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March 28/10 5:51 am - Track World Championships: Day 4 Report


Posted by Editor on 03/28/10
 

Four world titles were awarded on Day 4 at the 2010 Track Worlds, but the one that mattered the most to Canadians was Tara Whitten's win in the Women's Omnium, the first Canadian world title on the track since Tanya Dubnicoff's Sprint title in 1993.  The only other Canadian in action on Saturday was Travis Smith in the men's Sprint.  Smith finished 26th in qualifying, just outside the top-24 that moved on to the competition rounds.

 

Photos

 

Women's Omnium

Now in its second year at the Worlds, and just announced as an Olympic event for 2012, the Omnium consists of five events that test both a riders speed and endurance.  Starting with the Flying 200 metre time trial, the riders then complete a Scratch Race, Pursuit, Points Race and finish with a 500 metre time trial.

Whitten came into the event as one of the favourites, after winning the silver medal last year.  It was her consistency through the five events which proved to be the successful formula, as others like Yvonne Hijgenaar (Netherlands) could win as many as two events, but still finish behind in the final rankings because of poor performances in other events.

Whitten finished second, ninth, third, sixth and third respectively in the five events to accumulate a total of 23 points (low score wins).  She went into the final 500 metre time trial tied at 20 points with Great Britain's Elizabeth Armitstead.  This was identical to last year, when she was tied with eventual winner Josephine Tomic (Australia), only to record a poor final 500 metre run.

I knew it was very similar to the situation last year, but I had a lot more confidence, knowing that I'd really focussed on the 500 and the standing start, and basically done a standing start every day in training.  So I knew I'd be able to pull it together.  I was just trying to do the start technically well, and powerful and smooth, and then just getting it up to speed and holding on."

"I moved to Los Angeles for the winter, so I was able to train much more consistently on a track than in previous years, and that made a huge difference."

"I don't think it's quite sunk in yet that I won, I was just trying to appreciate the moment on the podium, seeing the Canadian flag."

 

See our video interview with Tara Whitten here.

 

Armitstead took silver with 29 points, and Leire Olaberria (Spain) won bronze, a further point back.

Men's Madison

Cameron Meyer (Australia) took his third title of the championships, along with partner Leigh Howard, in the Madison, after executing a strategically perfect race.  While France and Belgium took early laps on the field to take the lead in the competition, Australia concentrated on winning sprints to build up a bank of points, and then, after the halfway mark launched their attack to gain a lap, which vaulted them into the lead.  From that point, it was just a matter of covering any break attempts, which the Australians did with ease.  France took silver over Belgium by one point.

Women's Sprint


The women's Sprint concluded with the semi-final and medal rounds, and Victoria Pendleton took her fourth consecutive title.  After disposing of Anna Meares (Australia) in the semi-final, she went up against World Cup winner Guo Shuang (China) for the gold medal, which the Brit took easily in two straight rides.  Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania) took the bronze medal ahead of Meares.

Men's Sprint

The men's sprint competition also began on Saturday with qualifying and the first three rounds of competition.  The biggest upset was the elimination of all three British riders in the quarterfinals, including Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy.  Before reaching the quarterfinals, Hoy was forced to go through the Repechage in the 1/8th round, afer getting caught out by German Robert Förstemann.  Förstemann literally sprinted from the line, catching Hoy off guard and turning the race into a 750 metre time trial, with Förstemann holding on by centimetres to win.

After winning his Repechage heat, Hoy went up against defending world champion Gregory Bauge (France), and spectators witnessed some of the most exciting racing of the entire championships between the two stars.  Hoy won the first ride after a strategic race including a track stand display for the crowd.  Bauge won the second, barely, and then rode Hoy off his wheel in the third.

The final four riders for the men's sprint will be Bauge, Förstemann, Shane Perkins (Australia) and Kévin Sireau (France).

Smith was obviously disappointed not to make the competition round, but explained "I got sick, caught a cold, right after the Keirin, so it was a surprise that I actually managed to do a 10.3 .  But, it was definitely my worst ride of these championships."

"It's just been frustrating, because it feels like I can't seem to catch a break, it's annoying.  But, it's also been a good year for making progress since my injury [Smith was badly injured in a crash at the 2007 Worlds].  That's sport, though ... it motivates me more because I know now that if I'm healthy I'm capable of a 10.1 ."

"These Worlds, everyone [on the Canadian team] is doing amazing.  I have to thank the staff, especially Tanya [Dubnicoff - coach].  She's been working with me in LA [Los Angeles] and she knows how I react to situations, so having her here is a good thing."


Smith was obviously disappointed not to make the competition round, but explained "I got sick, caught a cold, right after the Keirin, so it was a surprise that I actually managed to do a 10.3 .  But, it was definitely my worst ride of these championships."

"It's just been frustrating, because it feels like I can't seem to catch a break, it's annoying.  But, it's also been a good year for making progress since my injury [Smith was badly injured in a crash at the 2007 Worlds].  That's sport, though ... it motivates me more because I know now that if I'm healthy I'm capable of a 10.1 ."

"These Worlds, everyone [on the Canadian team] is doing amazing.  I have to thank the staff, especially Tanya [Dubnicoff - coach].  She's been working with me in LA [Los Angeles] and she knows how I react to situations, so having her here is a good thing."

 


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