Vos adds a track title to her list
A beaming Jennie Reed, cheered on by her American teammate, Taylor Phinney, stepped down from the medal podium in Manchester after claiming the bronze medal in the women’s sprints, to pronounce herself “very pleased” with her third place, behind Simona Krupeckaite of Lithuania and – look away now if you’re suffering from Brit-fest fatigue – gold medal winner, Victoria Pendleton of Team GB.
If Pendleton’s success had seemed assured after her fastest qualifying time, Reed had got to the podium the hard way. After falling to Pendleton in the semi-final, she fought off China’s Shuang Guo to claim the bronze.
“I tried not to have too high expectations, but just to go out there and do what I could,” Reed said. “After Friday when my foot came out in the heats, and I rode 200 meters on one leg, I decided I had nowhere to go but up.”
“I knew going up against Victoria would be tough, because she rode 10-9 in the qualifiers. But it makes me really believe in myself and think I have a potential to improve. To come away with a medal was a big confidence builder, because I haven’t been in the top four for a couple of years. It’s really made me excited for the next few months.”
Reed is now looking ahead to Beijing. “I think it’s looking quite exciting because it’s more competitive in the women’s sprints than ever. In the past the top four was more determined coming into the competition and then there was a bit of a gap, but now it shows that the top 12 women at least are really close, so every sprint match is exciting. Different people are showing in the top four.”
But like many other athletes heading off to the Beijing Games, Reed fears the impact of the Olympic city’s notorious levels of pollution. “The pollution is even inside the velodrome,” she claimed. “You can see the smog layer. I did the World Cup there and got really sick, so it was very bad. In fact, most of the team got sick.”
To offset the smog, Reed wore an anti-pollution mask for most of her stay. “We even started to wear masks on the track, but it’s hard to get the high air-flow,” she said. “Hopefully things will be a lot better in the summer.”
Vos earns another rainbow
Marianne Vos of the Netherlands made cycling history when she won the gold medal in the women’s points race at the world track cycling championships in Manchester, England, on Saturday.
Vos, who has already earned world road and cyclocross titles, became the first cyclist to win titles in three cycling disciplines.
And the 20-year-old Dutchwoman is now hoping her team gives her the go-ahead to aim for an audacious three gold medals in two disciplines at the Beijing Olympics this summer.
Vos finished the 25km race on a total of 33 points, leaving Denmark’s Trine Schmidt with the silver on 25 and Italian Vera Carrara with the bronze.
Schmidt had claimed 20 points from a first attack which allowed her to lap the field, but Vos then Carrara followed suit.
Australia’s Katherine Bates, the defending champion, finished out of the medals in ninth place on six points.
Remarkably, Vos had not even planned to compete at the world championships because she is in the middle of preparing for the upcoming road cycling season.
But her hand was forced after she failed to qualify for the Olympic points race at the last World Cup track event in Copenhagen.
“I didn’t even want to come here. I’m right in the middle of training in Spain for the road season,” said Vos, who would have been assured of an Olympic place had she finished fifth or sixth here Saturday.
“But now that I’ve got the rainbow jersey I’m not going to complain.” The Dutchwoman is already considered a cycling phenomenon, and could boost her reputation in Beijing this August.
“My big objective this season is to win three golds at the Olympics, in the road race, the time trial and the points race,” added Vos, although her team bosses will be looking closely at the race schedule in Beijing to make sure she does not suffer burn-out.
Vos said she would not be tempted to also race in the BMX events. “I like to keep my wheels on the ground,” she joked.
Vos’s first major world title came at the cyclocross world championships in January 2006, and she added another rainbow jersey when she capped a late attack to win the world road race crown in September of the same year.
Last year Vos was also the overall World Cup champion.
And she put her talent on display earlier this season when she decided to compete at the 2008 cyclocross championships on a whim, and then walked away with the silver medal.
Hoy scores another
World sprint champion Chris Hoy reinforced his Olympic gold credentials by defending his keirin crown in style Saturday.
