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Review of Day 3
women were not expecting world record breaking times on the LA Velodrome.
Most of them have stated previously that this track is too new and too
soft for really fast times.
Ulmer NZL, the defending world record holder, world champion and Olympic
Gold medallist, was absent
from this event and has been off the cycling scene since her victories in
2004. The Olympic silver medallist Katie Mactier AUS and team mate
Katherine Bates were in attendance though with Olga Slyusareva RUS.
Yiu Wong of HKG was the first rider to post a time under 1 min 24 sec for
the first kilometre, however she could not hold her speed and finished
well down in 16th place.
Sharakova BLR was the next rider to take the fastest first kilometre
clocking 1 min 15 sec 9, again she could not hold the pace and finished in
Bates AUS looked smooth on her bike and her one kilometre time certainly
showed her form, she clocked 1 min 14 sec 992 finishing in second place
and in gold medal contention.
Katie Mactier AUS did not have the best run up to these championships, she suffered pneumonia in January and was forced to rest for a few weeks. This did not impede her though, at one kilometre she posted 1 min 13 sec 759, qualifying in first spot, 3 seconds faster than Bates.
to Women’s Cycling afterwards, both Australians were pleased with their
Mactier AUS was “stoked”
at her time “I want
this so badly, getting that first ride out of the way is great. I
celebrated my 30th birthday three days ago and my mum flew out
to surprise me, so it’s a special one for me”.
Kate Bates AUS always happy to speak to Women’s Cycling.net was obviously pleased with her time “I am knackered, I know from the World Cup programme that the morning after the points race is always hard, you never know how your legs will react. Now that is down to the top four, I thought that being a bit lethargic this morning would work against me but getting into the final is great, an Australian one-two, you can’t do better than that. Katie had a 3 seconds gap this morning it may seem a lot but it’s not, I hope my legs go well tonight. Whatever happens I will go home with at least two medals and I can relax in the Scratch race on Sunday and who knows what will happen, I can’t ask for more than that”.
Kate Mactier AUS showed her strength and determination in the pursuit final. Up against her training partner and friend Kate Bates AUS, Mactier held just over one second lead right up to the last kilometre, where she pulled away. This has been Mactier's weak area in the past, talking to Women's Cycling.net after the win Mactier shared her elation. "funny how pain doesn't hurt when you win. It is a feeling of 'at last' there is certainly something to be said for persistence pays off. What better than to have Australia one and two, Kate and I have just spent the last four weeks training together in Adelaide and we always prepare together under Ian Mackenzie. He always pushes us hard I am so happy, it makes all the hard work pay off". Mactier almost caught Bates in the back straight Women's Cycling.net asked how that felt, "I always enjoy that, it is beneficial when you can chase someone. I was conscious of going out too hard, I have been watching the men over the last few days and some of them did that. I have struggled with that in the past, I did not want to expend too much in the first two kilometre, I can't believe that I managed to control it, I don't even know what time I did".
When asked what her plans are now, Katie added "I am heading home to Australia for the Domestic season, then either to Europe or the US for June and July and then I will return home to prepare for the Commonwealth Games in 2006 and Bordeaux. Next year will be heavy and it is a big ask, there is always high expectations on the Australian team. We had a tough, but great 2004, keeping that going is hard, we had some down time to enjoy the fruits of our labours and to catch up with family, now the hard work starts again".
Speaking to Kate Bates AUS, this was her reaction to getting the Silver medal was "I gave it everything I had, Katie was the better rider today. There is always a little bit of disappointment when you are so close but I have so much motivation. Hopefully I will get a full set tomorrow after the scratch race". When asked if having to come out to do the final after a five hour gap was hard Kate responded "we do a lot of fitness work and I am pretty fit, so I don't think that had an impact. I would have loved to have gone 4 seconds faster but that's the level I am at the moment. Another year and who knows what I can do"
Karin Thürig was pleased with her bronze medal in the pursuit she had this to say “I am very happy, when I came to these championships I did not have any expectations as I knew that I was not in my best shape, so I did not want to come, I was unsure if it was a good idea to come but I am very happy with the race, it was tough and I had to fight hard but I am happy now”.
In the first of the sprint semi-final heats Australian Kerrie Meares AUS raced off against Tamilia Abassova RUS
The second heat involved the second Australian and sister Anna Meares v Pendleton GBR
K Meares V Tamilia Abassova
Racing over three laps Abassova lead Meares out, Meares led the Russian round but Abassova managed to come through on the line 12 sec 978 55.478km/h
Anna Meares AUS v Pendleton GBR
The two riders were steady for the first two laps with Meares in front. As they approached the bell, Meares led out, Pendleton looked strong and took it on the line 12sec 151 59.254km/h
Anna Meares AUS v Pendleton GBR-Second Heat
Pendleton led out, but Meares took control forcing Pendleton high at the start of the second lap, at the bell. Meares was too strong and took the second 12.398
K Meares V Tamilia Abassova- Second Heat
Kerrie Meares led out, with two to go, the two riders kept a steady pace. As they approached the bell Meares tried to go out early but Abassova was too strong.
