See Thursday’s Cycling Weekly for all the reaction to the World Cup
If Friday’s tally of five gold medals from seven events was not impressive enough, how about this? Six out of six. A clean sweep for British riders on day two of the World Cup meeting in Manchester.
Victoria Pendleton kicked off by taking the 500 metres time trial, then the team pursuit quartet raised the roof by catching Denmark in the final with two laps to go.
The women’s scratch race demonstrated the extraordinary rate of Lizzie Armitstead‘s progress. She is developing into a very fine bike rider on the road and the track. She added the scratch race title to yesterday’s points race to suggest that Britain may be challenging Dutch star Marianne Vos in the bunch races very soon. For good measure Britain’s Alex Greenfield took the bronze too. That was just rubbing it in, really.
Another thrilling win came courtesy of Anna Blyth and Jessica Varnish in the women’s team sprint. They had done superbly to make the final on their debut on the big stage, and were underdogs against Germany.
But they pipped the German duo on the line to keep up Britain’s incredible streak.
Jason Kenny, who earlier had despatched his compatriot Matt Crampton in the semi-finals, was too strong for Aussie Shane Perkins in the final of the sprint, winning 2-0, even though the pair crashed into each other as they crossed the line in the second race.
And that left the pressure on Chris Newton’s shoulders. How do you follow that?
Well, Newton followed that with a superb show of controlled aggression in the points race to make it a perfect day for Britain.
British Cycling has almost reached perfection. Admittedly, other nations have some big names missing and the field was not particularly deep, but this wasn’t just Britain’s big guns wiping the floor with the second string. The emergence of the young riders over the past two days shows that the depth of talent grows deeper all the time.
The rest of the world isn’t merely playing catch-up, they are squinting to the horizon for the tiniest of glimpses of red, white and blue.
Lizzie Armitstead is all smiles after winning her second gold medal in two days.
5 golds (from seven events)
Wendy Houvenaghel ( pursuit)
Lizzie Armitstead ( points race)
Ed Clancy (pursuit)
Victoria Pendleton (sprint)
David Daniell (kilometre)
Jason Kenny (Keirin)
Lucy Martin (points race)
Jo Rowsell (W pursuit)
Katie Colclough (W points race)
6 golds (from six events)
Victoria Pendleton (500m)
Great Britain – Clancy, Thomas, Hayles, Burke (team pursuit)
Lizzie Armitstead (scratch race)
Anna Blyth, Jessica Varnish (team sprint)
Jason Kenny (sprint)
Chris Newton (points race)
Matt Crampton (sprint)
Alexandra Greenfield (scratch race)
TOTAL SO FAR
11 gold (from 13 events)
Chris Newton (Great Britain) gave a display of faultless points race riding to complete the clean sweep of gold medals.
Newton had the race wrapped up at the halfway mark after scoring in each of the first six sprints and gaining a lap.
The defending World Cup champion and Olympic bronze medallist set out very aggressively in the 40-kilometre points race.
He led out the first sprint, only to be pipped by Italy’s Elia Viviani. However, Newton tried the same thing again for the second sprint and held on. Then, when the attacks started, Newton was quick to react.
Newton was among the points at the third and fourth sprint, then got in a little move with Belgian Iljo Keisse and Spaniard Eloy Teruel.
The trio stayed away to contest the fifth sprint, which Newton won to open up a ten-point lead on Teruel with 70 laps to go.
Chris Newton turns on the style to win the men’s points race.
With 60 laps to go, Newton won the sprint and moments later joined up with the back of the group to gain a lap together with Keisse and Teruel.
Victory was beginning to look assured. At this point he was in the lead on 43 points – thanks to the gained lap, with Keisse on 31 and Teruel on 30.
Newton continued to score well as he squeezed the life out of the rest of the field.
He didn’t need to win the final sprint, but after a remarkable day for Britain’s riders it seemed only right that he stretch clear of the bunch and take the final sprint too.
1 Chris Newton (Great Britain) 58pts
2 Iloy Teruel (Spain) 38pts
3 Iljo Keisse (Belgium) 36pts
There was a dramatic finish to the men’s sprint when Australian Shane Perkins and Sky+HD’s Jason Kenny collided as they crossed the line and went down.
Kenny was already leading 1-0, and he got across the line first as they collided and then fell. It meant that British riders had taken all five gold medals on offer, with just the men’s points race to come.
The Olympic team sprint champion and sprint silver-medallist is shaping up to be the man to beat for the best part of the next decade. The 20-year-old from Bolton cruised through the competition with the sort of ease that suggested Chris Hoy is going to have a struggle on his hands.
Meanwhile, Matt Crampton can console himself with the thought that he would have had silver had he not met Kenny in the semi-final. The Great Britain rider beat Michael D’Almeida of France 2-0 in the bronze medal final.
Jason Kenny is wheeled out to the start line for the men’s sprint
Jason Kenny takes a minute to work out where he is after being taken out at 70kph. He got up and walked off the track, turned blue, then threw up. Apart from that, and a few scars he was ok.
