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UCI Track Cycling World Cup: Australia wins its bet!

Men’s Team Pursuit - Australia
Men’s Team Pursuit - Australia

The Australian Women’s Pursuit team, made up solely of 18- and 19-year-old athletes, rode to success in the final in Cali. This was also a memorable evening for the French Sprint team, which won both the Columbian round and the overall rankings.

Women’s Team Pursuit: Australia’s golden youth triumphs
Cycling Australia chose a very young team for this final of the 2014/2015 UCI Track Cycling World Cup. Macey Stewart, Alexandra Manly and Lauren Perry (Junior World Champions in the Team Pursuit) accompanied by Elissa Wundersitz (the oldest of the group at 19 years old) recorded a superb victory in Cali!

Macey Stewart was struggling to take in the significance of this performance, in her first appearance at this level: “What a night! I am so happy with this win. We’re a young and inexperienced team, and today’s achievement exceeded all our expectations”.

The foursome, which should soon be in the spotlight again, won its first victory in 4’31’’527. China was second in 4’34’’105, while the USA squeezed out Italy to gain third place in 4’32’’482.

In the overall rankings
The day’s excellent performance meant that the Australian golden youth left Cali with the UCI Track Cycling World Cup (780 points). China came second with 736 points. Great Britain, winner of the first two rounds but absent in Columbia, finished the season in third position with 600 points.

Men’s Team Pursuit: Australia finishes strongly
With a team, of which the average age was barely over 20, Australia finished its UCI Track Cycling World Cup season perfectly by winning in Cali. Scott Law, Joshua Harrison, Jackson Law, and Tirian McManus triumphed in the final in a time of 4’03’’200. The Russian team Rusvélo came in second in 4’04’’229, while Great Britain won its duel for third place in 4’04’’391, in front of Denmark. Even without its World Champion winning team, Australia proved that its remains the dominant force in Team Pursuit. And the UCI Track World Championships in Saint-Quentin (France) are coming up fast!

In the overall rankings
With a home win in the London round in December, the British won the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in the Team Pursuit. It was their fourth trophy, following their wins in 2005, 2008 and 2010. Great Britain finished with 810 points, in front of Australia (780 points) and Denmark (662 points).

Men’s Team Sprint: France to the fore
Almost four years after their last victory, on February 20th 2011 in Manchester, the French team again tasted success in the Team Sprint. Kévin Sireau (called up after François Pervis fell in the Keirin) and Greg Baugé, cornerstones of the French group, teamed up this time with Quentin Lafargue. The three young men won in Columbia in a time of 43’’634 and came in front of the Netherlands (43’’816) and Poland (43’’907). Japan was therefore just off the podium. One month before the UCI Track World Championships begin on their home ground, the French Team Sprint contingent left Cali with their confidence high.

“We hadn’t got on the podium this year in the World Cup, so this win comes at a great time,” said a delighted Kevin Sireau, after having danced a few steps of a salsa on the podium, together with Baugé.

In the overall rankings
By winning the final round in Cali, the French team “did the double”, and therefore came top in the overall rankings in the UCI Track Cycling World Cup. Sixth in Guadalajara, and then fourth in London, it finished with 541.5 points, in front of the Netherlands with 519 points and Great Britain, winner of the opening round in Mexico (507 points).

Women’s Sprint: Elis Ligtlee wins in two rounds
The Dutch rider Elis Ligtlee won for the first time in a UCI Track Cycling World Cup. The 20-year-old sprinter, third in the last round in London and European vice-champion in the 500 metres, came in front – in two rounds – of the Chinese rider Shuang Guo, of the Max Success Pro Cycling team. Representing Hong Kong, Wai Sze Lee beat the French rider Sandie Clair, and went up on to the third step of the podium.

In the overall rankings
With a first round win, and victory in the overall rankings, Elis Ligtlee had a great day in Cali! She thereby wins the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in the Individual Sprint with 383 points. Shuang Guo came second with 375 points, while Wai Sze Lee finishes the three rounds of this season with 300 points.

Women’s Team Sprint: Russia dominates
In the absence of some of the favourites, such as the World Champions Vogel–Welte, the Russian duo of Daria Shmeleva and Ekaterina Gnidenko took advantage and won this final round of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup. In Cali, the two young women won in 32’’982 and moved in front of the Dutch riders Elis Ligtlee and Shanne Braspennincx (33’’586). The Spanish team came in ahead of the New Zealanders, and stepped up on to the podium with a time of 33’’356.

In the overall rankings
As well as the stage victory, the Russians left South America with a victory in the overall rankings of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup. They finished the season with 390 points, with the Netherlands coming second with 338 points, while Spain got third place with 307 points, just one point in from of Germany.

Keirin: Puerta Zapata sets Cali alight
In an incredible atmosphere, urged on by the crowd in a packed velodrome, the Columbian Fabian Puerta Zapata rode to victory in the Keirin. The 24-year-old rider, silver medallist last year in this specialty, again in Cali, beat the Australian Shane Perkins and Matt Baranowski of the USA.

His feat was also helped by the fall of the 2014 World Champion, the Frenchman François Pervis, due to a mechanical problem.

“It’s a moment of incredible joy for me, to win in front of my home crowd,” exclaimed the jubilant victor.

In the overall rankings
Puerta Zapata dominated the Keirin season in the UCI World Cup. He finished all the races on the podium: third in Aguascalientes, second in London and, finally, first in Cali.
With 405 points, he finished with 71 units lead over the Greek rider Christos Volikakis, and 76 over the American Baranowski.

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