Hoy, who won his first gold in the coveted sprint event on Friday, was unbeatable in the six-man final controlling the final three laps to win ahead of Dutchman Teun Mulder and Greek Christos Volikaksis.
Mulder took the silver with Volikaksis taking the bronze ahead of Frenchman Arnaud Tournant, who was devastated to finish fourth.
Hoy’s ninth career world title – and second consecutively in the keirin – means Britain now have a remarkable nine gold medals from 14 finals ahead of the final day of competition on Sunday.
Less than five months ahead of the Olympics, the 32-year-old Scot has raised his profile immensely in track’s speed events.
After four tough days of competition and his championships now over, Hoy is only too happy to be taking a rest.
“It’s just elation to finally get through this week,” said Hoy, who began his campaign on the opening day with a silver in the team sprint event behind France. “To finish with two gold and a silver is just phenomenal. I didn’t expect to win two golds. Fantastic, it’s a great way to finish it off.
“I had very tired legs and the last lap was a long way for me. The line couldn’t come soon enough but when I crossed it, it was sheer relief.”
Hoy’s bid to defend the crown he won for the first time last year, after he raced his final kilometer by winning the kilo gold last year, was boosted earlier in the competition when some of his big rivals were dumped out.
Theo Bos of the Netherlands and France’s Kevin Sireau, both beaten by Hoy in the sprint tournament, failed to make it to the second round, as did Olympic champion Ryan Bayley of Australia.
The only big threats to Hoy in the six-man final, on paper at least, were Mulder and Tournant. But only Mulder made it on to the podium after a final in which Hoy took the lead after the bell and was never threatened over the final three laps.
“I’m a little bit frustrated I didn’t get the chance to race the kind of final I wanted,” said Tournant, who won gold in the men’s team sprint earlier in the week. “But I should have taken the race by the scruff of the neck. There are a few things to be looking over before Beijing.”
The Edinburgh rider is the reigning Olympic champion in the kilometer – which is no longer on the Olympic program. Having turned to keirin last year before concentrating on the sprint this season, Hoy has shown phenomenal progress against the likes of Bos, and a talented French team.
Hoy said that much of his, and the British team’s success, wasn’t all down to the noisy home crowd which he said was “like an extra hand pushing me round the track”.
“It’s years of hard work, planning and attention to details. Every possible area we can we’re trying to maximize,” added Hoy, who made track cycling history on Friday when he became the first rider to have earned titles in all four speed events.
“There’s so many people working behind the scenes, and they are all world class too. It’s not just the guys getting the medals who deserve the praise.”
Ahead of Sunday’s four finals on the last day of competition, Britain have now surpassed last year’s record medals tally from Mallorca where the team won 11 in total and seven gold.
Hoy, who will now be taking two complete weeks off the bike, added: “I think a lot of people thought that after last year the only way was down. So to win nine is fantastic.”