Jason Kenny (Sky+HD) beat Matthew Crampton (Great Britain) 2-0
Shane Perkins (Australia) beat Michael D’Almeida (US Creteil) 2-0
Gold medal final
Jason Kenny (Sky+HD) beat Shane Perkins (Australia) 2-0
Bronze medal final
Matt Crampton (Great Britain) beat Michael D’Almeida (US Creteil) 1-0
With so much success on the track, the unexpected wins are even more warmly appreciated by the crowd at the Manchester Velodrome than the bankers.
Yes, the cheers for Pendleton and the team pursuiters were huge, but the loudest roar of the weekend so far came when Anna Blyth and Jess Varnish pipped the German pair of Christin Muche and Miriam Welte in a very close finish to the team sprint.
Pendleton and Shanaze Reade are the reigning world champions, but without them, the Germans looked favourites, and so it seemed when they qualified fastest.
It still seemed that they would break the run of three golds in a row this evening when they were fastest at every split.
But that was until the finishing line, when the British team got it by the narrowest of margins.
The Russians beat Poland for bronze.
Anna Blyth (left) and Jess Varnish win the women’s team sprint. Varnish is still ranked as a junior but joins the Olympic Academy this winter.
1 Great Britain (Anna Blyth, Jessica Varnish) 34.352
2 Germany (Christin Muche, Miriam Welte) 34.376
3 Russia (Victoria Baranova, Swetlana Grankowskaja)
Lizzie Armitstead completed the double by winning the scratch race to add to Friday’s points race title.
Great Britain’s Alexandra Greenfield took bronze.
The women’s points race was one of the few track events to elude the British team in Beijing. Bizarre place allocation by the IOC and UCI meant that one of the pursuiters had to ride, meaning Rebecca Romero, a bunch race novice, lined up in the field. She finished 11th.
Think back to March, and the World Championships here in Manchester, when Lizzie Armitstead was selected for Great Britain ahead of Scotland’s Kate Cullen. For some it was a controversial decision, but British Cycling’s reasoning was that Armitstead was a great talent for the future and needed to experience the big occasion.
Armitstead finished a fine seventh in that World Championship scratch race and her progress has continued upwards ever since. She made the big break of the day in the road race at the World Championships in Varese, playing an integral part in Nicole Cooke’s eventual win.
Last night she won the points race, now she has added the scratch race after a fine team effort from her 100% Me team-mate Katie Colclough.
Colclough attacked alone during a key part of the race, got a decent lead and although she was never going to gain a lap on the field, tactically it was extremely smart work.
It took the bunch until eight laps to go to catch her, and by then the race was there for Armitstead to take. She moved up with five laps to go, sat in third place until two to go and then made her move up the outside to hold off the bunch. Greenfield’s bronze simply served to demonstrate the ability and strength in numbers of the young riders coming through the ranks.
1 Lizzie Armitstead (Team 100% Me)
2 Tara Whitten (Canada)
3 Alexandra Greenfield (Great Britain)
The Boys Are Back In Town. The Thin Lizzy classic that rang out around the velodrome after the team pursuit final said it all.
Ed Clancy and Geraint Thomas, the world champions, Olympic champions and world record holders, were joined by Steven Burke and Rob Hayles in the Great Britain line-up. In qualifying this afternoon they were the only team to break four minutes. For Hayles it was the first time he had still been part of the quartet at the finish of a sub-four-minute team pursuit.
In the final, the Danes had no answer. The final kilometre was barely upon them when they dropped a man. The gap was closing rapidly and by the time Hayles sat up, having done some big turns, the catch was inevitable.
They passed their opponents with two laps to go and gave the now familiar salute of pointing to the sky, to the crowd and to each other.
There was a disaster for the Lokomotiv team in the bronze medal race. They were looking good going into the final kilometre when there was a touch of wheels which sent three of the Russians flying. It meant the Netherlands took the bronze medal.
Great Britain remind everyone why they are untouchable in the team pursuit.
1 Great Britain (Clancy, Thomas, Burke, Hayles)
2 Denmark – caught
|500 METRES TIME TRIAL|
Victoria Pendleton won the 500-metre time trial, with her time surviving a spirited challenge from China’s Jinjie Gong in the final heat.
Pendleton has not made the 500 metres her priority for the past year or so, choosing to concentrate everything on winning the sprint at the Beijing Olympics – the only medal on offer to her.
Her time of 34.256 seconds was pushed hard by Gong, whose time was better than Pendleton’s at the 250 and 375 metre splits.
Victoria Pendleton readies herself before her two-lap effort.
1 Victoria Pendleton (Sky+HD) 34.256sec
2 Jinjie Gong (China) 34.432sec
3 Miriam Welte (Germany) 34.799sec
MANCHESTER TRACK WORLD CUP 2008 LINKS
World Cup day two finals
World Cup day two qualifying
World Cup day one summary
How to spot the British riders at Manchester
British under-23 team gets ready for Manchester world cup
Sky+HD track team officially unveiled
Clancy for individual pursuit at Manchester World Cup
Chris Hoy scholarship programme launched
Kenny ready for race action in Manchester
British Cycling celebrate success at gala dinner
Manchester World Cup preview: Who’s riding for Britain ? and in which event?
CW’s Dummies’ Guide to track racing ? We explain how track racing works
Every major track result of the 2007-2008 season World Cups, World Championships and Olympic Games
Manchester Track World Cup official site for full details of the race programme