2013 UCI Track World Championships
Minsk Arena, Belarus
Katarzyna Pawlowska (POL) secured her second consecutive world title with an attacking ride that secured a break. Her compatriot in the break was Mexican Sofia Arreola Navarro, who held on for silver. In the chase for bronze, Russian Evgeniya Romanyuta saw the danger from the attack and chased with two to go, to secure the bronze.
With 40 laps of the track, the attacks started right from the start. Caroline Ryan (IRE) tried to attack but she was marked by Melissa Hoskins (AUS). A small lead group formed including the eventual leader Pawlowska, but it was quickly closed by Kirsten Wild (NED).
Stephanie Pohl (GER) attacked and gained a small 20m gap. She was chased by Arreola Navarro, Ryan and Pawlowska. With 28 laps to go, the race was all together. The pace was incredible high as riders continually tried to attack. Eventually, Jamila Machacova (CZE) gained a small gap. Pohl went with her. This time is was the Belgian, Sarah Inghelbrecht who gave chase to try to close the gap. The two leaders were holding a 75m lead with 16 laps to go but eventually the bunch came back together.
Ryan attacked again. She gained a small gap before Pawlowska gave chase. She caught Ryan and continued past her. Ryan tried hard to hold the wheel of the Polish rider. The Mexican, Arreola Navarro gave chase to the two leaders. With 7 laps to go, there was no organisation from the bunch to close the gap. Riders would move to the front but not commit to the chase. The three leaders had half a lap with 5 to go. Ryan blew and dropped off the pace of the two leaders. With 3 to go, Romanyuta gave chase. With 2 to go, Wild finally decided to commit to a chase but it was all too late. At the bell, Romanyuta was the clear leader ahead of Arreola Navarro and Romanyuta.
Rebecca James (GBR), Kristina Vogel (GER), Wai Sze Lee (HKG) and Shuang Guo (CHN) all qualified for the semifinals. All four riders had relatively easy races, all winning through in two races.
James, will face Guo and Vogel, will ride the inform Lee tomorrow.
In the ride for 5th to 8th place, Jinjie Gong (CHN) won the sprint ahead of Stephanie Morton and Kaarle McCulloch (AUS) and Virginie Cueff (FRA).
Katarzyna Pawlowska (POL) was very happy to be crowned the Scratch World Champion again, "I did not think I could come here and win again but I really wanted it. Last year when I won the Scratch race, it was a surprise. This year I had no stress. I just wanted to enjoy it and do my best. To win is amazing," said Pawlowska.
Sofia Arreola Navarro (MEX) made a move at the right time and the result was a silver medal, "I am very happy. I thought that anything was possible when we stayed away. In the Scratch race anything can happen. I just kept pushing to the end. I have been training really hard so this is amazing," said Arreola Navarro.
Evgeniya Romanyuta (RUS) won the first medal for Russia in the championships. "I have been waiting seven years for my first medal at the World Championships. I am so happy. Normally I would only race the Omnium, so to race the scratch and medal is great. This year I return to the road with Rusvelo so this is a great start to the season," said Romanyuta..
Becky James (GBR) is the new sprinting talent from the UK. She is certainly making the big step from the junior ranks to the senior ranks with impressive form. She has an incredible turn of speed especially in the final 50m, "I am really happy with qualifying [for the semi-finals]. I really did not expect to qualify. It is a bonus. My legs are feeling good. I am looking forward to racing again tomorrow," said James.
Reflecting on the fact that she is now one of the leading sprinters for Great Britain, James was asked if the now retired Vicky Pendleton had any influence on her, "Vicky was amazing when she was racing. She was unbeatable. To be able to see what she was able to achieve, maybe one day I will be able to do that too. This is my first year really stepping up to the senior level. Actually getting into a top 8 is amazing. Just getting past the first round and getting a day of racing has been amazing," added James.
James was asked what had been the key to her good form, "It has been consistent training. We spent a month in Perth, West Australia. We got some good road miles in and I got a lot fitter. It has definitely helped me on the track," reflected James.
Kristina Vogel (GER) has already tasted success and wants more, "It has been really difficult. It has been such a long time since my last sprint race at the Olympics. Each race my legs feel better, so tomorrow I am hopeful for a good day. The top four women are all really strong. We all have positives and negatives so i think tomorrow will be hard to win but I think I can do it, why not!," said Vogel.
Wai Sze Lee (HKG) was very relaxed about qualifying for the semi-finals, "I have been working really hard and I am really fit right now. I have prepared really well for this championships for a long time. I will try my best tomorrow," said Lee.
Shuang Guo (CHN) will ride the inform James in the semi-final, "I am looking forward to tomorrow. I am not sure how the race will go because I have never raced against Becky [James]. It will be good," said Guo
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