Results from the fourth day of the world track cycling championships
1st rd (first two to 2nd rd)
1. Chris Hoy (GBR) 2. Toshiaki Fushimi (JPN)
3. Teun Mulder (NED)
4. Sergey Ruban (RUS)
5. Andriy Vynokurov (UKR)
6. Hodei Mazquiaran (ESP)
7. Athanasios Mantzouranis (GRE)
1. Azizulhasni Awang (MAS)
2. Shane Perkins (AUS)
3. Arnaud Tournant (FRA)
4. Theo Bos (NED)
5. Ricardo Lynch (JAM)
6. Sergey Borisov (RUS)
7. Filip Ptacnik (CZE)
1. Ross Edgar (GBR)
2. Shane Kelly (AUS)
3. Carsten Bergemann (GER)
4. Kevin Sireau (FRA)
5. Denis Spicka (CZE)
6. Roberto Chiappa (ITA)
7. Mohd Rizal Tisin (MAS)
Ryan Bayley (AUS)
1. Christos Volikaksis (GRE)
2. Matthew Crampton (GBR)
3. Ryan Bayley (AUS)
4. Mickael Bourgain (FRA)
5. Jose Antonio Escuredo (ESP)
6. Stefan Nimke (GER)
7. Josiah Ng Onn Lam (MAS)
Repechages (winners to 2nd rd)
1. Teun Mulder (NED) defeats Sergey Borisov (RUS)
Josiah Ng Onn Lam (MAS)
Denis Spicka (CZE)
1. Arnaud Tournant (FRA) defeats Ricardo Lynch (JAM)
Athanasios Mantzouranis (GRE)
Kevin Sireau (FRA)
Hodei Mazquiaran (ESP)
1. Carsten Bergemann (GER) defeats Theo Bos (NED)
Andriy Vynokurov (UKR)
Stefan Nimke (GER)
Mohd Rizal Tisin (MAS)
Ryan Bayley (AUS) defeats Filip Ptacnik (CZE)
Jose Antonio Escuredo (ESP)
Roberto Chiappa (ITA)
Sergey Ruban (RUS)
2nd rd (first 3 to final)
1. Chris Hoy (GBR)
2. Christos Volikaksis (GRE)
3. Teun Mulder (NED)
4. Shane Kelly (AUS)
Shane Perkins (AUS)
Ryan Bayley (AUS)
1. Matthew Crampton (GBR)
2. Arnaud Tournant (FRA)
Toshiaki Fukimi (JPN)
4. Ross Edgar (GBR)
5. Carsten Bergemann (GER)
6. Azizulhasni Awang (MAS)
1. Chris Hoy (GBR)
2. Teun Mulder (NED)
3. Christos Volikaksis (GRE)
4. Arnaud Tournant (FRA)
5. Toshiaki Fukimi (JPN)
6. Matthew Crampton (GBR)
7. Shane Kelly (AUS)
8. Ross Edgar (GBR)
9. Ryan Bayley (AUS)
10. Carsten Bergemann (GER)
11. Shane Perkins (AUS)
Azizulhasni Awang (MAS)
1. Great Britain (Mark Cavendish/Bradley Wiggins) 19 pts
2. Germany (Roger Kluge/Olaf Pollack) 13
3. Denmark (Michael Morkov/Alex Rasmussen) 11
4. Belgium (Kenny De Ketele/Iljo Keisse) 8
5. Switzerland (Franco Marvulli/Bruno Risi) 3
6. Spain (Joan Llaneras/Carlos Torrent) 1
At one lap
7. France (Matthieu Ladagnous/Jerome Neuville) 15
8. Argentina (Juan Curuchet/Walter Perez) 12
9. New Zealand (Greg Henderson/Hayden Roulston) 11
10. Netherlands (Jens Mouris/Peter Schep) 5
Victoria Pendleton (GBR) 11.972 and 11.697 defeats Jennie Reed (USA)
Simona Krupeckaite (LTU) 12.046 and 11.381 defeats Shuang Guo (CHN)
Victoria Pendleton (GBR) 11.747 and 11.499 defeats Simona Krupeckaite (LTU)
Jennie Reed (USA) 12.055 and 12.044 defeats Shuang Guo (CHN) (11.498 for Guo)
1. Marianne Vos (NED) 33 points
2. Trine Schmidt (DEN) 25
3. Vera Carrara (ITA) 20
4. Leire Olaberria (ESP) 11
5. Yoanka Gonzalez (CUB) 10
6. Svetlana Paulikaite (LTU) 8
7. Olga Slyusareva (RUS) 7
8. Rebecca Quinn (USA) 7
9. Pascale Jeuland (FRA) 6
10. Jarmila Machacova (CZE) 6
11. Wong Wan Yiu (HKG) 6
12. Katherine Bates (AUS) 6
13. Li Yan (CHN) 5
14. Belem Guerrero (MEX) 5
15. Maria Luisa Calle (COL) 5