January 20/08 1:08 am - LA Track World Cup: Day 2 report
Posted by Editoress on 01/20/08
LA World Cup
Day 2 Photos - morning session
Men's Keirin - Qualifications
Men's Scratch - Qualifications
Men's Team Pursuit - Qualification
Women's Points Race - Qualifications
Day 2 of the Los Angeles Track World Cup saw seven titles awarded in both endurance and sprint events. Canadians did not fare particulaly well, with only Cam MacKinnon managing to move beyond the preliminary rounds in the afternoon session to participate in the evening finals.
Women's 500 Metre Time Trial
There were no surprises here, with World Cup leader Lisandra Guerra of Cuba taking the win in a fast time of 33.955 seconds, only 0.011 seconds off of Anna Meares' world record. Willy Kanis of the Netherlands was second, a full half second behind and Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania) took the bronze. No Canadians competed.
Men's Team Pursuit
After qualifying fastest, the Danish team exploded in spectacular fashion in the final against Australia, losing their fourth rider less than 1500 metres into the 4000 metre race, and then having their third rider - the one who is timed sliding off the back of the front two. Australia was textbook perfect in their ride to take gold. The Ukraine easily beat the Netherlands for the bronze, setting the fastest time of the day - 4:05.770 .
There was an extremely strong field in LA for the Keirin, led by Arnaud Tournant (Cofidis/France), Ryan Bayley (Toshiba/Australia), Teun Mulder (Netherlands) and Roberto Chiappa (Italy). Canada had two entries - Travis Smith (Momentum) and Cam MacKinnon (Team Canada). The new regulations make it increasingly difficult to move on fom the opening round; only the winner of each heat moves to the second round, with the winners of the repechage heats making up the remainder of the field.
Tournant, Mulder, Bayley, Chiappa, Josiah Ng (Malaysia) and Sergey Borisov (Russia) won the first round heats, with Smith an agonizingly close second. In the repechage, Smith was again second in his heat, but MacKinnon had the Keirin ride of his life to win his heat and move on to the second round.
"I've finally knocked over a pretty big wall," commented MacKinnon. "After the first ride (when he finished fifth) I regrouped, stuck to my plan and was able to do it. I've been going a little too early, but this time I held off a bit and waited until the last lap before kicking it."
Smith was disappointed but philosophical. "Nine months ago they were saying I wouldn't ride my bike again (after his horrific crash and broken pelvis at the 2007 Worlds). So I've come a long way, but it is a bad time to be coming back when this is such a critical time to be getting points." (See our video interview with Travis about his new team)
In the second round, MacKinnon finished fifth and was relegated to the consolation race (the top-3 moved to the gold final), where he ended up sixth (12th overall). Tournant won the gold with a last lap burst of speed that no one could come close to matching, followed by Christos Volikakis (Greece) and Bayley.
Women's Points Race
This race was won by Jamila Machacova (Czech Republic) after a smart move to take a lap on the rest of the field early on. Only one rider was able to follow her move - Min Hye Lee (Korea). The pair therefore had an insurmountable 20 point advantage on the rest of the field, which Machacova padded with a few intermediate sprint points.
This event was a huge disappointment to Canada's Gina Grain, who had high hopes of being competitive in the final, but ended up not making it past the qualifying round. Grain scored 2 points early in the heat, but then couldn't manage any more and finished 10th. The top-8 in each heat moved on to the final. There were two other Canadians in the Points event - Julia Bradley and Stephanie Roorda (Team R.A.C.E.) - neither managed to score points, however, Roorda was in a promising break which came close to lapping the field in her heat.
"It is so frustrating. It was technical problems, not fitness; I'm as fit or fitter than I've ever been. I was doing too much work, covering too many breaks and not playing it smart. Part of it is not enough racing, but I'm also being too impatient." said Grain.
Men's 1000 Metre Time Trial
There was only one rider who mattered in this event - Scott Sunderland (Toshiba/Australia), who crushed the competition with a ride of 1:02.702 . Only World Cup leaer Yevgen Bolibrukh (Ukraine) came close, and he was nearly half a second down. This was Sunderland's first Kilo, and his first World Cup win in any discipline.
Women's Team Sprint
Only seven teams contested the event, with the Netherlands a step up on everyone else. After cruising to victory in the qualifier, 7/10ths of a second ahead of France, they the won the gold over France by an even bigger margin in the final. Australia took the bronze.
Men's Scratch Race
World champion Wong Kam Po (Hong Kong) gave the rest of the field a lesson in tactics, when he hung around at the back of the field until the final 10 laps before launching an attack during a lull in the action. He quickly bridged up to Vasili Kiryienka (Belarus), and the duo rode nearly half a lap clear of the field, who were busy looking at each other, waiting for someone to start the chase. When they finally did get organized it was too late, and Wong Kam Po easily dropped Kiryienka to take the win.
Canada's Ryan MacKenzie started the qualifier and was aggressive in the early going, but dropped out with a little over half the race completed. His Scratch race was only intended as a tuneup for today's Madison.