Track World Championships Day 1 - Analysis

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Event: 4-8 April 2012
Location: Hisense Arena, Melbourne, Australia
2012 UCI Track World Championships Home Page
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Day 1 - Full Report

Analysis: Men's Team Pursuit

With less than a tenth of a second separating them in the final, GB and Australian Team Pursuit quartets are very evenly matched. In qualifying, the GB line-up produced a more consistent ride, starting with a 63.122 seconds opening kilometre and then three very even kilos of 57.065, 57.013 and 57.285 respectively.

In contrast, the Australians’ qualification ride went off quicker with a 62.856 opening kilo, followed by a 56.365, which, had the two teams been riding head-to-head would have equated to almost a second’s lead. However, they couldn’t sustain that and dropped back with 57.428 and 58.005 for the last two kilos, enough to hand fastest time to GB, 3:54.485 to 3:54.654.

The final stacked up somewhat differently. Both teams went out quick: GB went through 1000 metres in 62.413, powered by Ed Clancy’s one and three-quarter lap opening turn; Australia were marginally faster than in qualifying with 62.764.

Australia then came back with a phenomenally fast kilo, 55.828, possibly the first sub-56 second kilo in competition, which GB countered with a 56.248, still significantly quicker than they were in qualifying. Indeed, at the half way point, GB were over a second and a half up on their qualifying ride and the Australians were up 6 tenths on theirs.

It couldn’t last, but significantly it was the GB quartet who slowed the least, going out just under 3 tenths to 56.528 for their third kilo, whilst the Aussies went out to 56.921, over a second slower.

That gave GB a lead of some three tenths, which they pushed out a little further, before slowing in the final lap and a half and hanging on to record a final four-lap stint of 58.108, almost a second slower than they had covered the same laps in qualifying. The Australians also slowed, although less markedly to 57.888 and that gave GB a winning margin of just over a tenth of a second.

In both rides, it could be said that GB were just that little bit more consistent: their qualification ride was pretty smooth throughout and they only slowed at the very end of the final. The Australians, in contrast see-sawed more, producing a couple of very quick kilos, but being unable to hold that pace for more than five or six laps at a time.

Analysis: Women's Team Sprint

Jess Varnish’s opening lap in qualifying was exactly the same time as that at the Track World Cup in London in February, 18.855s. However, whereas she went faster in the final in London (18.792), she slowed in Melbourne to 19.088. Victoria Pendleton’s laps at Melbourne, 14.086 and 14.072 were very consistent, both quicker than her London qualifying time, but slower than her second lap in the London final, which was 13.962.

The successes of their opposition are being driven by Anna Meares, whose Melbourne opening laps of 18.450 and 18.415 were in a class of their own, and by Kristina Vogels’s second laps of 13.899 and 13.903, which were equally outstanding.