2006 World Track Championships
Great Britain’s success continued in Bordeaux last week as they became number one ranked nation at the completion of this year’s UCI Track Cycling Championships, based on the number of medals won overall.
The Great Britain Cycling Team walked away with six medals between them – an outstanding result considering they had prioritised the Commonwealths prior to the Championships.
It was a particularly challenging World Championships for all the riders, who having just put so much into the Commonwealth Games, had to find it in their legs to put in their best performances for the second time in close succession. Here’s how the women got on…
Victoria Pendleton took forth in the 500m TT, recording a personal best of 34.614.
When we caught up with Victoria, prior to the Championships, we asked who was worrying her on the track scene. She highlighted three riders who certainly lived up to her expectations on the day.
“Well obviously there's the Russian, Natallia Tsylinskaya, she's very good, she's consistently good and when she goes to a competition she always gets medals and obviously Anna Meares and Kerrie Meares, the Australians, they're very good, they're tactically good, so they're the main two."
Victoria had an unlucky run in the Women’s Keirin - fortunately her superb bike handling skills kept her upright as the previously mentioned Australian, Anna Meares, ploughed into her to allow sister Kerrie to get away, but unfortunately this pushed Victoria out of the competition and kept her off the podium. Anna was later relegated.
Consolation soon came for Victoria as she came in second to Natallia Tsylinskaya (Belarus) in the Women’s Sprint and left France with a Silver medal to add to her collection.
Nikki Harris fought hard in both the Points and the Scratch, coming in 20th and 16th respectively.
Wendy Houvenhagel and Emma Davies Jones came in fifth and sixth in the Individual Pursuit. Sarah Hammer (USA) took the win with the fastest time of 3.37.227 and Olga Slyusareva (Russia) came in second with 3.37.544. It’s fantastic to see Emma back on flying form after a very tough year of recovery.
And for the men...
On day one, the French rode a record breaking ride to take the win for the Team Sprint with the GB squad placed closely behind in Silver medal position.
Chris Newton rode an excellent Points Race and showed huge strength in the first few sprints, he came in forth overall after he made it back to the leading break however just missed out on the podium. Peter Schep (Netherlands) won Gold with 31 pts, Rafal Ratajczyk (Poland) came in with 18 and Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus) took Bronze with 15. Chris Newton (Great Britain) just missed out on the podium with 13 but rode a storming race.
Paul Manning took Bronze for Great Britain in the Men’s Individual Pursuit with Robert Bartko (Germany) taking Gold with a time of 4.23.473. Jens Mouris (Netherlands) finished in second position.
Young GB riders Ross Edgar and Matt Crampton took 9th and 10th respectively in the Men’s Keirin with Theo Bos (Netherlands) looking rather pleased to say the least as he took the overall win.
Chris Hoy won the Men's Kilometre Time Trial with a time of 1.01.361 (58.669 km/h) placing strong rival Ben Kersten (Australia) in second with 1.02.085. François Pervis (France) 1.02.696 took the Bronze.
The Australians took gold in the Team Pursuit with a time of 4.01.491 to Great Britain's Silver performance of 4.01.527. Geraint Thomas, Steve Cummings, Paul Manning and Rob Hayles were disappointed after they were the fastest qualifiers yet lost the final Gold. Never the less, yet another impressive performance from the GB squad.
Mark Cavendish put everything into the Men’s Scratch and early on it looked as if we may have a Gold medal on our hands for the event but unfortunately chasing down a break one too many times took its toll and the young rider had to pull out. Cavendish went on to take forth in the Madison, partnered with Rob Hayles on the final day of racing. Also, on the final day, a delighted Craig Maclean took Silver in the Men’s Sprint with Theo Bos impressively taking his second Gold medal in the Championships.