Posted by Editoress on 04/6/12
Event 1: Flying Lap
Australian former junior sprinter, Annette Edmondson, was always going to be a favourite for the Flying lap and did not disappoint, posting a 14.377. She narrowly beat Great Britain’s Laura Trott, more famous for her world record feats in the Team Pursuit and who rode 14.391. Canada’s Tara Whitten placed sixth in a time of 14.550.
Event 2: 80 Lap Points Race
A noticeable difference in world-level track racing at the moment is the tendency for mass start events to be raced negatively. Both male and female races tend to suffer from a fear of over-committing and/or over-working in the race. It was refreshing to witness Ukraine’s Svitlana Galyuk attack almost from the gun. The effort came tantalisingly close to succeeding in taking a lap, but a move off the front of the bunch forced a reaction and the gap drew out again, killing any hope Galyuk had for success. She eventually conceded after collecting the full points from the first sprint and was reabsorbed into the peloton.
Whitten also tested the waters early, making a move with Korean Min Hye Lee. But any rider in the pack with three recent world titles on their back is certainly one to watch, and the field reacted immediately, with Edmondson leading the way to shut down the effort.
Whitten soon found herself a very popular wheel to be following, and seemed to be getting caught out with closing down breaks and bridging across gaps in the field. USA’s Sarah Hammer was one rider keen to protect herself from too much early work as she stayed within Whitten’s slipstream and didn’t let her out of her sights.
Following the third sprint, a major move succeeded with Germany’s Lisa Brennauer, Czech Republic’s Jarmila Machacova, Venezuela’s Angie Gonzalez Garcia and Japan’s Kanako Kase. Of the four, Brennauer was the biggest threat to the overall with a 15th place finish from round one. The field seemed content that the break was not a huge threat to the overall, and allowed the quartet to secure their lap in a surprisingly short period. Confusion reigned as they caught the field on the sprint lap which disqualified them from gaining additional sprint points. Whitten was able to secure her first points from this sprint with a third place finish.
Whitten seemed to be spending (most of her) time chasing breaks and covering splits in the bunch. With three laps out from sprint five she found herself again on the front, and remained there to lead the field out for the sprint. She was pipped on the line by New Zealand’s Jo Kiesanowski.
Lithuanian rider Ausrine Trebaite hit the deck hard and was forced to abandon, causing the race to be neutralised until the track could be cleared.
When racing resumed, Whitten played a more aggressive role, hitting out hard with nineteen laps remaining and again attacking with fourteen to go. Given her palmares, she was considered far too risky to be given any leeway and all efforts were marked by the field. The final three sprints were each won by different riders, with Trott claiming the final sprint. Whitten finished in 11th.
Omnium standings after round two:
Annette Edmondson 6 points
Laura Trott 10
Sarah Hammer 14
Li Huang 15
Lisa Brennauer 16
Event 3: Elimination
The Elimination had a rocky start with Korean Min Hye Lee being accidentally dropped by her holder at the start line. A full restart of the twenty-three rider field was ordered by commissaries. However within the first lap, Polish rider Malgorzata Wojtyra hit the deck from a touch of wheels. The race was neutralised and Wojtyra was given an opportunity to brush herself down, switch bikes and rejoin the field.
Whitten kept hidden in the pack for the first eliminations, but with 17 riders found herself towards the dangerous back of the pack, forcing a few desperate accelerations to remain in the race. With 14 riders remaining she settled on the front of the race, controlling the pace and staying out of trouble. She remained there for the next twenty laps as a further ten riders were eliminated. The effort in holding the front position eventually wore down Whitten, and she finished fourth.
Wojtyra recovered remarkably well from her earlier fall to finish third, and Laura Trott successfully ensured she spend no time on the back of the field to claim the round three win.
Strong riding by Whitten has moved her up onto the leader board, with a good chance of a medal at the completion of day two. It will be difficult for Whitten to bridge the gap to Trott and Edmondson in the individual pursuit given that all three were part of their respective countries team pursuit line-ups (where Great Britain won gold, Australia silver and Canada bronze).
With Edmondson’s sprint background she is expected to also perform well in the 500m Time Trial. But with mass events anything can happen, and major shake ups to the leader boards are certainly possible.
Omnium standings after round three:
Annette Edmondson 11 points
Laura Trott 11
Sarah Hammer 21
Tara Whitten 21
Evgenia Romanyuta 24
Wrap by Monique Hanley
Men Team Sprint
Track World Championships April 4/12 - April 8/12, Melbourne, Australia
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