Posted by Editoress on 03/27/09
Day 2 at the Track World Championships saw titles awarded in five events, with the highlight of the evening being the gold medal Individual Pursuit final between Taylor Phinney (USA) and Jack Bobridge (Australia). Phinney took what will likely be the first of many rainbow jerseys, but he and Bobridge raced neck and neck for nearly three-quarters of the 4000 metre event before Phinney finally pulled away. Both riders are still under 20 years of age. Britain also finally got on the winner's board in the Women's Team Pursuit.
Canada had two riders in competition - Travis Smith in the Keirin and Zach Bell in the Scratch Race. Smith came close to qualifying for the second round, but fell inches short in the first race, and then did not move on in the first round repechage.
"In the first [race] I took the front and kept the speed high enough to discourage people come around, but I just got pipped at the line. In the [repechage] ... I honestly don't know, I felt good all day. Ross [Edgar - Great Britain] came down hard from on top. Its hard to know what to do when there are so many different situations and you only do three or four Keirins a year. It wasn't speed, it's a tactical problem."
Men's Scratch Race
Milan-San Remo winner Mark Cavendish (Great Britain) was the clear favourite, and a marked man - any break attempt with him in it was doomed to failure. A group of six finally broke clear and gained half a lap before anyone realized how much of a threat it was. Sporadic chasing started immediately, but it Cavendish joined the chasers it fell apart. The leaders - Morgan Kneisky (Fra), Angel Dario Colla (Arg), Andreas Mueller (Aut), Travis Meyer (Aus), Kazuhiro Mori (Jpn) and Ivan Kovalev (Rus) - worked well together and lapped the field. Cavendish and Hayden Godfrey (New Zealand) made a last ditch attempt to gain back the lap, getting within 60 metres of lapping, but ran out of race. Kneisky took the title, followed by Colla and Mueller. Zach Bell finished with the field in 16th place.
With Sir Chris Hoy (GBr) out due to injury and Arnaud Tournant (Fra) retired and watching from the press tribunal, the Keirin was open. Pre-race favourite Kevin Sireau (Fra) exited in the first round, and the Brits - Matt Crampton and Ross Edgar had to get into the second round through the repechage.
One rider who was going well was Max Levy (Ger), who dominated all of his heats. In the final, he came out of the final turn with a bike length on Francois Pervis (Fra) and Tuen Mulder (Ned) to take his first world title.
Men's Individual Pursuit
We have already mentioned the terrific see-saw battle between Phinney and Bobridge for the gold medal. The bronze medal race pitted Dominique Cornu (Bel) against Volodymyr Diudia (Ukr), with Cornu easily stronger, setting a new Belgian record. Diudia had an interesting ride into the final round: he caught his opponent Adrian Kurek (Pol) in the qualifier, and Kurek then re-passed him (and was subsequently disqualified). The illegal efforts of Kureck probably were a factor in helping Diudia go fast enough to make the final.
Women's Team Pursuit
Australia set the first fast time below 3:30 at 3:27.719, which was eclipsed by New Zealand (3:26.023). Great Britain, starting last, then knocked another second off. In the final, New Zealand put up a good battle for the first kilometre before the Brits started steadily pulling away to win in 3:22.720 . Australia easily disposed of the Netherlands for the bronze.
Women's Team Sprint
It was the Australians against the Brits for this final, and it was the Australian duo of Anna Meares and Kaarle McCulloch who were victorious against defending champions Shanze Reade and Victoria Pendleton, who were in shock after their loss. Lithuania beat France for the bronze.