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World Track Championships 2008

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Points Race

Race Writeup

Marianne Vos won her third World Championship medal from three disciplines. She is the first woman to have won the Cyclo Cross, Road and now the Points race on the track. Vos attacked with 58 laps to go and took the 5 points for the sprint before gaining a lap at 43 to go. She continued to accumulate points take 3 at the 20 to go sprint and attacked again with 4 to go to secure the final 5 points. It was a display of sheer talent and determination from the 20 year old Vos.

The attacks started immediately when the Mexican Belem Guerrero Mendez fired off the front, she was quickly marked by Kate Bates the defending champion from 2007 who was making sure no one was going to get away so early. The next to attack was the 2005, 2006 champion Vera Carrara (ITA); she was followed by Liz Armistead the young British rider. The bunch quickly closed them down however. As the first sprint point it was the Spanish rider Leire Olaberria Dorronsoro who took first, Bates was on her wheel and took 3 points ahead of the Korean Min Hye Lee and Pascale Jeuland (FRA).

A big move from United States' Rebecca Quinn just after the first sprint quickly got half a lap, but this was quickly countered by Denmark's Trine Schmidt and Svetlana Paulikaite of Lithuania who counter attacked and tried to gain a lap. With 81 laps to go Schmidt quickly dropped the Lithuanian and continued alone and finally managed to latch on to the back of the pack to take a lap and twenty valuable points. She also took the 5 points at the next sprint.

Paulikaite continued to try to get on the back on the bunch and at one point was within 10 metres of the back of the bunch, agonisingly close, but the front of the bunch accelerated for the next sprint and she couldn't match its pace. She held on to take the next 5 points but the effort of the chase was too much and she fell back into the bunch.

The next big move came with 65 laps to go, from the Cuban Yoanka Gonzalez Perez. She was quickly followed by Jarmila Machacova (CZE) and Olga Slyusareva (RUS). Vos quickly saw the danger and moved up. Gonzalez Perez took the next sprint ahead of Machacova and Jeuland.

The leading riders faded and this gave Vos her opportunity to go out alone taking first place in the next sprint and a full lap putting her on equal point with Schmidt. In the bunch, the experienced Carrara saw her opportunity and attacked without a response from the bunch she gained a lap putting her in third place over all.

Machacova and Olaberria Dorronsoro attacked again with 44 laps remaining and secure valuable points in the sprint. There were more attacks as the race moved in to the closing stages, none of which came to anything, but at the twenty laps to go sprint, Vos took second place and with it a valuable three points, placing her in the outright lead.

With fourteen laps to go, Bates attacked to join a small breakaway group and went over the top of them after the penultimate sprint. Her move came to late to impact the race but it did generate panic in the bunch. Vos was watching Schmidt’s every move to make sure her lead was protected. Wan Yiu Wong of Hong Kong attacked but Vos recognised this as a good move and followed Wong, overtaking her with five laps to go and continuing alone to take the final sprint and win the race in the style of a true champion. Trine Schmidt held on for second to give the Danes their second consecutive Silver medal in the event. Carrara held on for Bronze.

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Post Race Comments

Marianne Vos (NED) could not believe her luck winning the point’s race. It was more than luck of course. “This is so unbelievable” said Vos as she came off the track to hugs from her team. ”It’s so amazing; I can’t believe I have done it. After my World Cyclo Cross and Road titles, I couldn't imagine that I would do it on the tack. But here it happened. I can't believe it. I felt good," she said. Asked about her race tactics Voss added, "In the first few sprints I didn't have enough speed to sprint with the best. So I had to do it another way. That was to take a lap. This win gives me a lot of confidence," she said of her chances of repeating this success in Beijing.  "Of course, it won't be until August but I will do my best to be 100% there."

Trine Schmidt (Denmark) was overjoyed with her performance “It was pretty hard our there today but I trained hard and I felt really good today” said Schmidt. Asked if it was her plan to attack, she added “Yes it was my plan to attack and it worked out so well for me” she added.

Vera Carrara (Italy) won the points’ race in 2005 and 2006; finishing third was not a disappointment in an Olympic year for Carrara. “I am so happy I have not been in the best condition this year until the last couple of months. I was really lucky to have been able to make the lap. The bunch slowed a little and gave me the opportunity to go” said Carrara.


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To follow

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Photos   Click on any image to enlarge >>

WC1_6011 WC1_6014 WC1_6023 WC1_6032 WC1_6038
WC1_6049 WC1_6061 WC1_6079 WC1_6105 WC1_6108
WC1_6112 WC1_6144 WC1_6150 WC1_6157 WC1_6176
WC1_6178 WC2_5364 WC2_5387 WC2_5399 WC3_5630


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