Twenty-four hours after his victory in the keirin, Francois Pervis had enough strength left to retain his world title on the kilometre.
On the Cali track, the man who could well be the star of the competition clocked 59.385 to beat Germany’s Joachim Eilers (59.984) and New Zealand’s Simon Van Velthooven (1:00.518), who were also on the podium a year ago in Minsk but in reverse order.
“The legs were hurting more than usual. I’m glad to have won once again in Colombia. Now I want another medal in the individual sprint (on Sunday),” he said. On the podium for many years with four bronze medals (2006, 2008, 2010, 2011) and one silver (2007), Pervis, 29, is now sitting on top of the world firmly and quite intent on staying there. His Colombian haul might not be finished even though years of struggle made him cautious. “I’m confident in myself and my abilities but I must be careful not to be overconfident,” he said after his keirin title.
Women’s pursuit - Rowsell makes it two
Like Australian Alexander Edmondson in the men’s ranks, Joanna Rowsell added the individual pursuit crown to her team laurels. Eclipsed in the heats by American five times world champion Sarah Hammer, the 25-year-old Briton won the final in 3:30.318 while Hammer had to be content with silver in 3:31.535. Australia’s Amy Cure took the bronze in 3:26.174. Six years after the victory of Rebecca Romera, Rowsell finally put Britain on top of the discipline again. While already crowned four times with her mates, it was her first individual achievement. “It means so much to me. It was a personal goal and I can’t believe I made it,” she said. The day after her win with “those girls I could die for”, Rowsell explained: “When I woke up I knew I was in a good day, which is rather unusual after riding a pursuit the day before. I had good legs in the warm-up which is a good sign.”
Men’s points race – Avila national hero
“A hero”, “the nation’s pride”. The Colombian press was emphatic about Edwin Avila Venegas’s victory in the points race. With the support of a partisan crowd, the Colombian triumphed again, three years after his first world title in Apeldoorn, Netherlands. In Cali, the 24-year-old rider, who had won a team pursuit World Cup race on the same track in 2009, beat New Zealand’s Thomas Scully (66 points) and Spaniard Eloy Teruel Rovira, who came third on 58 points. After the silver medal won by Fabian Hernando Puerta Zapata in the Keirin, it was the host country’s second medal of the competition.
Five world titles were awarded on the second day of competition of the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Cali, Colombia.
Francois Pervis in the keirin and the British women’s pursuit team started as the arch-favourites and they were up to the challenge, both winning gold. Australia’s Alexander Edmondson clinched his first crown in the individual pursuit while the other rainbow jerseys went to Ivan Kovalev in the men’s Scratch and Miriame Welte on the 500 metres.
Men’s pursuit – Edmondson keeps Australia on top
Already crowned in the team pursuit the previous day, Alexander Edmondson made it two by taking the individual honours. In the final, the Australian won in 4:22.582 ahead of Swiss Stefan Kueng, timed in 4:22.995. New Zealand’s Marc Ryan was third in 4:22.895. After Jack Bobridge in 2011 and Michael Hepburn in 2012 and 2013, Edmondson continues the Australian domination in the event. “Well people who say dreams don't come true are wrong. I proved tonight they do! What a magical moment!” said Edmondson. He also teased his younger sister Annette (bronze in the team pursuit) on social media: "I think I will win the Family Cup."
Men’s Keirin – Pervis made it
Francois Pervis had made his ambitions clear in Cali. He was going for three golds: in the kilometre, the sprint and the keirin. Mission accomplished for the first of his three challenges. The Frenchman won the keirin’s first heat before dominating a tough semi-final ahead of Maximilian Levy and Jason Kenny. In the final, he beat local hero Fabian Hernando Puerta Zapata while Dutchman Matthijs Buchli snatched the bronze. Since the victory of Laurent Gane in 2003, no Frenchman had been crowned in the discipline. “Francois was strong from start to finish. There were many crashes and tough races but he played it right all the time, perfectly gauging his rivals,” said French coach Justin Grace. Pervis now tackles the kilometre, the event in which he also holds the world record in 56.303.
Men’s scratch – Kovalev on top
Glory day for Ivan Kovalev, who gave Russia their first ever title in the Scratch. Since 2002, no Russian had even made it on the world podium. Kovalev finally had the upper hand over defending champion Martyn Irvine of Ireland while Hong Kong’s King Lok Cheung was third.
Women’s 500 metres – Miriam Welte can do it alone
A three times world and Olympic champion in the team sprint, Germany’s Miriam Welte showed she could do it on her own when she won the 500 metres for her first individual title. “I made it, I’m so happy! It’s one of the best days in my career. I have no words to describe this. I just want to thank my team,” said 27-year-old Welte. In 33.451, she beat world record holder and clear favourite Anna Meares. The Australian superstar, in 33.548, had to be content with silver but it was still her 21st world medal! Only Sir Chris Hoy did better with 25 medals. Russia’s Anastasia Voinova was third.
Women’s team pursuit – Unbeatable Brits
World record holders and arch-favourites, the British team pursuit perfectly delivered on the day. In 4:23.407, Laura Trott, Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker and Joanna Rowsell took their fourth title in succession. “Well we like to keep things exciting! Canada put up one hell of a fight. So happy to win my 4th TP World title,” wrote Trott on her Twitter account. Canada was second in 4:24.695. Winners of the World Cup and third last year, Laura Brown, Jasmin Glaesser, Allison Beveridge and Stephanie Roorda went one step higher. Australia was third.
Australia’s pursuit team and the German pair of Miriam Welte and Kristina Vogel in the women’s team sprint remained on top of the world but there were newcomers as well in the first day of the World Championships in Cali with victories by New Zealand in the men’s team sprint and Belgium’s Kelly Druyts in the women’s Scratch.
