World Track Championships 2007
Palma, Majorca, Spain
Kate Bates (Australia) finally achieved her goal of a World Championship jersey in the Points race. She rode a tactical race and was part of the race winning break created by Catherine Cheately (New Zealand) that meant Bates just had to keep out of trouble and secure a few of the extra points on offer to win gold.
The first to start the attacks was Vera Carrara (Italy) but her past form in this event secured that fact that she was closely marked and she could not get away. At the first sprint point, it was the Cuban, Gonzalez who took the first points. Bates was tight on her wheel to secure 3 points. Gina Grain (Canada) took the 2 points and much to the crowds delight Gema Pascual Torrecilla (Spain) jumped for 1 point. With 83 laps to go the bunch were riding tight on the bends. As the next sprint point came it was Carrara that attacked again, she secured 5 points. Danish rider Mie Bekker Lacota got second and 3 points, Andrie Visser (Netherlands) squeezed in for third and 2 points and former World Champion Olga Slyusareva (Russia) got the last point on offer.
Immediately Pascale Schnider (SUI) attacked but it was not successful, Slyusareva closed this down quickly. As the third sprint point approached, it was the Cuban who attacked and took the 5 point, Bates secured 2. Cheatley attacked again, this time Torrecilla closed the gap bring the field with her.
In true Dutch style Visser attacked, this time the Spanish crowd went wild as Torrecilla went with her. The two managed to gain half a lap and managed to hold this lead right through to the next sprint point. By 59 laps to go, the bunch were back together. It did not last however as Belem Guerrero Mendez (Mexico) attacked. She quickly gained half a lap, but it was Catherine Cheatley again who attacked to cover the gap. This proved to be the decisive move of the race as she took Bates and Lacota with her. The four worked well together and by 35 laps to go they had taken the race wining lap.
The front of the bunch reacted, the Cuban attacked again and the bunch was completely strung out. No other break managed to succeed as the bunch completed the final laps. With 14 to go a crash involving Schnider, who pulled her foot, Guerrero Mendez (Mexico) and Elizaveta Bochkarova (Ukraine) occurred. All involved were okay and able to get back on their bikes.
As the final 6 laps ticked away, Charlotte Becker (Germany) tried to get away, she was marked by the Columbian Maria Luisa Calle Williams and Gina Grain (Canada). With two to go the Columbian moved to the front again with Becker. The two gained a small gap on the chasers, Torrecilla and Visser. This is the order they crossed the finish line.
Bates won with 35 points, Locota was second with 29 points and Catherine Cheately finished third with 27 points.
caught up with Gina Grain (Canada)
while she was preparing for the Points race. Having achieved a silver medal
in the scratch race in 2006, Grain has high hopes for herself in the points
am stoked to be here. We have been training really hard for it [the
points race]. I switched my whole
focus and dedication to the points race. My new coach Richard Wooles and
Bicycling Canada are working together on my programme. Richard has been
coaching me since November, he is in Vancouver and has a good track and
endurance background. So he has put a lot of time into helping me with my
training. We have done a lot of technical work and I have had a lot more
track time this year. It’s been great going into an event like this,
knowing that you have been able to totally focus on it, and put all the
resources that you have, into making it a success. It’s a good feeling
coming here, knowing that you have done everything you done everything you
possibly can to be in top condition.”
Asked how you keep track during the event on your own points and position and that of your competitor, Grain added, “you pretty much know who to watch for, it’s a small tight community, less riders, you know who they are and you know who to watch. It is so similar to road racing in that way. In the worlds, though you have to go out and ride your own race. If you race someone else’s game, it’s not going to work for you, you have to race your own. I will keep an eye on the scoreboard and the key people.”
these World Championships, Grain joins her new team ExpressCopy.com. “They have put a great programme together. It doesn’t have up racing
all the time but they have picked key races to help qualify Canada for the
Olympics for the road and they are fully supportive of my track endeavours
as well so having that support behind me has been great and it really works.
We are focused on the USA races and the later European ones. We are trying
to play it smart with budget and maximize UCI points.”
Bates (Australia) rode a tactically perfect race and deserved to win
World Championship jersey. “I
really can’t believe it, I’m so excited. I was sick a couple of days
ago. So I had no expectations of how I would go. My partner Richard
[England] and I worked really hard on tactics. I could not have done this
without the help and support of Gary Sutton and everyone around me. I have
amazing support and a new fitness coach Petra [Rosner], she has got me in
the best form of my life. A combination of those three people, have got me
here. I can’t believe it’s amazing. I still can’t believe I am getting
a stripey jersey,”
said an ecstatic Bates.
Bates is shoe mad and was excited about the prospect of buying a pair of Manola Blahnik shoes, a reward she promised herself if she ever won a World title. “I promised myself a pair of Manola’s. I am going to the US in a few weeks so I will wait until then, they have a better selection, I ’ve earned them because I’ve never worked this hard before and I just can’t believe it’s paid off,” added Bates.
wore a gold stiletto pendant around her neck during the race. “My Auntie bought it for me and said ‘one day you’ll get the
stripes honey but this is for you in the meantime’. I only wear it when I
feel good because I didn’t want to curse it and today I had a feeling and
AAAAAHHHH, I am just so excited.”
victory was even more special given that Bates had been ill just before the
pursuit, having fallen victim to the bug that had swept through the
Australian team, Bates delivered a very under par performance. Bates added, “I rested and I ate a lot of what I had lost in the day, in a way it
took the pressure off me it could be looked at as a bit of bad luck had I
not ridden well. To get this gold just shows that if you are determined
enough you can do anything. It hurt my pride after being so fit and knowing
that you could do something special and then underperforming but it also
spurred me on.”
heads up to Northern Europe to join her pro team T-Mobile. “They
helped me get here, I want to be standing on the same spot on the podium in
the Olympic games next year. I can’t afford to drop anything, so it’s
onwards and upwards from here. I still can’t believe I have won”
about the race, Bates added, “I have had some mixed results
over the last few years and I think that helped me today. People took less
notice of me and that worked to my advantage. It was anyone’s race today.
The women are a little bit guilty of looking at each other, me included.
Once we were away, I wanted to get as many points as possible in case we
didn’t take the lap. I also knew that the Danish rider was faster than
Catherine Cheatley, so that worked well. The Danish rider is still so young
and so talented. I think that experience is what won it for me today.”
the ceremony, Bates was asked how she was going to celebrate. “I do not know, really I don’t know. When I was warming up I was
having visions of what am I going to do if I win. I knew how hard I have
worked and I deserved it. I thought what am I going to do? I really thought
that I would be in tears and there were a few there for a minute. There is
no way this has sunk in yet, I keep looking down and seeing this jersey and
medal. I think when I see photos it will sink it a little bit more. I
won’t come down for a while.”
(Denmark) was very happy with her Silver medal. “It was a tough race but it was
good. When we got away, I thought, ‘we can do this’. The peloton was
unorganised and this allowed us to get the lap. This is huge for me, I am
first year senior, I didn’t expect this, it is a dream come true. Next
time I hope it’s the gold medal.”
Zealand) had shown some good form in the recent Tour of New Zealand and came
into these championships in great form. “I am blown away with this
[talking about her Bronze medal]. I knew I had good form coming in today and
when we got the lap I thought ‘oh my god this could happen’. This is
just fantastic." Cheately was asked if she thought she had a
chance of a medal once Kate [Bates] joined her attack she added, “Yes, I knew that she was strong, also the Danish girl was strong too.
We worked really hard together, we got half a lap and then it started to
come back. We just drove harder and we took the lap. It’s amazing, I am so
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