Sydney World Cup Track
(World Cup Classics 2007 - 2008)
Day 1, Evening
Scratch, Pursuit and Sprint Finals
field of 24 riders did not have any opportunity to take this race easy.
Right from the gun, Joanne Kiesanowski (NZL) attacked and forced the bunch
to chase hard. As soon as she was caught team mate Catherine Cheatley
attacked. Satomi Wadami (JPN) who performed well in the heats went with
her with Louise Moriarty (IRL). The dutch rider Marlijn Binnendijk pulled
herself and another 7 riders into a front group. By 30 to go however the
bunch were all together/ It was not long however before Kiesanowski
attacked again but the bunch responded quickly to close the gap.
definitive attack came at 17 to go when Mexican Belem Guerrero Mendez
attacked and gained half a lap on the bunch. She held the lead until 9 to
go when the Cuban teamwork of the current World Champion Yumari Gonzalez
Valdivieso and Yoanka Gonzalez Perez came into play. Gonzalez Perez chased
the Mexican down bringing the bunch together for a sprint.
Australian Belinda Goss tried to go early but could not hold enough
speed to the line and finished 5th.
The World Champion showed her class picking her way through the bunch to secure the win. Annalisa Cucinotta (ITA) finished second in a close race ahead of the Russian Anastasiay Chulkova.
turned out to be an interesting final 4 with an unknown rider, Vilija
Sereikaite (SAF) in gold medal final against Katie Mactier (AUS). Mactier
went out slower than usual but maintained a great pace to win. The bronze
medal ride of Karin Thürig (SUI) and Wendy Houvenaghel (SIS) was close
right through to the final 1000m. Thürig rode consistently and her early
season form secured her the win.
The race for
Gold, Silver and Bronze did not disappoint the crowds. Willy Kanis (NED)
and Anne Meares (TOS) fought for Gold/Silver and NatalliaTsylinskaya (BLR)
and Shuang Guo (CHN) for Bronze. After the first race Kanis was one up but
in the second race Meares caught Kanis napping and jumped just before one
lap to go. In the final race the pace was steadier until 300m to go when
Kanis dropped to the sprinters line and Meares could not quite catch her.
Kanis secured the Gold this time.
In the Bronze
medal ride NatalliaTsylinskaya (BLR) was clearly much stronger on the
night taking both heats to secure the medal.
Heat 1 was a
tough competition between Willy Kanis (NED) and Shuang Guo (CHN) Guo won
the first race and Kanis just secured the second. In the final race Kanis
went from the front to win through to race for Gold.
Heat 2 lived
up to expectations and got the crowd excited as Anna Meares (TOS) raced
off against former World Champion NatalliaTsylinskaya (BLR). Meares won
the first race but could not hold her speed on the back straight in the
second to allow Tsylinskaya to come round. In the final race
Gonzalez Perez (CUB) current
Wolrd Champion had the benefit of a great teammate in the scratch final
and Yumari Gonzalez Valdivieso certainly helped her achieve the gold
was a team effort the medal if for everyone and my country” said
was very happy with her silver medal. She was asked if she thought it was
possible and she said very confidently “Yes, I am only focused on the Scratch so this was good.”
Anastasiay Chulkova (RUS) managed to sneak through on the line to get the bronze medal and was very happy. “This is a good result for me, I am very happy” she said.
Mactier (AUS) was very relaxed after securing a ride for Gold “I
am happy, it’s all about getting things on track for this year” said
Mactier. Discussing the size of the women’s field at the event Mactier
added, “It’s great for cycling and
healthy in respect of cycling and seeing so many trade teams coming
through has to be good for the sport, 8 races for women is unheard of so
that has to be good for the future of our sport.” After winning
the Gold medal Mactier was positive about the future “I
am delighted with the result, it was interesting to see our splits in
qualifying were so close and I had never come up against her before [Vilija
Sereikaite (SAF)] so it was always going to be an
interesting final. We had a game plan going in and I followed it to a
‘T”. My target was to race from the get go, my injury [after
a crash earlier in the week] forced
me to start slower which surprised a few people. I could not get on top of
the gear quite as fast so was able to come home a little faster.”
Sereikaite (SAF) was
very happy with her silver medal “I have been riding both the road and the track over the last two
years and this is a great win for me” said Sereikaite.
Thürig (SUI) likes spending time is Australia having ridden the
track here many times and with trained with her road pro team on training
camps in Melbourne. Her Bronze medal was a pleasing result “I am very happy, it was very
close, but it is a great start to the season. I am just like everyone else
it’s about Beijing qualification so the higher you finish in the World
Cups the better chance you have of going so this result is good”
Wendy Houvenaghel (SIS) is only in her second full season of pursuit racing Houvenaghel reflected on her 4th place in the final. “I still have a lot of work to do but this year is about qualification for the Olympics and a 4th place is where I expected to be at this stage of the season.”
Kanis (NED) was
very happy with her Gold medal “I am very happy, my best has been 4th place so when I had
the winning qualification time I though it was possible to win. Anna
it had for me I had to take the front position and my coach was saying
“Go, Go, Go,” so I did”
Meares (TOS) secured
a silver medal but had been hoping for a gold “I
came here to win and get as many points as possible but I am happy with my
performance. I got really close to Willy [Kanis] so I am really happy with
where I am at the moment.”
(BLR) was happy
with her medal and was focused on the sprint for qualification the
Olympics. “It wasn’t the best time but I won” said Tsylinskaya. “I am riding the Keirin too but
that is fun”.
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