Men’s pursuit – Australia still rules
Only second in the qualifications behind Denmark, the Aussies finally upstaged the Danes in the final. And even with a team reshuffled by half from last year’s worlds in Minsk, they still kept the upper hand. Luke Davison, Glenn O’Shea, Alexander Edmondson and Mitchell Mulhern triumphed in 3:57.907 to earn their country’s tenth crown in the discipline since 1993.
Edmonson, twice crowned at the age of 20, said: “We knew it would not be easy against the Danes but we rode our own race without watching the others. We needed to stay focused. We came here with a lot of experience and knowing we had done the right preparation.” Denmark, with Casper Von Folsach, Lasse Norman Hansen, Rasmus Christian Quaade and Alex Rasmussen clocked 3:59.623. In the third place final, New Zealand’s Aaron Gate, Pieter Bulling, Dylan Kennett and Ryan Marc beat the Russians to take the bronze in 3:58.989.
Women’s team sprint - Welte and Vogel keep their crown
Unbeaten this season and world champions since 2012, Kristina Vogel and Miriam Welte were again too strong for the opposition. In the final, they outshone China’s Junhong Lin and Tianshi Zhong. Britain’s Jessica Varnish and Rebecca James took the best over Russia for the bronze. Vogel was over the moon and more confident than ever for the individual event: “I only have one world to say – treble! I’m really proud of what we achieved tonight,” she said. Welte was also delighted: “I can’t believe we are world champions again.” In the short history of women’s team sprint, which started in 2007, Germany are now on par with Australia, crowned between 2009 and 2011.
Men’s team sprint – New Zealand at last
After the bronze medal in 2012 and silver in 2013, New Zealand continued their steady progression to clinch the men’s team sprint world title in Cali. Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster and Edward Dawkins stopped favourites and title-holders Germany from a double. “It’s a childhood dream come true, I can’t stop smiling,” said Dawkins. Rene Enders, Robert Forstermann and Maximilian Levy had to be content with the runner-up spot. Third last year, France again finished on the last podium place with the Olympic silver medal trio of Gregory Beauge, Kevin Sireau and Michael D’Almeida.
Women’s scratch – The new queen is Belgian
Third in 2012, Kelly Druyts achieved a career high to seize the rainbow jersey in the Scratch. Thanks to the title, the first for Belgium, she prevented Poland’s Katarzyna Pawlowska from making it three in a row. The Pole, crowned in the last two editions, had to be content with silver this time. Russia’s Evgenia Romanyuta came third
In early December, the UCI Track World Cup stopped in Aguascalientes, in Mexico, at an altitude of 2,000 metres and saw seven world records beaten. Frenchman Francois Pervis, the new kilometre record holder in a fantastic 56.303 (down from 58.875 set in 2001 by Arnaud Tournant) or Australia’s Anna Meares, the first woman under 33 seconds in the sprint, stole the show. They will all be back in action, again in Mexico, for the last leg of the world series.
Will records fall again in Guadalajara?
Britain landed with strong ambitions and a team of eleven riders. British Cycling are taking the opportunity to launch new talent like Oliver Wood, 4th in the last Junior World Championships, in the team pursuit. “We’re in a good position in terms of qualification points.
It leaves us with the opportunity to test young athletes at World Cup level,” said British Cycling performance head Shane Sutton. While a few British stars are missing, Danni King will be here. The three times team pursuit World Champion and Olympic champion in the discipline will be one of the attractions in the endurance events.
In the first two stages of the World Cup, Germany dominated the sprints. Kristina Vogel is unbeaten in the keirin but also in the individual and team sprints. In the men’s squad, Rene Enders, Robert Foerstemann and Joachim Eilers have been peerless so far in the team sprint. Will the same happen again in Guadalajara? The Mexican city will also see the return to competition of former sprint World Champion Gregory Bauge of France, who missed the beginning of the season through injury.
Events are broadcast live on www.youtube.com/ucichannel
The Rotterdam Six-Day, January 2 to 7, offers an all-Dutch sprint match. In addition to the traditional Six-Day, the organisation once again offers the Sprint Masters Tournament. This year the field includes experienced Teun Mulder and title contenders Hugo Haak and Matthijs Büchli. In Ahoy Rotterdam, they will fight in the keirin, sprint and individual time trial for six days.
Teun Mulder, who won several world titles and an Olympic title on the track, recently announced he is skipping events like the World Cup and Olympics but remains active as a top sprinter. The Six Days of Rotterdam is a regular event on his agenda. The triple world champion, however, will face some serious rivals.
Sprint Masters roster The complete sprinter field includes Teun Mulder, Hugo Haak, Bart Hommes, Jeffrey Hoogland, Matthijs Büchli and Nils van ‘t Hoenderdaal. Jason Kenny, previously announced, will miss out due to a modified World Cup preparation.
Mulder's biggest rivals for victory seem to be Matthijs Büchli and Hugo Haak. The fast Büchli won a World Cup race and gained attention at the World Cup in Minsk when he placed third in the keirin. During the recent World Cup in Aguascalientes, Mexico, he finished fourth in the keirin.
Another candidate is Hugo Haak. The sprinter from Utrecht won several medals at European Championships and is also a candidate during the World Cups. In October, he won the Sprint Masters in the Six Days of Amsterdam.
Even the young talent Jeffrey Hoogland proved in Mexico to have great legs. He bettered the Dutch track record in the 200-metre flying start that was set by Theo Bos in 2006. Add in the field the names of young talents like Nils van 't Hoenderdaal and Bart Hommes, and a high-speed battle is guaranteed.
Image courtesy of RTV Rijnmond
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