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Great Britain’s Joanna Rowsell added a second gold medal to her tally in the Manchester UCI Track Cycling World Cup, beating Australia’s Rebecca Wiasak to win the individual pursuit.
Rowsell, fresh from her world record-beating ride in the team pursuit the previous day, showed her class in the individual event, qualifying fastest with a 3:34.341 in the afternoon session before backing it up in the final with a 3:34.904. Rowsell had the measure of her opponent from the start, the Great Britain rider gradually extending her advantage despite robust opposition from the Australian.
After the final Rowsell spoke to British Cycling:
“I had a schedule to ride to, and I pretty much completely ignored it! Chris (Newton) walks the line and the idea is he’s on the line if you’re on pace.
“I came round after my second lap and he was up in the banking, so I thought: oh dear, I’ve gone out too fast here, which is absolutely fatal in a pursuit.
“I got myself through the ride, and I could hear the crowd screaming really loud so I thought it was probably a good sign, but you never know until you hear the gun go at the end that you’ve won it.”
Kate Archibald, riding for Scottish Cycling-Braveheart.com took bronze in a thrilling ride against Bujak of Poland, who went out hot in an attempt to achieve the catch. In the end the Pole’s gamble collapsed like a house of cards, an assured Archibald sticking to her schedule and reeling her opponent back in.
Archibald spoke to British Cycling shortly after her medal ride:
“It wasn’t the plan to let her go up, but I was planning on trying to go out a bit slower and trying to squeeze through it rather than going out too hard and having to go back down again and then accelerate, which had happened in the qualifiers.
"I think I went marginally faster, so it seemed to pay off slightly, but it wasn’t good for my blood pressure to be honest!”
Becky James won bronze in the women’s sprint, beating Anna Meares in the final, with gold going to Germany’s Kristina Vogel, who beat Wai Sze Lee of Hong Kong.
James qualified sixth before dispatching Shi of China in the 1/8 finals then facing the powerful Elis Ligtlee of the Netherlands. James overcame the Dutch rider in two straight rides to set up a semi final match against Germany’s Kristina Vogel.
The German team sprint world and Olympic champion was too hot for James to handle this time, beating James in two straight rides, leaving the Abergavenny-born rider to face Anna Meares for the bronze. Unfazed by reputation, James took the first match from the front before coming around Meares to take the second and with it, the bronze medal.
Speaking to British Cycling after the event, James was pleased with her final performance and respectful of Vogel's form:
“In the semis, Kristina Vogel was just unbelievable, she was so strong and completely had the legs on me. I thought I had nothing to lose in the final so I just went up and raced as best as I possibly could.”
“It was mainly focusing on the tactics in the race. I wanted to get two solid races from both the front and the back. I went in focusing on the tactics and came out with the best outcome I could have, so I’m really happy with that.”
Jess Varnish exited in the quarter final stage, like James, a victim of a Vogel 2-0 defeat, after beating Olga Streltsova in the 1/8 finals.
Jason Kenny finished a surprising fourth in the keirin after cruising comfortably into the finals. Kenny bossed his way through the first two rounds, taking it on from the front on both occasions, the world champion keeping control and looking set to retain his title.
However come the final, Kenny took last position behind the derny, a move that would cost him dear. Come the sprint, Kenny didn’t have the pace to come around the top and take the win, with gold going to France’s Francois Pervis.
After the final a disappointed Kenny spoke to British Cycling:
“I was just a passenger. I had a few tiny opportunities and I just didn’t take them, at the end of the day. Every time I thought I was about to go, someone went half a rev earlier!”
Lewis Oliva, riding for the Welsh Team USN trade outfit, exited the competition in the first round repechage.
Jon Dibben finished fifth in the men’s omnium, as Belgium’s Jasper De Buyst took gold. Dibben lay in seventh position after day one and began day two with fourth places in the pursuit and the scratch, elevating the British rider to sixth position ahead of the final event, the 1km time trial. Dibben pulled a special ride out of the bag in the final event, posting a 1:04.563, good enough for fifth in the event and fifth overall.
Dibben spoke to British Cycling after the final event. “Overall, I would say I’m pleased with it. I got a couple of good times - two personal bests – in the individual pursuit and the flying lap. That was something I probably wasn’t expecting.
“The conditions have been quite good here, so overall I’m pretty pleased. There were just a couple of mistakes and a couple of areas, which I probably needed to work on anyway. I’ll go back and focus on them again.”
Owain Doull was denied bronze by just one point in the points race final, won in fine style by Ireland’s Martyn Irvine. Doull collected points throughout the sprints, elevating himself to second place behind Hansen of Denmark. Doull began to tire towards the end and slipped into the bronze medal position with just two sprints to go.
Doull needed to beat Elia Viviani in the final sprint to retain his medal position but the Italian outgunned the 20-year-old from Cardiff, pushing him to fourth. Jon Mould (Team USN) also qualified for the final and was combative in the early stages before eventually retiring from the event.
Andy Tennant finished sixth in the men’s pursuit, failing to make it to the medal finals. Tennant’s 4:25.321 effort put him in third position at the time but Huizenga (NED), Serov (RUS) and Mora (ESP) all went quicker and Tennant’s hopes of an individual medal to add to his team gold quickly evaporated.
Day two in Manchester also saw Olympic champion Laura Trott begin her omnium campaign. She ended the day in sixth position on 15 points after sixth in the flying lap, seventh in the points and second in her trademark crowd-pleaser, the elimination, which rounded out the action on Saturday night.
|Women's individual pursuit||Qualifying|
|Women's sprint 200m t.t. (16)||Qualifying|
|Women's omnium I||Flying lap|
|Women's sprint||1/8 final|
|Men's keirin||1st round|
|Women's sprint||1/4 final|
|Women's sprint||1/4 final B|
|Men's omnium IV||Individual pursuit 4km|
|Women's omnium II||Points race 20km|
|Men's omnium V||Scratch 15km|
|Women's sprint||Finals B 9-10 & 11-12|
|Women's sprint||5th to 8th places|
|Men's individual pursuit||Qualifying|
|Men's points race 15km||Heat 1 | Heat 2|
|Women's sprint||Semi finals|
|Women's individual pursuit||Finals|
|Men's omnium VI||Time trial|
|Men's keirin||Second round|
|Men's points race||Final|
|Men's individual pursuit||Finals|
|Women's omnium III||Elimination race|