World Track Championships 2010
Pursuit Qualifying - Sarah Hammer is back to top form
The pursuit qualifying was fast and Sarah Hammer (USA) set the fastest time of 3:27.826, just 3.3 seconds outside the World Record time held by Sarah Ulmer.
Hammer went out fast and maintained her consistent pace throughout the 3000m ride.
Qualifying to ride for the Gold medal was the silver medalist from 2009, Wendy Houvenaghel (GBR). Houvenaghel started slowly but managed to pick up her speed in the closing stages to finish in a time of 3:30.377. Houvenaghel will need to pick up her pace if she wants to beat the former World Champion in the final tonight.
Riding off for Bronze will be Alison Shanks (NZL) and Vilija Sereikaite (LTU). Shanks was holding second place right to the last 1000m and just fell behind to finish in a time of 3:31.259. Sereikaite completed her ride in 3:31.905.
Just out of the medals was Ellen van Dijk (NED). Van Dijk gave it everything but only managed a 3:33.704. A good time for the HTC Columbia riderbut not enough for a medal.
Sarah Hammer (USA) is back to full form and dominating the Individual Pursuit. "I am totally stoked with that time. Going into the ride, I just thought, do what you can and go as fast as I can go. I finished first so I can't be any happier. I like the track, it is very fast. I was here in 2008, but they have cleaned up the boards and they are much quicker," said Hammer.
Wendy Houvenaghel (GBR) was very happy with her qualifying ride. "I am relived to get through to the final. You never really know what the competition of the conditions are going to be like until you get here. I stuck to what I know best, that is to concentrate on myself and that has put me in second place so I am pleased about that," said Houvenaghel.
Ellen van Dijk (NED) gave it her all but could only managed 5th fastest. "I could not have done any more," said van Dijk. "I really thought that I had done enough to qualify but the last riders just went that much quicker. I have the Team Pursuit tomorrow, which may be my last chance for a medal this year. I did not qualify enough points to ride the Points race this year and I am reserve for the Scratch," added van Dijk.
Pascal Schnider (SUI) has moved from the road to the track, "I am excited to be here and I hope to rider well but I know this is my first year. The track looks great and is very fast," said Schnider.
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