Sydney UCI World Cup 2006 / 2007
Sydney, 13:50hrs Anna Meares has just broken the World Record for 500m TT. The Australian beat her Athens 2004 World Record and lowered the new standard to 33.944seconds.
Quotes from the New World Record Holder
Meares looked completely shocked as she looked up at the scoreboard to see
her time “I
can’t really say what I am thinking, I didn’t think that was
possible.” Trying to
hold back the tears of joy, “that
was really amazing, I looked up and I saw Tslinskaya’s time and I thought
that was pretty good, then I saw mine was flashing.”
is an amazing start to the year how does that feel? “its
amazing” said Meares.
you have this much form now imagine what a few more months will do. “I
am going to work on being better than that. That has just given me the
biggest confidence boost, it was really hard last season with my back
injury, hard for Marv [Martin Barras] too. This year we had a good block of
solid training, no interruptions and that’s what we get for it so I am
looking forward to a solid 6 months.”
Photos Click on any image to enlarge >>
The ride for gold and silver never looked like it would go any way but Mactiers (AUS). Right from the start she dominated the pace, with her usual fast start, Houvenhagel (SIS) lost 3.060 seconds before she started to make some progress into the deficit. At the bell she had reduced the gap to 1.613 seconds and but could not close the gap at the finish.
said she was “pleased”
with her ride. When asked if she was
under pressure tonight, knowing that a World Record had been broken
on the track earlier in the day? “I
don’t think that’s pressure, it’s motivation. I feel very lucky that I
am team-mate with such a phenomenal athlete. If anything she is an
inspiration to me. She told us she was going to do it. She is a classy act.
Anna is a very special athlete the conditions here are not fast, the times
speak for themselves so that makes her ride that much more special.” Asked
if this was a good start to the season Mactier added “the times aren’t great I
will be honest with you. I hate losing in this event, we have not had the
most ideal preparation as we did going into the Commonwealth Games, Olympics
or World Championships or World Cups so you have to be mindful of that. The
times aren’t bad, I won it and qualified my spot at the World
Championships in Mallorca. I am going to go home to Melbourne. I have the
Oceania event next week and I am thrilled with the day, my boyfriend just
won silver in the points [Greg
Henderson (NZL)] just
before my race so it was just what I needed to give me motivation.”
about the improved form of Houvenhagel in her first major of competition,
Mactier commented “I
am she did the same time as she did in the Commonwealth Games but when look
to Beijing we will be talking low or sub [3
30’s period. When people start doing those times I will start taking
notice of them”
Houvenhagel spoke briefly to WCN before she attending the standard
doping control. Asked how she felt about the ride she said “I
feel quite disappointed that I was so close in the qualifying session but on
the other hand quite pleased with my performance. I was within 1 second of
her and with a little bit more work I would hope supersede her.”
Do you feel like you have come a long way since the Commonwealth Games in
yes, I finished my job as a dentist and have been a full time athlete since
August, so only 5 months of concentrating on cycling training. I have been
concentrating on the track now as my previous experience had been on the
road and a little mountain biking.”
She is coached by Dan Hunt, the Women’s Endurance coach, who is doing a
good job to build Houvenhagel’s skills. After her experience of being
caught by Mactier and then subsequently disqualified in the Commonwealth
Games. How much did that play on your mind tonight? “There was no way I was going
to let Katie catch me tonight. I learned a lot from March and I went our
much faster tonight. I always start slow and pull it back at the end I just
need to work on the first 1 km.”
In the ride off for the Bronze medal the New Zealand champion, Shanks was up against Sereikaite (Lituania). Sereikaite immediately stamped her mark as Shanks dropped behind .0939 within the first 5 laps. Shanks could not hold match the pace of Sereikaite and at the bell she was 1.195 behind. Sereikaite won bronze in a time of 03:40.887.
the pursuit qualifying, the favourite for the home crowd was Katie Mactier
(AUS) who did not disappoint them. She qualified in first place ahead of
Wendy Houvenhagel (SIS) in her first full year racing at international track
went out strongly and there was almost a repeat of the catch at the
Commonwealth Games where Mactier caught and passed Houvenhagel (SIS). This
time however Houvenhagel, showed how much she has improved as she increased
her speed in the later part of the race and was within 1 second of Mactier
at the finish. The other noticeable improvement in the line up was from the
Malaysian Hoay Sim. She last rode in Australian top flight competition at
the Commonwealth Games. In the months since then she has continued to work
under the direction of John Beasley (Mactier’s coach). In her race today
she took 4 seconds off her personal best.
