World Track Championships 2009
Scratch - CUBA World Scratch Champion
Yumari Gonzalez Valdivieso (Cuba) secured her World Track Championship jersey. A crash within the final stages of the race disrupted the flow and allowed the field to split. Involved in the crash was the young British rider Lizzy Armitstead, who was unfortunately brought down when the bunch went so close to the fence on the back straight that the Russian Evgeniya Romanyuta had no where to go but down, taking Armitstead and a couple of other riders with her. Everyone but the Russian managed to get back on their bikes and rejoin the race.
Raced over 40 laps, it was not long before the attacks started. Tara Whitten (CAN) launch herself off the front of the bunch, she was closely marked however by Armitstead and Romanyuta. With 32 laps to go Whitten attacked again with the Russian and managed to gain a small advantage before the gap was closed again by Armitstead.
Pascale Jeuland (FRA) moved to the front to increase the pace and with 28 laps to go, the 2008 World Champion Ellen van Dijk (NED) moved round the outside and attacked. This did attack did not managed to get clear. A counter attack from Leire Olaberria Dorronsoro (SPN) and Xiao Juan Diao (HKG) threatened the race, as they got a 50m gap with 24 laps to go. Malgorzata Wojtyra (POL) attacked with Lauren Ellis (NZL) and they caught the leaders but brought the rest of the bunch with them.
Shelly Olds (USA) counter attacked with 20 laps to go and managed to gain a maximum on half a lap on the bunch. It was Whitten who saw the danger and chased, Olaberria Dorronsoro, Ellis and Feiyan Sun (CHN) were on her wheel and they quickly worked to bring Olds back. On the front of the bunch Jarmila Machacova (CHZ) bridged the gap to the leaders and with 14 laps to go the bunch were all together.
Machacova attacked and Whiiten, Armitstead and Maria Luisa Calle Williams (COL), Gonzalez Valdivieso, and Goss went with her. The bunch followed and with 8 to go they were all together again. On the back straight the bunch were so tight on the fence line that the Russian had no where to go but down. The crash took Armistead, Jeuland and a number of other riders down. All but the Russian managed to get back on their bikes and rejoin the race.
Ellis attacked with Whitten and van Dijk and as the started 5 to go Armitstead and the other riders had managed to rejoin the race. Van Dijk attacked again, Gonzalez Valdivieso, Armitstead and Belinda Goss (AUS) were on her wheel. At the bell, Van Dijk was still in the lead but got swamped up on the back straight by Gonzalez Valdivieso and the bunch. On the line the first place was an easy decision. The final places took some sorting out. Initially Goss was given second and Giorgia Brozini (ITA) third, despite the fact that Armitstead had come second on the line. The dispute based on where Armitstead had rejoined the race. Armitstead had joined in the lead group instead of the chase group. It was judged that the break had not formed and that Armitstead had correctly joined the group. The result was amended after careful review of the tapes. Gonzalez Valdivieso, Gold, Armitstead, Silver and for the second year, Belinda Goss, Bronze.
Yumari Gonzalez Valdivieso (Cuba) was very happy to have won her second World Championship jersey. "I am very happy, I felt good and was not affected by the crash, it was behind me. I am very, very happy," said Gonzalez.
Lizzy Armitstead (GBR) was disappointed not to have won a gold medal and World Championship. she felt that if it had not been for the accident she would have been in a better position. "I am disappointed, I think that I would have had the confidence going into the last 5 laps in a much better position had I not crashed. If I had not been disorientated by the crash and been a little bit more aggressive I would have hit her earlier and perhaps I would have won. So very disappointed really, I could have done better, but under the circumstances, I am happy with Silver," said Armitstead.
Belinda Goss (AUS) thought she had a silver only to be told it was a bronze. "I am happy, to equal last year, shows me I am on the right track. This year we have done a lot of work towards the points race, hopefully I can improve on my bronze there," said Goss.
Shelly Olds (USA) tried very hard to get away but could not quite make it. "I had to go for it, I had to give it one shot," said Olds. Talking about the crash Olds added, "It happened right behind me, she hit my wheel and I nearly came off as she was going down, I thought 'oh no'. I didn't go down so that was good. But then everyone attacks. Going into these championships was tough, especially for me, I had no idea whether I would or not I was going to worlds and I only found out a few weeks ago. every race was a huge build up for me trying to qualify. I have been build, try to recover all winter. I think if you had better idea or plan of what you are going to do would have been better. this is only my second track season so i am learning all the time and trying to get better. this has been a great learning experience. I am just trying to soak it up. I am riding the points race but not the Omnium this year. I wanted to take it one step at a time. I had not chance to prepare for an Omnium, so the timing of the scratch and points is perfect for me," said Olds.
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