Germany wins team sprint at track worlds
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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Germany wins team sprint at track worlds

by Neil Browne at 8:42 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track, Race Reports and Results, World Championships

Day one of the UCI track world championships in Copenhagen, Denmark saw Germany unseat France in the team sprint competition with the time of 43.433 seconds. France have been the team sprint champions since 2006, so the defeat is a bitter disappointment for the trio.

From their earlier qualifying rounds it seemed like the French team was on track for a fifth world championship title, dominating the other nations with a time of 42.37 seconds.

However in the gold medal round Frenchmen Gregory Bauge, Kevin Sireau and Michael d'Almeida proved to have already emptied their tank, trailing behind by 0.197 seconds on the first lap, 0.163 seconds on the second, and finishing the day in second place at 0.2  of a second behind the German trio of Robert Forstemann, Maximilian Levy and Stefan Nimke.

World sprint champion Bauge laid the blame squarely on his broad shoulders. "I'm disappointed," said Bauge to AFP. "I didn't do the fastest first lap, and that penalized us - Kevin (Sireau) took over well and Michael (d'Almeida) had a great finish."

Bauge suffered a shoulder injury at the Beijing World Cup in January which had limited his training, particularly with his starts off the line. Any slight difference is critical in an event that can come down to thousandths of a second.

The Frenchman's disappointment was in contrast to Germany's Maximilian Levy. Levy was last year's winner of the keiren and did not expect to swapping one world champion's jersey for another.

"I was wearing the keirin world champion's jersey for the last time today and I thought to myself: that's it, I'll never wear a rainbow jersey again," he told AFP. "Now just five hours later I've got another, it's just amazing. This morning we thought we had a chance of bronze, and after qualifying we thought we might get silver. And now we've got the gold!"

The British team, which included Chris Hoy, slotted into the bronze medal position, but said they weren't too concerned with the results in Copenhagen. The team is focused exclusively on the 2012 London Olympic Games.

"Technically we didn't do as well as we should have done, but the positive thing is we've found someone who could be capable of getting close to Jamie's [Staff] start," said Hoy to AFP.

Beijing gold medalist, Staff was the starting man in the British sprint squad and had been replaced by Jason Kenny.

"But the French and Germans were pretty awesome tonight, and they've given us something to think about for the next two years."

Hoy is scheduled to race in Thursday's keirin tournament, where he will have another chance to try and beat Levy. Hoy added, "Every color of medal is hard to fight for, and we can be proud of our achievements tonight."

2010 World Championships Men's Team sprint Final:
1. Germany (Robert Forstemann, Maximilian Levy, Stefan Nimke) 43.433
2. France (Gregory Bauge, Kevin Sireau, Michael D'Almeida) 43.453
3. Britain (Jason Kenny, Ross Edgar, Chris Hoy) 43.590
4. China (Changsong Cheng, Lei Zhang, Miao Zhang)



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