UCI Track World Cup : Historic victory for Columbia
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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

UCI Track World Cup : Historic victory for Columbia

by VeloNation Press at 7:56 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track
No-one could have imagined greater success for the third round of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup Classics in Cali (Colombia). The excellent performances by local riders and the enthusiasm shown by the Columbian public helped transform this event into a real fiesta for the whole weekend.

The city’s recently roofed velodrome had previously been a venue for the UCI World Cup between 1996 and 2002.

First to raise the spirits of the home fans at the Cali track was Columbia’s Leonardo Duque who took gold in the points race. That was followed by victory for Leonardo Narvaez in the keirin and second place for Juan Esteban Arango and Carlos Alerto Uran in the Madison.

The silver and bronze medals won by Maria Luisa Calle Williams and Antonio Castro Laverde respectively in the individual pursuit, and those won in the two team pursuit competitions, took Colombia to a historic victory ahead of Spain, Cuba and France.

This result is not really a big surprise given the increasing popularity of track cycling in Latin America. Among other factors, it is the happy result of the promotion and development strategy introduced by the UCI in its 2003 reform of track cycling.

So Colombia has now set an example, and it us up to other countries to find the motivation needed to take their own places in the sun!

On an individual level, it was certainly Simona Krupeckaite who made the biggest impression on the boards. The Lithuanian took the individual sprint, the 500 metre TT and the keirin, a fantastic triple to celebrate her 26th birthday, worthy of her rival Victoria Pendleton who was absent from the Columbian round.

The other main stars in Cali were Kevin Sireau (France) who made up for disqualification in the keirin by winning the individual sprint competition, Stefan Nimke (Germany) who made a remarkable comeback to the kilometre TT three years after his last ride in the discipline, Sergi Escobar (Spain) and Vilija Sereikaite (Lithuania), winners of the individual pursuits, and the Italians Annalisa Cucinotta and Giorgia Bronzini who took gold in the scratch and points races respectively.

The titles in the team events went to France (women’s team sprint), Russia (men’s team pursuit), Cuba (women’s team pursuit) and Germany (men’s team sprint). It is now Germany who leads the general classification of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup Classics ahead of Spain and Great Britain.

The fourth round of the series will take place in Beijing from 16 to 18 January 2009.

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