Meyer and Meares put Aussies on top of the world

cameron meyer, mens points race, world track champs, copenhagen

>>>2010 world track championships: CW's coverage index

Cameron Meyer's scintillating ride in men's points race was the highlight of the opening night at the World Track Championships in Copenhagen.

Meyer and Anna Meares gave Australia a flying start to the championships winning the first two gold medals on offer. And at the end of the evening there was a surprise in the men's team sprint as the Germans got the better of the French, ending their four-year stranglehold on the event at World Championship level.

For Britain it was a night of nearly, but not quite. Wendy Houvenaghel was beaten by the USA's Sarah Hammer in the individual pursuit final and the men's team sprinters had to settle for bronze after the Germans and the French went quicker in qualifying.

Sir Chris Hoy's Look Keo pedal snapped just before the start of the qualifying round leaving GB staff to quickly replace it. In the final, Jason Kenny pulled his foot out of the pedal as he pulled away at the start.

Despite the uncharacterstic problems, Great Britain's performance director Dave Brailsford was happy with the result. The team has had to adjust having lost Jamie Staff, regarded as the fastest 'man one' in the world, to a back injury. Jason Kenny is the new starting man and he did a 17.291 opening lap, which is a world-class time.

In the men's points race, the 22-year-old Meyer dominated with a display that threw tactical caution to the wind.

After a quiet start, the defending champion made his move a third of the way into the race when he began contesting the sprints. Then he gained a lap with Peter Schep of the Netherlands, Milan Kadlec of the Czech Republic and Ingmar De Poortere of Belgium.

Not content with that, he kicked again to gain a lap on his own and put himself out of reach of the rest. Even with the gold medal in the bag, he still went for the sprint points and ended the race on 70, an incredible 37 clear of second-placed Schep.

Chris Newton of Great Britain rode a strong race but, having missed the attack, was always up against it. However, in the final phase of the race he closed from fifth to fourth place and had the bronze medal in his sights going into the final sprint. Newton needed to beat Kadlec and close a two-point gap to deny him third place.

So, he opened up the sprint from a long way out, with two laps to go, then got out of the saddle to sprint round the final bend only to fade to fourth place on the line.

There was a great start for Australia. Before Meyer's heroics,  Meares won her third 500-metre time trial world title, after victories in Melbourne (2004) and Majorca (2007).

The British team bagged a silver and a bronze on day one. Wendy Houvenaghel qualified second fastest in the individual pursuit and was beaten by Sarah Hammer in the final.

And in the men's team sprint, the Great Britain trio welcomed back Sir Chris Hoy to the line-up after he missed last year's Worlds in Poland. There was a hold-up at the start of their qualifying heat when there was a problem with Hoy's pedal.

Although they set a good time of 43.802 seconds for the three-lap event, both the French and the Germans went faster when they shared the track in the final heat, bumping the Brits down to the bronze medal race.

Before the start of the bronze medal race against China, there was another pedal-related issue as mechanic Ernie Feargrieve was called on to sort a problem with Jason Kenny's bike.

Britain's team - Ross Edgar, Kenny and Hoy - clinched the bronze medal with a time of 43.590 seconds, half-a-second faster than the Chinese. In the gold medal final, the Germans pulled off a shock with Robert Forstemann, Max Levy and Stefan Nimke defeating the French trio of Gregory Bauge, Michael D'Almeida and Kevin Sireau.

great britain, team sprint, chris hoy, jason kenny, ross edgar, world track champs, copenghagen

Jason Kenny leads the British trio to Bronze in the men's team sprint

The action continues on Thursday with finals in the women's team sprint, the men's scratch race, the men's Keirin, the women's team pursuit and the men's individual pursuit.

Britain's best chances of a medal come in the women's team pursuit and the men's Keirin. The women's trio have won both World Championship titles since the event was introduced. And if Hoy were to win the Keirin, it would be the tenth world title of his career.

But it is the men's individual pursuit that is being eagerly awaited. There's no British competitor but all eyes are on the potential showdown between two sensational young riders - defending champion Taylor Phinney of the USA and Jack Bobridge of Australia. To add extra spice it could also the battle of the American pro teams: Radioshack versus Garmin-Transitions. But before we see a showdown, they have to take the top two places in qualifying.

Join Cycling Weekly's live coverage on this site on Thursday from 1pm UK time

chris newton, mens points race, world track champs, 2010, copenhagen, team gb, great britain

Chris Newton rode to fourth in the men's points race


Women's 500m time trial

1. Anna Meares (AUS) 33:381 seconds

2. Simona Krupeckaite (LTU) 33.462

3. Olga Panarina (BLR) 33.779


12. Jessica Varnish (GBR) 34.992

16. Rebecca James (GBR) 35.515

Men's 40km points race

1. Cameron Meyer (AUS) 70

2. Peter Schep (NED) 33

3. Milan Kadlec (CZE) 27


4. Chris Newton (GBR) 26

Women's individual pursuit

Gold medal final

Sarah Hammer (USA) 3:28.601 bt Wendy Houvenaghel (GBR) 3:32.496

Bronze medal final

Vilija Sereikaite (LTU)  3:32.085 bt Alison Shanks (NZL) 3:32.733

Men's team sprint

Gold medal final

Germany 43.433 beat France 43.453

Bronze medal final

Great Britain 43.590 beat China 44.002

Full results of the 2010 world track championships


1. Australia 2 golds

2. Germany 1 gold

2. USA 1 gold

4. Great Britain 1 silver 1 bronze

4. Lithuania 1 silver 1 bronze

6. France 1 silver

6. Netherlands 1 silver

8. Belarus 1 bronze

8. Czech Republic 1 bronze

2010 Track World Champs: Reports/results

one: Wednesday, March 24

Dayone: Meyer and Meares put Aussies on top of the world

2010Track World Championships: Results

Dayone as it happened (Text coverage): Wednesday, March 24

Houvenaghelqualifies second fastest in pursuit

2010 Track World
Champs: Photos

Dayone gallery by Andy Jones


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Sports journalist Lionel Birnie has written professionally for Sunday Times, Procycling and of course Cycling Weekly. He is also an author, publisher, and co-founder of The Cycling Podcast. His first experience covering the Tour de France came in 1999, and he has presented The Cycling Podcast with Richard Moore and Daniel Friebe since 2013. He founded Peloton Publishing in 2010 and has ghostwritten and published the autobiography of Sean Kelly, as well as a number of other sports icons.