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World Track Championships 2008

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Race Writeup

The Dutch rider Eleonora van Dijk secured the second endurance gold medal for the Netherland with a courageous attack with 8 laps to go, in the 40 lap race.

Van Dijk is a Dutch powerhouse, at 180cm tall; her strength is all in her legs. When she attacked no one could go with her. It took a few seconds for the bunch to react and it was the current World Cup leader Yumari Gonzalez Valdivieso (CUB) and Belinda Goss (AUS) who moved to the front to give chase. At the finish Van Dijk had a 75m gap on her opponents. Gonzalez Valdivieso held on for Silver and Goss for Bronze.

Raced over 40 laps the usual slow start to the scratch race did not occur. Aksana Papko (BLR) tried to emulate the performance of her male counterpart by attacking right from the gun. The bunch reacted to close down the attack. They stayed together for a further 5 laps before Papko attacked again. She was joined by Svetlana Paulikaite (LTU), Svitlana Galyuk (UKR), Van Dijk, and Rebecca Quinn (USA). The group managed to gain a very small gap of 10 m on the chasers, but Gema Pascual Torrecilla (ESP) brought the bunch back to them. Pascual Torrecilla attacked as she caught and passed the leaders and created a small gap for herself. Paulikaite reacted from the group and chased as did Quinn.

With almost half the race completed the bunch we all together, as they slowed a little, Jarmila Machacova (CZE) launched an attack. This was closed down immediately by the Columbian Maria Luisa Calle Williams. A crash involving the Spanish rider Pascual Torrecilla and Catherine Cheatley (NZL) slowed proceedings just for a moment. Cheatley managed to get back on her bike but Pascual Torrecilla could not.

The Silver medalist in the point race Trine Schmidt (DEN) launched an attack. She only managed to get a 10m gap, before Paulikaite again reacted to close it down. With 14 laps to go Machacova, Jessica Jurado ((MEX) and Gina Grain (CAN) attacked. They managed to get half a lap before they were caught by the chasing bunch. Almost immediately Schmidt attacked again but she did not have the legs, she was caught and passed by Van Dijk.

This was the decisive move; by the bell Van Dijk had half a lap advantage. Yumari Gonzalez Valdivieso (CUB) and Belinda Goss (AUS) moved to the front to give chase but it was too late.


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Post Race Comments

Eleonora Van Dijk (NED) waited for the speed to slow a little before she attacked in the move of the race. “My plan was to go with about 10 laps to go but it happened at 8 to go. I was surprised I stay away. I know that every country only has one rider so they don’t work together and that was better for me to ride away and they didn’t come after me” said Van Dijk.”I didn’t know how big the gap was, I was just focused to ride, I gave it everything; I just kept my head down and kept riding. It wasn’t until the last 100m that I realised that I had won” added Van Dijk. Van Dijk came into the championships focused on the pursuit and was disappointed with how she performed but this has certainly made up for that.

Yumari Gonzalez Valdivieso (CUB) was very tired after the scratch race. “I am happy with Bronze, I did not feel so good today, so this is a good result” said Gonzalez Valdivieso

Belinda Goss (AUS) positioned herself well in the last lap to win the Bronze medal. “I am very happy to have come away with a medal. There were a lot of attacks during the race, it was very eventful. It was really hard to judge which ones were going to stay away and which ones were going to be caught. When Van Dijk went she was strong enough to hold us all off” said Goss.

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Position Name Country
GOLD Eleonora Van Dijk NED
SILVER Yumari Gonzalez Valdivieso CUB
BRONZE Belinda Goss AUS
4 Annalisa Cucinotta ITA
5 Rebecca Quinn USA
6 Pascale Jeuland FRA
7 Elizabeth Armitstead GBR
8 Maria Luisa Calle Williams COL
9 Elke Gebhardt GER
10 Catherine Cheatley NZL
11 Olga Slyusareva RUS
12 Svetlana Galyuk UKR
13 Jarmila Machacova CZE
14 Gina Grain CAN
15 Aksana Papko BLR
16 Wan Yiu Wong HKG
17 Jessica Jurado MEX
18 Svetlana Paulikaite LTU
19 Trine Schmidt DEN
DNF Gema Pascual Torrecilla ESP
DNF Wathinee Luekajorh THA

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