Track World Championships: Commissaires and controversy decide titles on day three
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Friday, April 6, 2012

Track World Championships: Commissaires and controversy decide titles on day three

by Ben Atkins at 10:04 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track, World Championships
Pendleton takes Meares and sixth title; O’Shea takes the Omnium; Judges take out sprinters who can’t keep their line

victoria pendletonThe third day of the World Track Championships in Melbourne, Australia, was another eventful one, as the commissaires made themselves felt in a pre-Olympic crackdown. Strict application of the rule that requires sprinters to keep their line saw some controversial relegations in both the men’s and women’s Sprint, with the latter leading to a surprise awarding of the title as both finalists were warming up for their deciding race.

The men’s Omnium finished with a roar, as the women’s event started with even more drama, while a dramatic women’s Scratch Race went to a fast finisher.

Women’s Sprint: Strict commissaires hand Victoria Pendleton an emotional sixth title
Great Britain’s Victoria Pendleton took a morale-boosting pre-Olympic World Sprint title, thanks to some strict application of the rules by the event commissaires. The 31-year-old was narrowly beaten in the second of three final races with Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania), but the former 200 metre record holder was adjudged to have move - slightly - outside the sprinter’s line and was relegated.

The news came late, as both were warming up for the third race; Pendleton collapsed to her knees with the emotion of an unexpected record-equalling sixth title.

“That's not necessarily the way I'd like to win, in an ideal scenario, with relegations and stuff,” Pendleton told the BBC. “It always feels a bit weird and not very true to the sport, but those are the rules.

“I'm delighted with the result,” she added. “I didn't think it was going to happen coming into today.

The British rider, who hopes to defend her Beijing Olympic gold in London in three months time, will be retiring after the games and so is riding her last ever World championships.

“It's great to end on a high,” she said.

Pendleton’s “grudge-match” semi-final against Australia’s Anna Meares had been similarly eventful, with the two rivals drawn against each other as they had been in London six weeks before. The British rider moved outside the red line herself in the first race, but panicked a little and crashed heavily on the boards; handing round one to the Australian.

Round two saw Meares relegated for moving off-line, while a photo-finish saw Pendleton take the third, and decisive, race to set up a final encounter with Krupeckaite.

Having been beaten by Pendleton, Meares made short work of the bronze medal ride-off, dispatching Ukrainian Lyubov Shulika in two legs to take a consolation in front of her home crowd.

Result Women’s Sprint
1. Victoria Pendleton
2. Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania)
3. Anna Meares (Australia)
4. Lyubov Shulika (Ukraine)
5. Guo Shuang (China)

Men’s Sprint: Controversy and disqualifications see the favourites in the semi-finals
More disqualifications in the early rounds of the men’s sprint competition led to a semi-final line up of favourites for the following day. France’s Gregory Bauge qualified the quickest, recording 9.854 for his flying 200 metres, setting himself up as the top seed in the match sprint competition, which saw him cruise, undefeated, to the medal rounds.

Great Britain’s Olympic champion Chris Hoy did things the hard way however, as he ws beaten by France’s Mickaël Bourgain in the eighth-finals and was forced to progress via the repecharge. The Scotsman then took three rounds to get by Germany’s Robert Förstemann to put himself into the next day’s semi-final. Hoy’s compatriot, reigning champion Jason Kenny, whom Hoy defeated in the Beijing final, had a far more comfortable journey - although he too took three races to get past France’s Kevin Sireau - and the two Britons would meet again the following day.

The fourth semi-final spot appeared to be heading to Bourgain, who beat Australia’s Shane Perkins over three rounds; the Frenchman was seen to have moved outside the red line on the final corner of the third race however, and was disqualified to the benefit of the local rider. Perkins went through to take on Bauge in the first semi-final the following day.

Förstemann won the minor final for fifth place; Bourgain elected not to ride, and was duly disqualified again.

Women’s Scratch Race: An attacking race goes to a fast finisher
Poland’s Katarzyna Pawlowska took the women’s Scratch Race title at the end of an attacking race as the final lap came down to a massed bunch sprint. The race was peppered by attacks, notably from the Netherlands Vera Koedooder and Germany’s Charlotte Becker, which were repeatedly watched by Great Britain’s Team Pursuit champion Dani King.

A late solo move from Jarmila Machacova of Poland looked to have taken it, but Mexico’s Sofia Arreola led the peloton around the final laps to catch her at the bell. As the bunch neared the line Pawlowska came around the outside, to take the rainbow jersey, just ahead of Australia’s Melissa Hoskins and Belgium’s Kelly Druyts.

Result Women’s Scratch Race
1. Katarzyna Pawlowska (Poland)
2. Melissa Hoskins (Australia)
3. Kelly Druyts (Belgium)
4. Dani King (Great Britain)
5. Cari Higgins (United States)

Men’s Omnium: Glenn O’Shea sees off Zach Bell’s challenge to take a home win
Australian overnight leader Glenn O’Shea saw off a morning challenge from Canada’s Zach Bell to take the overall Omnium victory in front of his home crowd.

