Los Angeles - Round 2
This visit to the Los Angeles track was important for 2 reasons - the first, the second round of the 2004-2005 Track World Cup Classics - part of the season-long UCI programme. The second, a competitive first-look for many competitors at the new Los Angeles track. Why is this significant? Simple - the Track World Championships in March 2005 will be held at this very track....
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In a strange replay of Moscow's sprint competition, once again, the fastest sprint qualifier (a 200m individually timed effort) won the event overall. Belarussia's Natalia Tsylinskaya, with a qualifying time of 11.479 seconds took the glory in the sprint from Tamilia Abassova in just 2 rounds. It took Italy's Elisa Frisoni 3 rounds to take third place from Australia's Anna Meares. Frisoni took round 1 in a photo finish, Meares replied by taking round 2, but in the decider, Frisoni had the legs.
The ride-off for places 5-8 saw Clara Sanchez easily take 5th place from Britain's Victoria Pendleton.
There is a terrific photo in the Photofinish gallery from LA. It shows the first round sprint for 3 & 4 places between Frisoni & Meares - click here to see if you can split them ........
This sprinter's event, lacking the participation of dual World Champion and Olympic Champion, Anna Meares was taken by the sprint winner, Natalia Tsylinskaya in 34.74 seconds.
Event winner, Kate Mactier, was fastest in qualifying by a huge 6 seconds gap. Her 3:38.5 for the 3km eclipsed the ride of next-best, Emma Davies (3:4477). With riders looking for fast times to qualify fro the pursuit, speed was not so much on the agenda in the finals. Mactier slowed to 3:46.7 in her first / second ride-off with Emma Davies. However, simply looking at her time detracts from the performances - Mactier caught Davies with just under 1 lap to go.
In the 3rd - 4th place ride, Russian Elena Chalkyh beat American Erin Mirabella by 4 seconds.
The times and placings for the top 4 were :
Final placings :
It can be a heavy programme for riders in the World Cup Classic events. Over the period of a weekend, they may compete in as many as three or four events (typically: sprint, 500m TT keirin), with qualifying and heats within. The keirin is one of the sprinter's events and sees riders following a 'derny' (a special moped) for the initial laps of the tracks. The derny increases its pace with the riders in tow until it peels off and the riders fight out the final 2 laps to the finish.
Victoria Pendleton returned to winning ways in the Keirin. The British rider has not won an international event since the sprint competition at the Sydney World Cup in May last year. Although last year was concentrated upon her Olympic and World Championship events, the sprint and the 500m TT, the switch to the keirin in 2004/2005 has been fruitful.
The Keirin event has only 6 competitors behind the derny at any time, so the ride-off for places 7-12 was a separate race. This was won by Elisa Frison of Italy.
Places 1-6 time : 12.167sec, 59.176km/h
Places 7-12 time : 12.388sec, 58.121km/h
Raced over 10km, the scratch race is a case of being first over the line at the end of 40 laps. However, the tactics involved in this event, which is run at a high speed make it far from simple. The 10km time was 13min15.4sec, which is 45.261km/h.
The overall positions were :
This is, a 60 lap race contained sprints every 6 laps, with points awarded for the first four riders as 5pts, 3pts, 2pts, 1pt.
It was a "home" win for the USA in this event. Erin Mirabella took the Points Race, proving that consistency is important. She placed in 4 of the sprints, taking second in two of them and winning one.
The final positions (with corresponding World Cup points) were :
Each event within the Round attracts points - up to 12 for the first 10 finishers - which are added together from all events (including the men's events) at the end of the Round and the winning country is declared at the end of the weekend. Points are accumulated throughout the World Cup and individual event rankings, plus the overall country ranking awarded after the final Round.
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