RT2012: GB Sprint Academy In Germany

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Road To 2012
Track Sprint Academy Race In Germany

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Posted June 21 2011
Words By Jon Norfolk

British Cycling's Sprint Academy made their annual training and racing trip to Germany last week, comprising of weekends of racing, with training and gym work in-between.

The training camp is a key phase of preparation; younger athletes cutting their teeth against international competition and more seasoned riders perfecting their race skills alongside a focussed training block in a different environment.

This year's racing plan splits three groups of competing riders, with weeks one and two attended by the first year Olympic Academy riders Callum Skinner, Kian Emadi, Philip Hindes and Becky James. Flying out for the second and third weeks are the more experienced pairing of Dave Daniell and Pete Mitchell. The final weekend of racing will see Olympic and World Champions including Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny and Ross Edgar join the team.

Weekend 1 - Drei Bahn Tournee
The first weekend of racing is a German track institution. This year's competition was run on three very different tracks over three consecutive days, giving the riders a lot to think about and a three day block of intensive track racing.
Twelve international men and six international women compete in the sprint, compromising of three separate competitions on the three different tracks.

Day 1 - Oberhausen (400m concrete track)
British riders got off to a great start on day one of racing with Becky James setting the fastest women's qualifying time, while the three first year Academy riders were the fastest men's qualifiers ahead of some very respectable international competition. The performance of note was Philip Hindes' 10.61; a very impressive time for an outdoor concrete track and a track record.

Result - Sprint Qualification:

Women's Sprint

Becky James (GBR) 11.75
Willy Kanis (NED) 11.79
Miriam Welte (GER) 11.85
Yvonne Hijgenaar(NED) 11.85
Charlene Delev (GER) 12.18
Christina Konsulke (GER) 12.46

Men's Sprint

Philip Hindes (GBR) 10.61 TR
Kian Emadi (GBR) 10.76
Callum Skinner (GBR) 10.81
Roy van den Berg (NED) 10.83
Tobias Wachter (GER) 10.86
Stefan Nimke (GER) 10.88
Hugo Haak (NED) 10.89
Stefan Botticher (GER) 10.90

All British riders moved through the first rounds of racing safely and In the semi-finals Becky James deposed of experienced German rider Charlene Delev. In the men's semis, British pairing Callum Skinner and Philip Hindes went head-to-head; Hindes disqualified after moving into the sprinters lane, impeding the progress of Skinner. In the other men's semi Kian Emadi was beaten by the current Kilo World Champion Stefan Nimke.

The sprint finals were keenly contested with powerful, aggressive riding by all. Dutch sprinter Willy Kanis pipped Becky James in the women's final after an early attack by Becky, while Stefan Nimke held off Callum Skinner in the men's final. Philp Hindes finished off a good day claiming third position on the podium.

Day 2 - Ochelbronn (200m wooden semi covered track)
Day 2 was a challenging proposition, with the riders moving from a large outdoor concrete track to a fast indoor 200m wooden track - requiring a big change in tactics, gearing and leg speed to come out on top. This impressive semi-covered track, built by the local cycling club and local business support was a fitting setting for day two of the competition.

The British Cycling Team continued their strong qualification record in the competition by qualifying fastest in both the men's and women's 200m TT, with Becky James and Philip Hindes both setting new track records.

Result - Sprint Qualification:

Women's Sprint

Becky James (GBR) 11.62 TR
Willy Kanis (NED) 11.65
Yvonne Hijgenaar(NED) 11.76
Miriam Welte (GER) 11.95
Charlene Delev (GER) 12.26
Christina Konsulke (GER) 12.46

Men's Sprint

Philip Hindes (GBR) 10.58 TR
Roy van den Berg (NED) 10.61
Hugo Haak (NED) 10.75
Callum Skinner (GBR) 10.76
Kian Emadi (GBR) 10.79
Stefan Botticher (GER) 10.82
Joachim Eilers (GER) 10.84
Hylke van Grieken 10.90

Progressing through the early rounds, the all British riders progressed to the semi finals, where an elbow to elbow tangle between Callum Skinner and Philip HIndes saw them careering up to the fence locked together. They managed to free themselves before hitting the fence at the top of the track, only to see the Joachin Eilers sailing through underneath them into the final. Compatriot, Kian Emadi was beaten in the second semi final after a clash with Dutchman Roy van den Berg, which resulted in the Dutchman sliding down the back straight on his back.

Becky James confidently moved through the rounds and into the final to meet Willy Kanis, where after some positive riding by James, she met her match yet again. Dutch rider Yvonne Hijgenaar beat Miriam Welte to take third position. In the men's final German Eilers came around Hugo Haak in the final straight with a strong move to take an unexpected, but popular win. In the minor final Callum Skinner got the better of Kian Emadi to claim third position.

Day 3 - Dudenhoffen (250m outdoor concrete)
Racing on Day 3 took place at the popular German track in Dudenhoffen, the home track of British Cycling's Sprint coach Jan van Eijden.

After two days of hard racing the British Cycling Team were keen to maintain their momentum and did so with another strong qualification round. This time Scottish rider Callum Skinner topped the 200TT board with a very respectable time of 10.66.

Sprint Qualification:

Womens Sprint

Miriam Welte (GER) 11.79
Becky James (GBR) 11.82
Yvonne Hijgenaar(NED) 11.95
Willy Kanis (NED) 11.97
Charlene Delev (GER) 12.37
Christina Konsulke (GER) 12.51

Mens Sprint

Callum Skinner (GBR) 10.66
Kian Emadi (GBR) 10.73
Stefan Nimke (GER) 10.75
Tobias Wachter (GER) 10.80
Philip Hindes (GBR) 10.80
Roy van den Berg (NED) 10.83
Stefan Botticher (GER) 10.83
Hugo Haak (NED) 10.84

Callum Skinner was the only British rider to make it cleanly through the first round, with both KIan Emadi and Philip Hindes having to fight it out in the repechages - Emadi making it through and Hindes getting knocked out. In the women's sprint, Becky James eased past Charlene Delev to meet her weekend nemesis Willy Kanis in the semi final.

Becky James, looked totally focussed as she rolled up to the start line to meet Kanis in her semi final. She rode a dominant, confident sprint and set up position perfectly against Kanis with one lap to go. When she pounced it was all over for the Dutch rider as Becky stormed across the line and straight into the final to meet popular local Miriam Welte.

In the men's semi final Emadi and Skinner were seeded in the same heat along with powerful German Tobias Wachter. After a controlled and positive ride by Skinner, it was Emadi who finished the strongest out of the three, reversing the qualification result and earning himself a ride in the final against Stefan Nimke. He, however, met his match against Nimke, who stormed past Emadi in the back straight to take a popular win in front of the large crowd.

Becky James wasn't going to let the Germans have it all their own way today though - as she showed her class under pressure and rode a well executed, polished ride to bring home top spot on the podium, beating Miriam Welte in the final.

With weekend one complete, the British Cycling Olympic Academy athletes take not only quality racing experience, but also the rewards of all the hard work they have put in from a long winter of training in Manchester.

Next a cross Germany road trip to Cottbus, plus a few mid weekend training sessions see the start of next weekend's racing approaching soon enough...