2016 UCI TRACK CYCLING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS – DAY 2 RECAP
Men’s Team Pursuit world title glory; Meares keirin silver; women’s team pursuit in medal hunt
MEN?S TEAM PURSUIT – AUSTRALIA SOARS TO HISTORIC WORLD TITLE
Australia?s Michael Hepburn (QLD), Sam Welsford (WA) and brothers Callum and Miles Scotson (SA) silenced a parochial sell-out British crowd, overcoming a half a second deficit with one lap remaining to steal the world championship on day three of the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in London.
In simply one of the most exhilarating pursuit finals ever seen at a World Championships, the Australian quartet bolted from the gates to establish a lead of almost over half a second after the first few laps.
The margin remained consistent through the halfway mark, however the Brits, lead by Sir Bradley Wiggins and a 6,000 strong crowd, pegged back the margin to fourth tenths of a second with just four laps remaining, before taking the lead with three to go.
Australia fell four tenths of a second behind at the bell lap, before an heroic final lap effort which saw them destroy the voices of the crowd as they roared to the second fastest time in history – 3mins 52.727secs.
?These guys have done absolutely everything that Tim’s asked, that I’ve asked, that anybody’s asked of them. Hats off to them. Against a GB quartet on home soil and in an Olympic year, and they just didn’t let it faze them. Hats off to those guys too,? said Hepburn.
WOMEN?S KEIRIN – MIGHTY MEARES GRABS KEIRIN SILVER
Reigning keirin world champion Meares grabbed silver in the women’s keirin with a vintage ride in one of the best women’s finals fields every assembled.
Three-time world champion in the event Meares, was narrowly beaten in a drag to the line by Germany’s Kristina Vogel who clinched her second world title in three years in the event. 2014 world champion Becky James (GBR) took bronze.
It was Meares’ seventh world championship medal in the keirin, and twenty-seventh career medal.
“Really pleased,” said Meares. “I’m really happy with my semi final ride and really happy with my final ride. I know a lot of people will say ‘it’s silver, it’s not the gold’ but I’m looking at the processes and the way I move and the decisions that I’ve made and how I rode the race and I’m really pleased with that considering where we’ve come in for this competition targeting Rio particularly.”
WOMEN?S TEAM PURSUIT – AUSTRALIA FOURTH FASTEST, TO FACE USA ON FRIDAY
Australia’s kicked off its defense of the women’s team pursuit crown, posting the fourth fastest time in Thursday afternoon qualifying.
The quartet of 2015 world champions Amy Cure (TAS), Annette Edmondson (SA), Ashlee Ankudinoff (NSW) and debutant Georgia Baker (TAS), were the last of 13 riders to hit the track, posting a time of 4mins 20.830secs to set up a first round clash with the USA.