Sereikaite (LTU), in her qualifying ride, was up against Olaberria
Dorronsoro (DUR). Sereikaite (LTU) passed Olaberria Dorronsoro (DUR) at the
half way point, instead of pulling back Olaberria Dorronsoro sat in behind
the Lituanian. As a result the commissaires disqualified her as she is
required, once passed to drop about 5 metres behind the overtaking rider [The
judgement for this is made by the commissaries based on whether the rider is
gaining any benefit by riding in behind].
Meares sisters started a little slower than the first round in the medal
ride but picked up. The German pair were .029sec up at 200m but it did not
last as Kerrie Meares handed over to the new 500m TT World Record holder,
Anna, the Germans had dropped to .213 behind. At the finish the Australians
took the gold in a time of 34.504
seconds at a speed of 52.167km/hr.
medal winners the Meares sisters were pleased with their winning ride.
Kerrie Meares was overjoyed at the win “
Wow! I am on the podium for these championships, it feels good. I didn’t
know what lap time I did but it does help to have a World and Olympic
champion on your tail. Hopefully I can become a World and Olympic champion
too. We could become an unbeatable pair.”
Do you believe that could happen if they keep this event in the programme? “It
is a dream, we have long careers ahead of us.”
the sisters received their World Cup jerseys Kerrie commented to Anna “This
is the first time I have had one of these.”
Anna added that “This is a real
coup for women’s sprinting. It has picked up the event and created more
opportunities for us to race, it was previously quite limited. This is a
great feeling to be racing as a team, we [Kerrie and I] compete against each
other so often, the crowd was behind both of us competing as one.”
German pair were really pleased with their performance “it
feels really good” said
Gloss. Asked if they had been training for this they both said “
just a little, we are in the same club, we have had a couple of months to
prepare but we are very excited about this race, I remember the team sprint
3 years ago and I am pleased with our first medal”
French dominated the bronze medal ride against the Italians. After the first
lap they were .032sec up and as Sanchez took over from Cueff, who at only 18
showed that she will be a force to be watched over the next few years, if
she continues to progress. They finished just under 1 second ahead.
Women’s Team Sprint was introduced on the international stage for women in
2003 when the Russians held the world best time. In 2004 the honours passed
to the Australians, Kerrie Meares was a member of that team then with
Rosalee Hubbard and Rochelle Gilmore (a three person event then). It was
removed from the calendar until this year where it has been reintroduced. In
2003 and 2004 the women competed over three laps. Now back into the World
Cup series and World Championships for 2006/2007, two women will race over 2
laps. The teams will race over two laps with the fastest racing off for
gold/Silver, and the 3rd and 4th teams will race for
Bronze. Losers will receive points based on their qualifying time.
line up for the first official running of this event was impressive. The
Meares sisters Australia’s queens of sprinting, got to compete together in
front of their home supporters. They were up against a strong Russian
pairing of Abassova and Grishina, French champion Sanchez was paired with
the relative new comer Cueff. Representing Italy was the Keirin silver
medallist from 2005 and silver in the 500m in 2006, Frisoni and Cucinotta.
Germany put a young pairing of Gerish and Gloss, they obviously want to
build for the future. Last in the line up were the Koreans Jin and Lee,
relatively unknown on the world stage but improving rapidly.
first to ride were the Australians up against the Russians. Kerrie Meares
led out for the first lap and set a blistering pace for her sister to take
the second leg. The Russians were led out by Grishina ahead of the more
experienced Abassova to finish.
second pairings to go were the French and Italians. Cueff led the French
champion out as Cucinotta led the Italian Frisoni out. At the half way point
the French were up by .06 seconds and finished strongly to sit in second
place at that time.
to go were the Germans up against the Koreans. The German team started fast,
at the half way point they were in the lead but they could not hold it to
the finish completing .142 seconds behind the Australians.
Gold / Silver
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