final race of the women's competition was a 100 lap Points race, with sprints every ten laps. Hammer had a pretty solid lock on first overall - 12 points up on Whitten, with Schnider a further 8 points in arrears. But it was still close enough for an upset, so the racing was aggressive.
Cari Higgins (Peanut Butter/2012) was the first to take a lap, with Hammer, Schnider, Whitten Joanne Keisanowski (TIBCO) and Jasmin Glaesser (Cycling BC) following soon after. Then Hammer and Schnider took a second lap, to move into the lead. Whitten waited patiently, racking up a few intermediate points before launching her own successful bid to take another lap. Hammer grabbed the victory, followed by Schnider and Whitten.
In the final overall standings, Hammer finished on top with 157 points, followed by Whitten at 125 and Schnider also at 125. Whitten took second based on more event wins.
The men opened with split races - half of each team raced a 75 lap Scratch Race, and the other half an Elimination race. In the Scratch race, a late effort by Colby Pearce (Saputo) and Ryan Aitcheson came close to succeeding, and only a strong chase led by Svein Tuft (Haywood) and Christian Meier (Garmin) brought it back with two laps to go. Ian Moir gave Trainer Mic their second win in two days, ahead of Jackie Simes (Hayman) and Tuft.
The second half of the elite teams raced an Elimination race, which turned out to be one of the most exciting of the week. Every two laps another rider was eliminated, until only two were left - Tyler Farrar (Garmin) and Dan Holloway (Saputo). Farrar led out the last lap, and held off a late challenge in the last two turns by Holloway to give Garmin their second win of the event.
The first race for all the men was a Madison Elimination, with one team eliminated every five laps. This led to some interesting manuevering, as teams tried to coordinate their changes with one to two laps before an elimination sprint. The top teams took no chances with this race, with the Garmin duo of Meier and Farrar eliminated fourth from the end, then Carney and Allen (R&B), leaving Pearce and Holloway (Saputo) to go against Tuft and Bell (Haywood). The Canadian pair timed it perfectly, with Tuft ramping up the pace to open a slight gap, before handing over to Bell for the last lap and the win, keeping them solidly in second overall behind Saputo.
The final event of the competition was a 125 lap Madison, with sprints at every 25 laps. This was Bell's and Tuft's final chance to take back the lap they were behind to Pearce and Holloway. The pair gave it a strong effort, spending nearly 50 laps away as Saputo, Garmin and other teams chased. For a while, Tuft and Bell went nearly half a lap up, and it looked like Pearce and Holloway were close to cracking. But the American duo are highly experienced at Six Day racing in Europe, and managed to finally pull the Canadians back. However, Bell and Tuft took some revenge by winning the Madison, followed by Jackie Simes and Bobby Lea, then Garmin and Saputo back in fourth.
In the overall standings after 12 events, Saputo (Pearce/Holloway) finished a lap up and with 174 points, followed by Haywood (Bell/Tuft) at 146, with Ian Moir and Danny Heeley (Trainer Mic) a distant third with 88 points.
- Cam MacKinnon did not start today after his crash yesterday. He hit his head, cracking his helmet and gashing his forehead. He is expected to be fine, and will contest the Omnium on Thursday.
- Between races, a Courier Challenge was held. The riders had a 'Le Mans' start, by running half a lap to their bikes, donning a pack and then racing for five laps.
Full results , For photos click on Photo Galleries on front page
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