Four gold medals were awarded in Minsk on the inaugural day of the 2013 UCI Track World Championships, opened by the UCI President, Pat McQuaid.
The spectators at the velodrome of the Belarus capital, which will welcome the best world specialists until Sunday, were treated to high-level competitions, in which many young riders had an opportunity to shine, riding against highly experienced competitors such as FranĂ§ois Pervis et Sarah Hammer.
Pervis â€“ gold at last
At 28, after having won four bronze medals and one silver, FranĂ§ois Pervis was finally able to make his dream come true and win a world title. â€śIâ€™m very happy,â€ť declared the French winner of the kilometre race, â€śbecause today all the work and effort of the last few years has at last been rewarded.â€ť
With a time of 1â€™00â€™â€™221, the protĂ©gĂ© of Florian Rousseau put in an excellent performance that enabled him to beat the New Zealander Simon Van Velthooven, who was also able to come in under 1â€™01â€™â€™, and the German Joachim Eilers.
A fifth time for Hammer
Her name is now inscribed in the history of track cycling: Sarah Hammer gained her fifth triumph in the individual sprint, and certainly deserves a place among the all-time greats in this category.
The American rider (3â€™32â€™â€™050) gave no chance to the young Australian Amy Cure, already Junior World Champion, who was overtaken on the last lap of the final.
The bronze medal was won by another Australian, Annette Edmonson , who beat the Canadian Laura Brown.
The German women meet expectations
Olympic champions last August after a hotly contested final, Germany again beat China in the womenâ€™s team sprint.
Miriam Welte and Kristina Vogel won a very tight duel against Jinjie Gong and Shuang Guo by just three-hundredths, which contributed to exciting the crowd and to creating a great atmosphere in the stands of the velodrome.
The podium for this speciality was completed by Great Britain, who won the third-place play-off against Australia.
The Australians back to top form
In the most eagerly awaited competition of the opening evening, Australia won a famous victory against Great Britain in the menâ€™s team pursuit. After the defeats of 2012 in Melbourne and London, with a time of 3â€™56â€™â€™751 the â€śAussiesâ€ť Glenn Oâ€™Shea, Alexander Edmondson, Michael Hepburn (the only one to have taken part in the winning teams of 2010 and 2011) and Alexander Morgan dominated the direct confrontation with their historical rivals, by beating Steven Burke, Edward Clancy, Samuel Harrison and Andrew Tenant by 4â€™â€™.
The Track World Championships 2013 can be followed on the UCI Youtube channel or on the welcome page of the UCI website. For those who miss an event â€śliveâ€ť, you will be able to find many highlights on video.
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