Track World Championships: Yet another World record falls as pre-Olympic competition closes
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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Track World Championships: Yet another World record falls as pre-Olympic competition closes

by Ben Atkins at 9:15 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track, World Championships
Final day sees the fastest ever 500 metres, and the men’s Keirin won by the usual rider in an unusual way

chris hoyThe 2012 World Track Championships, in Melbourne, Australia, drew to a close with yet another World record falling to home rider Anna Meares. The women’s Individual Pursuit and men’s Keirin were both taken by former champions, while the men’s Madison had a six-day flavour with experience of the winter races telling in the end.

After one of the highest quality championships for many years - which, for most, will be the final competition before the Olympic Games in London, in August - the organisers’ decision to schedule the Madison as the final event saw the competition finish on an exciting, competitive high.

Women’s Individual Pursuit: Alison Shanks takes back her title
New Zealand’s Alison Shanks took her second World Individual Pursuit crown, three years after her first, with a dominant performance. The 29-year-old qualified the fastest, with a time of 3:27.268, to set up a final race with Great Britain’s Wendy Houvenaghel; having been left out of the Team Pursuit two day’s before, the Ulsterwoman was chasing the compensation of retaining her title in the individual event, and was just six-tenths slower than Shanks.

The final was a different matter however, and although - as usual - slightly slower than qualification, Shanks was more than two seconds quicker than Houvenaghel to take the gold.

Ashlee Ankudinoff won an all-Australian ride off for the bronze medal, overcoming Amy Cure - who had qualified faster - by just five-hundredths of a second.

Result Women’s Individual Pursuit
1. Alison Shanks (New Zealand) 3:30.199
2. Wendy Houvenaghel (Great Britain) 3:32.340
3. Ashlee Ankudinoff (Australia) 3:33.593
4. Amy Cure (Australia) 3:33.642
5. Tara Whitten (Canada)

Women’s 500 metre Time Trial: Another World Record falls to Anna Meares
Anna Meares of Australia broke her second World record of the championships, taking her second rainbow jersey, as she successfully defended her World title in the Women’s 500 metres. The Queenslander, who had taken the Keirin title the day before, blasted around the Melbourne track in a time of 33.010, in an average speed of 54.528kph; more than a quarter of a second faster than the previous best of 33.296, set by Lithuanian Simona Krupeckaite in the 2009 World championships.

Unsurprisingly, nobody was able to come close to Meare’s time, set in the middle of the session, although all three riders on the podium managed to get below 34 seconds. Great Britain’s Jess Varnish put herself into second place, with an impressive time of 33.999, but she was pushed down into third by penultimate rider Miriam Welte of Germany.

Result Women’s 500 metre Time Trial
1. Anna Meares (Australia) 33.010
2. Miriam Welte (Germany) 33.626
3. Jess Varnish (Great Britain) 33.999
4. Kaarle McCulloch (Australia) 34.097
5. Lee Wia Sze (Hong Kong) 34.199

Men’s Keirin: Chris Hoy takes back his title the hard way
Great Britain’s Olympic champion Chris Hoy took back the World Keirin championship in uncharacteristic style, where he was forced to chase down and overtake the early sprint from Germany’s Maximilian Levy and New Zealand’s Simon Van Velthooven. Stuck behind the wheel of compatriot Jason Kenny, Hoy went round the outside of the two leaders, and managed to overhaul them on the line.

Levy held on to take second place, with Van Velthooven taking third; the New Zealander was adjudged to have obstructed Kenny however, and the British rider was awarded the bronze medal.

Qualification had been a straightforward matter for Hoy, although all of the other finalists had been forced to reach the second round of the competition via the repecharge round.

Result Men’s Keirin
1. Chris Hoy (Great Britain)
2. Maximilian Levy (Germany)
3. Jason Kenny (Great Britain)
4. Mickaël Bourgain (France)
5. Kazunari Watanabe (Japan)

Men’s Madison: Belgium takes a lap and the World title
The Belgian pair of Kenny De Ketele and Gijs Van Hoecke - who both ride for Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator - put their six-days experience to use to take victory in the men’s Madison race. The duo was one of eight teams that managed to get a lap on the field, but also managed to take first place at four of the sprint laps,and finished with a total of 24 points.

Geraint Thomas and Ben Swift of Great Britain made the early running, along with Henning Bommel and Lucas Liss of Germany, but the Germans faded as the race went on, and finished the race two laps down; it was the Austrian pair of Andreas Graf and Andreas Mueller that took the first lap, but they were soon followed by others. After a quiet beginning, the Australian duo of newly crowned Points Race champion Cameron Meyer, and GreenEdge teammate Leigh Howard managed to lift themselves onto the same lap as the leaders, and threatened to take another, but were watched carefully by the Belgians and British, and had to settle for bronze.

A late move from the Netherlands pair of Peter Schep and Wim Stroetinga almost managed to seize victory, but was prevented from taking a lap and merely took the final sprint 100 metres clear of the rest.

Result Men’s Madison
1. Belgium 24pts
2. Great Britain 18
3. Australia 11
4. Austria 10
5. Spain 7


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