Uci World Track Cycling Champs - Day 2 Wrap

Postby Melissa_Theuriau on Fri 27/Mar/09 10:52am

New Zealand’s rookie women’s team pursuit combination ran an experienced Great Britain team to the wire to claim a silver medal on the second day of the UCI World Track Cycling Championships in Poland.

The trio of Alison Shanks, Jaime Nielsen and Lauren Ellis got to within a wheel of the defending world champions at the 2000m mark but the experience of the Great Britain team made the difference. They won the gold medal in 3:22.720 with the young New Zealand combination earning the silver in a new best time of 3:23.993.

It is New Zealand’s second medal of the championships after the gold to Shanks in the individual pursuit yesterday – equal to the best effort by any New Zealand cycling team at the world championships.

It matches the two medals earned at Maebashi in 1990, Berlin in 1999 and Melbourne in 2004 with three days till remaining in the championships.

World Omnium champion Hayden Godfrey had an impressive ride to finish eighth in the men’s 15km scratch race.

Earlier in the day World Cup winner Jesse Sergent had a disappointing ride to be fifth fastest and miss out on a medal chance in the men’s individual pursuit, while fellow Manawatu rider Simon Van Velthooven did not qualify in the men’s kierin.

The women’s pursuit combination was anchored by Shanks along with two-time world junior medallist Lauren Ellis (Tinwald) and Hamilton’s Jaime Nielsen, who only took up the sport until December.

The former under-23 rowing international was thrilled with her first introduction to the sport at the highest level.

“It was over so fast. But it was a pretty awesome result,” Nielsen said. “We knew we were in it and we gave it a really good show.”

She used her rowing experience to cope with the nerves of the occasion.

“I guess my rowing helped a bit. I just tried to focus on what I had to do. I told myself that every track is the same and to focus on my race preparation and my job on the track.”

Nielsen is excited by the prospects and can’t wait to get back into training.

“The whole pace of it the race was something I have to get used to but overall I am pretty happy. I can’t wait to get back into training. There’s so much more I need to learn technically and also to get in much more training. The future is pretty exciting.”

The Great Britain combination, including two of last year’s world championship winning team, made a super-fast start and edged to a lead of half a second at the 1000m mark. The kiwis cranked into gear with a brilliant second kilometre to close to within 1/10th of a second but they were unable to edge in front. Great Britain did not falter under the pressure, edging away in the final two laps.

Earlier New Zealand clocked a solid 3:26.023 after a conservative start to be the second fastest qualifier, while rivals Australia beat the Netherlands for the bronze medal.

Godfrey, who defends his world omnium title on Monday, looked strong in the scratch race. The Christchurch rider ended up being isolated with Tour de France star Mark Cavendish (GBR) behind a seven-strong break. With the break mindful of Cavendish’s prowess, they kept the pace high and did not allow the pair to bridge up to the pack.

Sergent, in his first time as a pursuiter at the world championships, showed some inexperience by going out too fast in qualifying for the 4000m individual pursuit and fading over the final kilometre. He clocked 4:21.253, more than three seconds outside his winning time at Beijing World Cup.

“I just went out just too fast and then got bogged down trying to get back on pace,” Sergent said. “At around 2km I was counting down the laps knowing I had just not got the early phase of the race right. A real experience for me, and one I will really learn from.”

Sergent’s Trek Livestrong team-mate, Taylor Phinney (USA) won the individual pursuit gold medal from Australia’s Jack Bobridge.

Palmerston North’s Van Velthooven was sixth in his heat and third in his repecharge of the kieren although his performance satisfied BikeNZ High Performance Director, Mark Elliott.

“Simon worked his way into really good positions in both of his races with a lap to go but got rolled over on the final bend by the more experienced sprinters.”

Auckland’s Kaytee Boyd, another of the track converts from the power to podium programme, will compete in the women’s omnium tomorrow, while Invercargill’s Eddie Dawkins and Van Velthooven will take part in the men’s sprint.

Results: Women’s 3000m team pursuit:


Great Britain 3:35.147, 1;
New Zealand (Lauren Ellis, Jaime Nielsen, Alison Shanks) 3:26.023, 2;
Australia 3:27.719, 3;
Netherlands 3:30.893, 4;
Lithuania 3:30.966, 5.

Final, Gold medal ride:
Great Britain 3:22.720 (kilo time checks 1:10.272, 1:06.032, 1:06.416) 1;
New Zealand 3:23.993 (1:10.686, 1:05.756, 1:07.551) 2.

Bronze medal ride:
Australia 3:24.972, 3; Netherlands 3:29.379, 4.

Men’s Scratch Race, 15km:
Morgan Kneisky (FRA) 1,
Angel Dario Colla (ARG) 2,
Andreas Mueller (AUT) 3.
Hayden Godfrey (NZL) 8.

Men’s 4000m individual pursuit, qualifying:
Taylor Phinney (USA) 4:15.160, 1;
Jack Bobridge (AUS) 4:17.419, 2;
Dominique Cornu (BEL) 4:19.197, 3;
Volodymyr Diudia (UKR) 4:19.786, 4; J
esse Sergent (NZL) 4:21.253, 5.

Phinney 4:17.631, 1;
Bobridge 4:20.091, 2;
Cornu 4:22.347, 3.

Men’s Keirin first round heat:
Simon Van Velthooven 6.
First round repecharge:
Van Velthooven 3.
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