UCI Track Cycling World Cup: a successful debut in New Zealand
Women’s omnium: Beveridge learns fast
Allison Beveridge took part in the omnium in the UCI Track Cycling World Cup for only the second time in her career. The twenty-two year-old Canadian rider – a member of the Pursuit team that had won second place on the previous day – quickly understood the subtleties of this complex event.
In the points race, the final event in this specialty, she managed to maintain her advantage over the reigning World Champion in the discipline – the Australian rider Annette Edmondson, and finish with 201 points against 188. By winning the flying lap, and finishing in the top 5 in the other five events, Beveridge was satisfied with her venture into the southern hemisphere: “I did take part in an omnium a few years ago, but I didn’t really know what to expect. Although the team pursuit remains my priority, I’m happy with this result,” she declared.
Her beaten rival, Edmondson, couldn’t hide her disappointment, and regretted not having matched the winner in the points race.
The Belgian rider Jolien D’Hoore, winner of the Boels Rental Ronde van Drenthe, an event in the UCI Women’s Track Road Cycling calendar, took a very good third place.
The Dutch rider Kirsten Wild, fourth in Cali and in Cambridge, is leading the World Cup with 226 points, in front of the Belarusian rider Tatsiana Sharakova (195 points) and the Spanish rider Leire Olaberria Dorronsoro (158 points).
Men’s sprint: Glaetzer in superb form
Third in the keirin on the previous day, the Australian rode to victory in the sprint event, beating the German Max Niederlag over two rounds. The Oceania champion has had a fantastic tournament, recording the best times in the 200 meters (9’’698) and not losing a single round throughout the competition. “Niederlag pushed me to my limits, and I had to achieve perfect rounds to beat him. It’s one of the finest tournaments of my career,” admitted the winner of the day.
Urged on by 5000 enthusiastic spectators, the New Zealander Eddie Dawkins fought like a lion but, at the end of three gruelling rounds, it was the German Maximilian Levy who climbed up onto the third step of the podium.
General rankings: a very tight group at the top
In the general rankings, Niederlag and Glaetzer both have 255 points, followed by Levy (233 points). The sprint tournament of the third and last round of the UCI World Cup promises to be exciting.
Women’s keirin: Guo Shuang in a photo-finish
It required a photo-finish to separate the Chinese Guo Shuang and the Australian Anna Meares in the final of the keirin. The Chinese rider, who had had a very good tournament, was declared the winner. “I’m very happy. The keirin is a very unpredictable discipline, and all the riders are capable of winning,” she explained.
Meares, who had a back problem, gritted her teeth all through the competition, winning the second lap before being narrowly beaten in the final. “I enjoy the great races and hard racing. I’m not disappointed. I gave everything, and in the end didn’t suffer too much from my injury during the race,” she declared.
The Canadian rider Monique Sullivan took third place.
General rankings: Guo takes a clear lead
With one second-place and a victory, Guo has taken a clear lead in the World Cup. She now has 285 points against 240 for the German rider Kristina Vogel.
Men’s omnium: Hansen justifies his position
Just two points separated the 2012 Omnium Olympic Champion, the Danish rider Lasse Norman Hansen and the Brit Chris Latham going into the points race, the last event of the competition.
The Scandinavian rider put in an impressive final performance, grabbing points in eight of the sixteen sprints, to take second place in the race, won by the Japanese rider Kuboki.
As a result, Hansen, who had fallen during the qualifiers for the Team pursuit, finished the day 20 points ahead of his rival – and a big smile. The Australian Glenn O’Shea came third (165 points).
“I took my responsibilities during the first twenty laps,” analysed Hansen. When I realised that I had widened the gap, and that my rivals were suffering, I concentrated on Latham. My form is good, and I’m very happy to have won.”
General rankings: Park holds on
With 203 points, the Korean Sang-Hoon Park, fourth in Cambridge, moves in front of the Frenchman Thomas Boudat (172 points). Tim Veldt (Netherlands) is third (155 points). Hansen, who did not race in Cali, came in in fourth place.
The first UCI Track Cycling World Cup held in New Zealand was a very big success, with a full velodrome. The Prime Minister John Key watched the competitions on Friday. He also met many of the riders, including the Under-23 Mountain Bike World Champion Anton Cooper and the BMX Olympic medallist Sarah Walker, as well as trainers and officials. The first New Zealand Road Racing World Champion, Linda Villumsen, presented him with a rainbow jersey.
The last round of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup will take place in Hong Kong on the 16th and 17th January.