World Track Championships 2008
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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