Three more gold medals landed in the British camp on day two of the track world cup in Manchester as the host nation continued its dominance.
Chris Hoy looked unbeatable in the sprint competition flush with British riders, while Wendy Houvenaghel swept to gold in convincing fashion in the women’s individual pursuit.
The third gold was won at the end of the evening as young Lizzie Armitstead made up for missing out on yesterday’s scratch race with a convincing win in the points race. Victoria Pendleton added to the tally with silver in the 500m time trial.
Once again it was Sir Chris Hoy leading the way. Back in international competition for the first time since his crash in Copenhagen, the Scot was untouchable in the sprint competition in which four Brits finished in the top five.
The French, Germans and Australians have largely stayed away from Manchester in the knowledge that team GB would be here on superb form. Hoy’s time in qualifying showed his win wasn’t a result of a lack of competition.
Posting 9.869 seconds in qualifying, he was simply untouchable. “A lot of the sessions I’ve been doing in training have been comparable to what I was doing pre-Beijing, and that gives you big confidence,” he said afterwards. “A personal goal was to build on last week’s national championships and to do a 9.8 today was really pleasing, other than Beijing that’s my fastest ever time.”
Women’s 500m time trial
Anna Meares snatched gold from under Victoria Pendleton’s nose in the 500m time trial to leave the Briton with a silver medal to add to her gold from the sprint competition yesterday.
Riding before Meares, Pendleton posted a personal best of 33.838 seconds to put her in the gold medal position. Meares’ time of 33.632 knocked her straight off the top, but the Australian’s extra two-tenths of a second could quite easily be put down to her tri-bars.
Pendleton had ridden with drop handlebars to replicate the conditions of her Olympic event, the sprint. “I don’t do the 500, I’m not a 500 metre rider I’m not a 500 metre specialist, I’m not about to start wasting my time on a non-Olympic event anyway, but I did it because I didn’t have a team sprint partner today, so I thought I’d better do something.”
The result does mean that Pendleton has qualified another position for the world championships, lessening her workload over the rest of the world cup series that take place in Colombia, Australia and China.
World champion and world record holder Simona Krupeckaite finished in fourth spot.
1. Anna Meares (Aus) 33.632 seconds
2. Victoria Pendleton (GBr) 33.838
3. Willy Kanis (Ned) 33.984
4. Simona Krupeckaite (Ltu) 34.066
5. Olga Panarina (Blr) 34.280
Sir Chris Hoy showed he was back to something approaching his best as the British sprinters dominated the competition, taking all three places on the podium.
Hoy (Team Sky+HD), who won the Keirin on Friday, stormed through to the final, setting the fastest time in qualification. He was the only rider under 10 seconds for the 200 metres flying time trial, in 9.869 seconds.
Matt Crampton and Jason Kenny (Great Britain) qualified second and third fastest to demonstrate their dominance. Ross Edgar (Sky+HD) was seventh.
All four riders made it through to the quarter-finals, where Crampton got the better of Edgar in the first all-British clash.
Hoy breezed past Aussie Shane Perkins in the last four, but Crampton needed the decider to get the better of Kenny 2-1.
In the final, Hoy’s experience was enough to see off the spirited Crampton 2-0. Kenny completed the clean sweep with a 2-0 win over Perkins in the bronze medal race, although both were exhilarating sprints with the riders going shoulder-to-shoulder.
Taking four of the top five places was a huge boost for Britain’s bid to qualifying early for the World Championships without having to take full-strength teams to the far-flung World Cup rounds in Melbourne, Colombia and China.
Chris Hoy (Sky+HD) beat Matt Crampton (Great Britain) 2-0
Bronze medal final
Jason Kenny (Great Britain) beat Shane Perkins (Australia) 2-0
5th Ross Edgar (Sky+HD)
6th Damian Zielinski (Poland)
7th Daniel Ellis (Jayco)
8th Michael D’Almeida (US Creteil
Women’s individual pursuit
Wendy Houvenaghel won the women’s pursuit with ease, catching Australian Josephine Tomic on her final lap before rolling over the line and still posting a world-class time.
Immediately after receiving her gold medal, Houvenaghel condemned the decision that the women’s pursuit should suffer the same fate as the men’s kilometre and women’s 500m time trial: removal from the Olympic cycling schedule.
“The ride was something I hadn’t really targeted for this World Cup bearing in mind the news that’s inbound regarding the Olympic programme,” Houvenaghel said. “The main focus will be the event tomorrow [the team pursuit].”
President of the UCI, Pat McQuaid, refused to be drawn on what events would and wouldn’t be run at the 2012 Olympic Games in London when asked by Cycling Weekly, but the British team has already started to adjust their rider’s programmes according to the news that broke several weeks ago.
“In my training perspective I feel that things are a little up in the air until the decision has been ratified formally however our training has been revised to put more attention on the team pursuit,” said Houvenaghel.
“Personally, it’s quite a devastation because this is an event I have specialised in for the last three-and-a-half years and I was very much looking forward to continuing in the same vein and take it the whole way to London.”
1. Wendy Houvenaghel (Great Britain) 3-31.929 minutes
2. Josephine Tomic (Australia) OVL
3. Vera Koedooder (Netherlands) 3-41.522
4. Leire Dorronsoro (Spain) 3-42.255
The Belgian partnership of Kenny De Ketele and Tim Mertens won the Madison ahead of Germany’s Roger Kluge and Robert Bartko.
There was no British team in the race because of the change of schedule, which meant the Madison was held the day before the team pursuit instead of the day after. Great Britain decided they could not risk their preferred partnership of Geraint Thomas and Ben Swift ahead of the team pursuit.
1 Kenny De Ketele & Tim Mertens (Belgium) 17pts
2 Roger Kluge & Robert Bartko (Germany) 16pts
3 Sergey Kolesnikov & Alexey Shmidt (Russia) 11pts
4 Philip Nielsen & Michael Morkov (Denmark) 9pts
5 Christophe Riblon & Matthieu Ladagnous (France) 8pts
Women’s team sprint
World champions Australia took gold in the women’s sprint as Anna Meares started to make a small dent in to Great Britain’s runaway medal tally. The Australian woman had not long gathered her breath from winning the 500m time trial before she was anchoring the Australian pairing to another gold.
The earlier two lap effort had obviously taken nothing away form Meares as she posted another fast lap to clinch gold.
Britain’s young pairing of Rebecca James and Jessica Vanish were just pipped to the bronze medal by Germany while Pendleton had to sit out of the competition as she has no Sky+HD team mates to ride with. Come the world champs, Pendleton may be reunited with Shanaze Reade as the inclusion of this event in the 2012 Olympics drastically raises its significance.
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Australia 33.653 bt Netherlands 34.014
Germany 34.390 bt Great Britain 34.414
Women’s points race
Lizzie Armitstead rounded off another great night for the host nation with a gold in the points race. The Brit was obviously unhappy with yesterday’s scratch race – where she finished out of the medals – and made ammends for it today with a powerful display of sprinting.
1. Lizzie Armitstead (Great Britain) 16 pts
2. Yumari Valdivieso (Cuba) 11
3. Evgeniya Romanyuta (Russia) 10
4. Tatsiana Sharakova (Belarus) 8
5. Belinda Goss (Australia) 7