Two second places in the Individual Pursuit and Scratch Race for Bell lifted the Spidertech p/b C10 rider level with O’Shea with just the Kilometre to go. Both events were taken by Lasse Norman Hansen of Denmark, who lifted himself into third place overall and set up a tense final event.

O’Shea’s overnight total of ten points was doubled as his 4:28.919 was only good enough for sixth in the Individual Pursuit, and - despite being one of five riders to lap the field - he could only manage fourth in the Scratch Race. Third place in the Individual Pursuit for overnight third place Ed Clancy (Great Britain) lifted the European champion early on, but his hopes of gold faded with a disappointing seventh in the Scratch Race.

A powerful second place in the Kilometre though, with a time of 1:03.042, saw O’Shea see off Bell’s challenge and earned the Australian an emotional home win. Eighth place for Bell meant that he held on to his second place however, on 28 points, just a single point ahead of a tie between Hansen and Clancy.

Although Clancy won the Kilometre, with a stunning time of 1:01.948, Hansen finished third, and his superior Individual Pursuit time meant that the Dane had a lower cumulative time for the events against the clock, and was awarded the bronze medal.

The second day of the competition began without overnight fourth place Elia Viviani of Italy. The Liquigas-Cannondale rider crashed in the Points Race on the previous day and, despite remounting to win the race - as well as going on to take part in the Elimination - he was diagnosed with a fractured pelvis.

Result Individual Pursuit
1. Lasse Norman Hansen (Denmark) 4:22.330
2. Zach Bell (Canada) 4:26.786
3. Ed Clancy (Great Britain) 4:27.643
4. Marty Irvine (Ireland) 4:28.158
5. Nikias Arndt (Germany) 4:28.240

Result Scratch Race
1. Lasse Norman Hansen (Denmark)
2. Zach Bell (Canada)
3. Shane Archbold (New Zealand)
4. Glenn O’Shea (Australia)
5. Ely Teruel (Spain)

Result Kilometre Time Trial
1. Ed Clancy (Great Britain) 1:01.948
2. Glenn O’Shea (Australia) 1:03.042
3. Lasse Norman Hansen (Denmark) 1:03.102
4. Shane Archbold (New Zealand) 1:03.373
5. Ely Teruel (Spain) 1:03.510

Final Men’s Omnium Standings
1. Glenn O’Shea (Australia) 22pts
2. Zach Bell (Canada) 28
3. Lasse Norman Hansen (Denmark) 29
4. Ed Clancy (Great Britain) 29
5. Shane Archbold (New Zealand) 38

Women’s Omnium: Annette Edmondson and Laura Trott set up yet another “Ashes” battle
An excellent Flying Lap time of 14.377 gave local favourite Annette Edmondson of Australia the early advantage, finishing just 14-thousandths of a second, but one crucial point, ahead of Great Britain’s Laura Trott; the very first event setting up yet another “Ashes” encounter between the two rival countries.

Four riders taking a lap in the points race widened the competition however, as Lisa Brennauer (Germany), Jarmila Machacova (Czech Republic), Angie Gonzalez (Venezuela) and Kase Kanako (Japan) pulled themselves back into contention. The attack came late in the race, as Malgorzata Wojtera of Poland took sprint number seven, and they managed to make it all around the track before the final dash for the line.

Having taken second in that seventh sprint, Brennauer won the race with a total of 23 points. Edmondson had taken the most points on the line, but with only 13 at the end of the race, was only good enough for fifth. This still gave the Australian a commanding lead after two events however, with six points to Trott’s ten.

Another textbook Elimination Race from Trott though, saw the British rider move up to join Edmondson - who was fifth - on eleven points at the end of day one; the 19-year-old rode a highly tactical race, managing to force a number of her opponents out along the way. despite crashing heavily at the start of the race - prompting a second restart - Wojtera was still there with only three riders left; as Trott and Evgenia Romanyuta of Russia began to wind things up towards the final sprint however, she was forced to sit up.

Trott found herself on the front on the final laps, but had the confidence to lead it out, and easily held off the Russian to take the win.

Edmondson and Trott are way out ahead of the next two challengers - the United States’ Sarah Hammer and Canada’s Tara Whitten - who both sit on 21 points.

Result Flying Lap
1. Annette Edmondson (Australia) 14.377
2. Laura Trott (Great Britain) 14.391
3. Huang Li (China) 14.427
4. Sarah Hammer (United States) 14.433
5. Leire Olaberria (Spain) 14.543

Result Points Race
1. Lisa Brennauer (Germany) 23pts
2. Jarmila Machacova (Czech Republic) 22
3. Angie Gonzalez (Venezuela) 21
4. Kase Kanako (Japan) 20
5. Annette Edmondson (Australia)13

Result Elimination Race
1. Laura Trott (Great Britain)
2. Evgenia Romanyuta (Russia)
3. Malgorzata Wojtera (Poland)
4. Tara Whitten (Canada)
5. Annette Edmondson (Australia)

Standings after day one
1. Laura Trott (Great Britain) 11
2. Annette Edmondson (Australia) 11
3. Sarah Hammer (United States) 21
4. Tara Whitten (Canada) 21
5. Evgenia Romanyuta (Russia) 24


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