World Track Championships 2008
Pursuit for Women appeared in the World Championships for the first time
this year. During the World Cup events a number of countries brought three
strong riders together to compete in the event which is seen as a positive
move for women’s track cycling. Seven countries made the World
Championships and the event, although not generating the same level of
excitement that the men’s team pursuit does, saw the crowd warming to
the event by the end of qualifying.
to ride were the British trio of Wendy Houvenaghel,
Rebecca Romero and Joanne Rowsell, who at only 19 is one of the new
young talent on show at the championships, finished their ride in a new
World Best time of 3 minutes 25.725
Belgium trio of Evelyn Arys, Jessie Daams and Jolien D’Hoore were the
youngest team to ride the event. All under 18 they will be a team to watch
in the future if they can stay together. They were out of the medals but
still delivered a good performance
looked like they would challenge the British time, but fell 4 seconds
short at the finish to be in the ride for Bronze.
Dutch trio delivered a tactically wrong race. Marlijn Binnendijk did not
pull of the front for the first 1000m by which time her team had blown.
They were third fastest at 1000m but ended up 6th.
German team, were the fastest over the first 1000m but could not hold the
pace. They finished 3 seconds off the pace of the British team but managed
to do enough to fight for the Bronze medal against the Belarus team.
Russian team never looked like they would match the speed of the previous
teams and finished 5th.
were last to ride as the current World Cup champions. They had posted a
world best time during the LA world cup event of
3 minutes 27.438 seconds. They were 4th fastest at 1000m
but managed to pull it back to finish in 3 minutes 26.565 seconds.
Britain’s team of pursuit riders did not disappoint the huge British
crowd with a blistering time of 3 minutes 22.415 seconds to set a World
Best time on their way to the Gold medal. Houvenaghel led the team out but
it really was a shared effort. The Ukraine team started fast but could not
maintain their form to the end. They lost formation with 4 laps to go and
were almost caught by the British team within the final lap.
won the Bronze medal in a convincing ride against the Belarussians. They
posted a German record time to win in 3 minutes 26.960 seconds ahead of
the Belarus team who rode a respectable 3 minute 29.449 second time.
Houvenaghel, Rebecca Romero and Joanne Rowsell (GBR) we’re
overjoyed at winning the Gold medal and World Championship jerseys. “We really didn’t know how we
were going to go after the qualifying ride, it was really nerve racking
being part of a team is so exciting. It was exhilarating out there
tonight. To win a Gold medal in front of our hoe crowd is so amazing. It
is better than we could have ever imagined. I think it is time for this
event to be on the schedule ” said Houvenaghel. “The crowd really helped to get our legs moving, it seemed much easier
the second time too. After yesterday, both Rebecca [Romero] and I had a
concern that we were going to have to rely on Joanne [Roswell] and she out
performed expectations.” Romero added “I think we have done so well
given that we had very little time to practice together. Our performance
has really put a stamp on the Team Pursuit for women, so that is really
good.” Rowsell is
only 19 and has come up through the talent identification programme and is
now based in Manchester full time. She overwhelmed with the teams
performance, “It hasn’t sunk in yet” said Rowsell.
Bochkarova, Lesya Kalitovska and Lyubov Shulika (UKR) were
very disappointed not to have won Gold but very impressed with how the
British team performed.
“It was hard for us tonight because we really did not know the form of
the British” said Kalitovska. “This is good for Ukraine and for women’s cycling in our country.
We have one rider in the Olympics this year and we hope she will do well
and more women will start to ride” added Shulika.
Becker, Verena Joos and Alexandra Sontheimer (GER) were
very happy with their Bronze medal. Becker said “This
is amazing for us; it is our first Bronze medal in this competition so we
are very happy. This is great for German cycling and even better for
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