Day 4 of the 2012 UCI World Masters Track Cycling Championships at the Manchester Velodrome saw thirteen world titles awarded with the USA taking the lion’s share of them with four golds. British riders had three gold medals while Italy won two and Canada, Australia, South Africa and Spain, one each.
The start of the day saw Britain's Beth Clayton attempt to break the hour record for her age group (Female 50-54) but despite a valiant effort, Beth finished just outside the record after riding a distance of 38.441km.
Men's 45-49 pursuit
Kenny Williams from the USA won the gold medal in this age category after beating Australian David Stevens. The American led from the start and at the end of 3000 metres, was almost three seconds faster than the Australian.
The bronze medal meanwhile went to Frenchman Pascal Montier who made the faster start against Canadian Michael Nash and was two seconds up at the three quarter distance and despite a fight back from Nash, Montier had plenty of time up his sleeve to win the final spot on the podium.
Men's 70 plus scratch
After a fast race over 20 laps which saw many riders in the big field distanced, it was a victory for defending champion Guido Lupo of Italy. Despite an attacking race, the field was largely altogether for the final rush to the line and at the bell, Lupo was already in the box seat, going on to win easily from Leo Menestrina (USA) and Roger Langlois (France) in third place.
1. Guido Lupo (ITA)
2. Leo Menestrina (USA)
3. Roger Langlois (FRA)
4. Roland Crayford (GBR)
5. Alan Whitworth (GBR)
6. Derrick Woodings (GBR)
7. Joseph Nicolosi (FRA)
8. George Brown (GBR)
9. David Sankey (GBR)
10. Brian Darcey (GBR)
Men's 65-69 scratch
Gold in this event went to Britain’s Lance Ravenhill. The Brit countered a move by Steffen Hansen of Denmark who had gone solo for three or four laps before Ravenhill made his move at the perfect moment in the closing laps.
While he raced clear, the rest of the field sprinted it out for the Silver and Bronze medals with sprinter Graziano Pantosti (Italy) winning that with ease while former Olympic medallist Willi Moore denied Geoff Cooke the bronze in a photo finish.
1. Lance Ravenhill (GBR)
2. Graziano Pantosti (ITA)
3. Willi Moore (GBR)
4. Geoff Cooke (GBR)
5. Bill Cotton (GBR)
6. Enrique Moyano (ARG)
7. David Rowe (GBR)
8. Michel Briat (FRA)
9. Steffan Hansen (DEN)
10. Max Pendleton (GBR)
Men's 60-64 scratch
In yet another very fast race, breaks came and went and while the field split from time to time, in the end the race was decided in a bunch kick and in a photo finish, Malcolm Clasohm of Australia denied Brit Steve Davies the gold by the smallest of margins leaving Davies still chasing that elusive gold in this event.
1. Malcolm Clasohm (AUS)
2. Steve Davies (GBR)
3. Rene Grignon (FRA)
4. Gérard-Louisrobert (FRA)
5. Martin Bush (GBR)
6. Alistair Cameron (GBR)
7. Steven Worley (USA)
8. Malcolm Freeman (GBR)
9. Christian Muselet (FRA)
10. David Mulica (USA)
Men's 50-54 pursuit
There was gold for Canadian Stéphane Le Beau in this race over 2000 metres after he came back from behind to turn a one second deficit to the Aussie Michael Popplewell into a second advantage at the finish.
It was a similar story in the bronze medal final when the Danish rider Claus Christiansen started fast but British rider Trevor Burke paced his ride to perfection, fighting back to lead the Dane over the closing laps and clinching the bronze from the Dane who had parked up over those final five hundred metres.
1. Stéphane Le Beau (CAN)
2. Michael Popplewell (AUS)
3. Trevor Burke (GBR)
4. Claus Christiansen (DEN)
Men's 55-59 pursuit
There was another gold for the USA when James Host was far too strong for Brit Ian Humphries in the final for the rainbow jersey. Host started the quickest and by halfway was well over a second up on the British rider and it stayed that way all the way to the finish where Host had almost three seconds on his rival.
In the race for the bronze medal, Graham Barclay of Britain started the quickest and there was nothing in it for quite a while until the elastic keeping the two riders, Barclay and Swedens Myrberg, neck and neck suddenly broke and Barclay raced to win the bronze by over five seconds.
1 James Host (USA) 2:24.594 49.795
2 Ian Humphreys (GBR) 2:27.424 48.839
3. Graham Barclay (GBR) 2:25.599 49.451
4. Lars Myrberg (SWE) 2:30.940 47.701
Men's 35-39 sprint
Neil Campbell came back to the world masters and yet again showed how fast he was with a two nil victory in the final for Gold against Adam Welch, also of Britain. Welch had made the final beating Morne Van Greuning of South Africa in his semi final while Neil Campbell had an even easier passage to the final for Gold after his rival in the semi final failed to show.