In the final heat between Meares and Pendleton
Anna Meares led out with Pendleton watching her and waiting to make her move. Pendleton dived underneath for the bell and held on to take the win in a time of 12 sec136.The two Australian sisters were left to fight it out for the Bronze medal.
Meares v Meares for Bronze
Taking it steady and doing track stands on the back straight, the Meares sisters were trying hard not to take the lead and it seemed like they were playing to the crowd.
At the bell, Anna led Kerrie, however Kerrie took first bite winning in 12 sec 60 57.142km/h
In heat 2, again the two sisters took it steady, under the watchful eyes of the Commissaire's. They were close to being penalised and quickened up. At the bell, Anna took the led out and tied the series.
In heat 3, riding off for the Bronze medal, the sisters started a little faster than the previous heats. The Meares sisters looked so comfortable on the track, at the bell Kerrie tried to come from behind, however Anna was well positioned and took the Bronze medal.
Talking after the race, it was obvious that it had been a tough race for the two of them.
Pendleton v Abassova for Gold
Victoria Pendleton wins the Gold medal
In heat 1 of three, Abassova of Russia led out forcing Pendleton really tight to wall. At the bell Pendleton dived low and took the win in a time of 12 sec184 at average speed of 59.093 km/h for the last 200m.
Heat 2 started at an even pace with Pendleton ahead at the bell. Pendleton went with 200m to go to win the Gold medal.
"I can't believe it, I don't know what to say" was Pendleton's initial reaction at winning her first World Championship. "I have my lucky gloves on today too". When asked how she felt and if she was nervous going into the race, she responded "I don't know I haven't really thought about it yet, I felt really good today, I did not feel like I was really there".
Did you take inspiration from the guys in the team after their Gold medal in the pursuit?
"Definitely when you have an excited environment around you can’t help but feel lifted and encouraged by it”
You have been out cycled so many times in the past few years, to
come here and win the Gold medal can you believe it? “no,
is it real or do I need to pinch myself”
managed to catch up with Victoria after she had, had time to take in her
pretty amazing really, I feel very lucky and very blessed, I have had a
lucky run this time and I can’t really believe that I have done it. I
just phoned my dad back in the UK and woke him up. He said “You can wake
me up any time Victoria to tell me you are World Champion”
asked what Victoria planned to do after these championships she added “I
am taking some time off, I am moving into a new flat then I will start
preparing again, it’s a big year next year. This is a dream come true,
when I started grass track racing I was very young, people said to me
‘you could be world champion some day’, of course I did not believe
Are you going to focus on the sprints, or the Keirin, what’s your preference?. “Everyone has been saying to me over the last year, maybe you’re not a sprinter, well now I am and I feel I can choose to do Keirin as a second option. I am in a great situation really and feel very blessed”
Tamilia Abassova RUS gave this reaction to her silver medal “I wanted more may be next time, hopefully I will do well in the Keirin”.
The Meares Sisters
Meares is always happy to talk and chatted while waiting for her sister to
receive the Bronze medal in the Sprint. When asked how she felt, she
replied “I have not been this high up in the ranks since before my back
injury, I am very pleased with how things are going, I am still tuning my
engine while others are resting theirs after the Olympics. Obviously it
would have been good to up there (on the podium) but Anna deserves it.
asked how her back is now, Kerrie responded “a little niggle now and
then but I just have to take care and keep riding”.
asked, if going up against your sister for a medal was tough for both of
you, Kerrie responded “it was very difficult because we know each other
so well, we know each other’s tactics, I have had a really big learning
curve tonight, Anna and I work each other hard in training. I feel really
lucky to have an Olympic champion as a training partner as well as a
sister. The bronze medal sprint off was probably the most exciting racing
seen at the velodrome, The Meares sisters showed their track skills,
managing to do track stands during their highly technical races. Neither
sister wanted to take the lead in each heat, coming close to being
penalized by the commissaries in one heat. Kerrie added this comment about
this “we both didn’t want the front, we tried everything not to get
the front, it was really tiring doing the track stands, probably more
tiring than the sprinting its’ self.
Meares was happy that she had another medal under her belt but said
“there was a small amount of sadness that I had to beat Kerrie to get
forward to the Keirin events Anna added “I
think the Keirin will suit Kerrie, the stage she is at with her recovery
will suit the Keirin event. I am not too disappointed with my rides today,
I made a few mistakes that I learnt from and corrected later. As a
competitor you are really happy but as a sister you feel really
disappointed for Kerrie’s loss. I think that’s the hardest part”
Commonwealth games on home turf Anna was asked how she felt about that,
she commented “it
will be interesting, between Kerri and I we hold the Olympic, World and
Commonwealth records, then you add Victoria, who’s just become World
Champion and Lori-Ann Muenzer I think it will be a top class field
producing top class racing. The Melbounre
crown really gets behind the home nation. The atmosphere in Melbourne is
amazing and unbelievably noisy, this is always an advantage on home
ground. The best experience in the world is competing in front of a home
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