In yet another display of old school sprinting, the battle between Campbell and Welch was edge of the seat stuff as they used all of the track and then some and the use of some intimidation tactics by Campbell on Welch seemingly failed to have any effect.
In the end it was pure speed that saw Campbell come past Welch and race to the line a clear winner in the first match. The second match was a little more straight forward with Campbell catching Welch out, diving under him in the back straight to take the front and from there race away to win the Gold medal and the rainbow jersey to go with it.
1. Neil Campbell (GBR) 11.636 11.404 2:0
2. Adam Welch (GBR)
3. Morne Van Greuning (RSA) (ride over)
Men's 40-44 sprint
Spain’s Jose Escuredo who has won three silver and one bronze senior world championship medals as well as a silver medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics and added a masters gold medal to that great collection.
The Spanish rider had to beat not only his rival on the track Gavin White (AUS) but also the eagle eyed officials who relegated him in the first match and came close to doing that again in the second match when the video machine was working overtime in the officials’ enclosure.
In all, Jose Escuredo crossed the line first three times to win the gold but despite the Spaniard having qualified in a new world best for the age category, the Aussie Gavin White put up a great battle and the win by Escuredo was not as easy as many had expected it to be. Jose Escuredo’s participation in the event certainly added a sparkle to the series where the sprinting has been a real highlight.
In the bronze medal ride off, it was a straight forward victory for Britain’s Neil Potter who outclassed Andrew Lacorte of South Africa.
1. Jose Escuredo (ESP) 11.402 11.193 2:1
2. Gavin White (AUS)
3. Neil Potter (GBR) 11.223 11.214 2:0
4. Andrew Lacorte (USA)
Women's 35-39 sprint
South African Annerine Wenhold, all six feet two of her, towered above the Australian Rebecca Wheadon in the sprint for gold with Wenhold winning two rides to nil.
In the first match, the Aussie kept the speed high out front with Wenhold laying off a long way before making her run and passing Wheadon in the rush to the line. In the second match, it was much the same as the South African controlled the race from the front this time and yet again was far too fast for Wheadon.
The bronze medal was also straight forward with Elisa Gianchino far too good for the Dutch girl Carolien van Herrikhuyzen with the diminutive South African winning two rides to nil.
Annerine Wenhold (RSA) 2:0 13.477 12.902Rebecca Wheadon (AUS) Elisa Gianchino (RSA) 13.937 13.612 2:0Carolien van Herrikhuyzen (NED)
Women's 40-44 sprint
With only four starters and a DNF in the qualifying round, it meant that the bronze went to Cheryl Huskamp in a ride over while Kimberly Edwards (USA) (fastest qualifier) and Julie Cooper (GBR) contested the gold and silver medal ride off.
In the first match, Kimberly Edwards just managed to squeeze past Cooper in the home straight to go one up and it was the same in the second match with Cooper leading out and Edwards having to fight for all she was worth to just get to the line first in a photo finish.
1. Kimberly Edwards (USA) 2:0
2. Julie Cooper (GBR)
3. Cheryl Hulskamp (AUS) (r/o)
Women's 45-49 sprint
There was yet another gold medal for Janet Birkmyre (GBR) when she defeated Deborah Capewell two rides to nil in the final for the women’s 45-49 sprint.
While Birkmyre with several world’s best times to her name in the competition already was obviously in the form of her life. Capewell did make her work very hard for the wins though in two close fought for matches. The fight for the bronze medal was even tougher with Clara Lopez (Columbia) needing three rides to defeat Makiko Hamada of Japan.
Women's 50 plus sprint
With only three riders in qualifying, the bronze medal was a ride over for Sue Smith while the final for Gold was won on the track as Annette Williams won yet another medal for the USA in defeating British rider Brenda Tate two rides to nil.
Men's 65-69 sprint
Held over from the previous day, the decider for the bronze medal in this competition took place between David Rowe of Britain and Steffen Hansen of Denmark with Hansen winning the decider to claim the final place on the podium.
In the battle for the gold and silver the day before, defending champion Geoff Cooke found Graziano Pantosti a real handful and after two very tough matches, it was the Italian who had the upper hand on the Brit and the Gold went to a very delighted Graziano Pantosti while Cooke had to settle for the silver for once.
Tickets are now available at the door during the championships. Ticket prices are very modest with all day prices at £8 and £5 for concessions during the week and £10 and £5 for concessions for the final two days. All ticket holders will also receive a free souvenir programme together with a daily update sheet containing full details of the programme for each day.