The 2010 World Track Championships at the Ballerup Super Arena in Copenhagen opened with the qualifying session for the Women’s Individual Puruit. Sarah Hammer of the USA dominated the session, qualifying for the final 2.5 seconds faster than her nearest rival, Great Britain’s Wendy Houvenaghel. And to demonstrate that qualifying was no fluke, Hammer took almost 4 seconds out of her British rival in the Final.

Even more dominant was Australia’s Cameron Meyer who took two laps on the field to win the Points Race with a massive 70 point haul. Meyer’s on form team mate Anna Meares took the Women’s 500m Time Trial, while pre-race Team Sprint favourites Great Britain had to settle for Bronze as Germany beat France to take the title.

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Sarah Hammer’s website still describes her as a World Champion and Future Olympic Gold Medallist – and on this form you wouldn’t have ruled it out, had our friends from the UCI not removed her event from the Games. But the website refers not to the title she won today or to the 2012 Olympics, but to the back-to-back titles she won in 2006 and 2007 and to her aspirations for Beijing. It might seem odd when every one with a bike seems to be on twitter and catching up with friends on Facebook is part of most riders’ pre-race preparation that anyone would let their website get so out of date, but Hammer doesn’t do things quite the same way as other athletes.

A successful junior, she left the sport in 2003 but returned a year later, inspired by the 2004 Olympics. With two World Titles under her belt, she was among the favourites for Gold in Beijing, but 2007 was a nightmare – with a serious back injury again taking her away from the track. She returned in time for the Olympics, but couldn’t recapture her previous form and could only manage 5th place.

Now based in Switzerland – where her coach and husband Andy Sparks is a Coach on the UCI Development team, Hammer looks to be back on track. She finished 7th in the World Cup Standings – which, along with missing the 2009 World Championships – accounted for her relatively low ranking this year – but she only entered one round – in Cali, Colimbia – and she won that.

That low ranking meant that she started in heat 7 of 11 and – having taken six seconds out of the leader at that point – Ellie van Dijk of the Netherlands, she had a long wait on top of the timing sheets. But with a time of 3:27.826 she must have been feeling confident that she was at least in with a shout of a medal and, in truth, nobody realy came close. Viljia Sereikaite of Lithuania went second briefly, four seconds off the pace, in heat 8 before Great Britain’s Wendy Houvenaghel – Silver Medalist in Pruskow last year – closed the gap to two and a half seconds. The last heat could have provided an upset – for both Hammer and Houvenaghel – with defending World Champion Alison Shanks of New Zealand up against an in-from Tara Whitten of Canada – runner-up to Hammer in Cali and 3rd at the final World Cup round in Beijing. It wasn’t to be. Shanks didn’t look at her best and could only manage 3rd fastest; Whitte could do no better than 9th.

Houvenaghel – 2nd in Beijing, 2nd in Pruszkow – was away quicker but, in truth, she was always second best today. She was down within 3 laps, a second down by the 1km mark and 2 seconds down by 2000 metres, with the Gold medal slipping away fast. By the end she was 4 seconds off Hammer’s pace.

Serikaite took the the Bronze – with last year’s Champion Shanks missing out on a medal – but it was Hammer that took the headlines. She rides again in the Points race on Sunday.

Women’s Individual Pursuit Final
GOLD
Sarah HAMMER USA
3:28.601
SILVER
Wendy HOUVENAGHEL GBR 3:32.496

BRONZE Vilija SEREIKAITE LTU 3:32.085
4 Alison SHANKS NZL 3:32.733

1 Sarah HAMMER USA 3:27.826
2 Wendy HOUVENAGHEL GBR 3:30.377

3 Alison SHANKS NZL 3:31.259
4 Vilija SEREIKAITE LTU 3:31.905

5 Ellen VAN DIJK NED 3:33.704
6 Lesya KALITOVSKA UKR
3:36.159
7 Jaime NIELSEN NZL
3:37.212
8 Vera KOEDOODER NED
3:37.466
9 Tara WHITTEN CAN
3:38.315
10 Fan JIANG CHN
3:38.519
11 Pascale SCHNIDER SUI
3:39.111
12 Ah Reum NA KOR
3:39.518
13 Sarah KENT AUS
3:40.779
14 Verena JOOS GER
3:41.092
15 Dalila RODRIGUEZ HERNANDEZ CUB
3:41.277
16 Charlotte BECKER GER
3:42.068
17 Elissavet CHANTZI GRE
3:44.802
18 Ausrine TREBAITE LTU
3:45.286
19 Vaida PIKAUSKAITE LTU
3:45.782
20 Debora GALVEZ LOPEZ ESP
3:46.051
21 Nontasin CHANPENG THA
3:54.945
22 Wan Yiu Jamie WONG HKG 3:59.093

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If the Women’s Individual Pursuit was full of drama and human interest, the 500m Time Trial couldn’t really have been more straightforward. Australia’s Anna Meares has been on form all winter and nobody could touch her today. Grinning from ear to ear – you know when Meares is feeling good – she set the fastest opening lap by a tenth of a second and was only a couple of hundredths off Silver Medalist Simona Krupeckaite’s closing lap time. It was a confident performance from Meares and she look delighted on the podium. Olga Panarina form Belarus took the Bronze.

Women’s 500m Time Trial
GOLD
Anna MEARES AUS 33.381
SILVER
Simona KRUPECKAITE LTU 33.462
BRONZE
PANARINA Olga BLR 33.779

4 Willy KANIS NED 33.801
5 Sandie CLAIR FRA 33.992
6 Kaarle McCULLOCH AUS 34.349
7 Miriam WELTE GER 34.407
8 Jinjie GONG CHN 34.538
9 Lisandra GUERRA RODRIGUEZ CUB 34.674
10 Junhong LIN CHN 34.803
11 Wai Sze LEE HKG 34.974
12 Jessica VARNISH GBR 34.992
13 Virginie CUEFF FRA 35.017
14 Monique SULLIVAN CAN 35.334
15 Yvonne HIJGENAAR NED 35.418
16 Rebecca JAMES GBR 35.515
17 STRELTSOVA Olga RUS 35.601
18 Gintare GAIVENYTE LTU 35.603
19 Helena CASAS ROIGE ESP 35.778
20 Renata DABROWSKA POL 35.864
21 Elisa FRISONI ITA 36.255

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Cameron Meyer added to what was already a great day for Australia with a dominant – but you have to say, apparently comfortable performance in the Men’s Points Race. Scoring in 10 of the 16 sprints – and taking the maximum 5 points in 4 of them – he also lapped the field twice to finish with an incredible 70 points. Peter Schep of the Netherlands, Milan Kadlec of the Czech Republic and Ingmar de Poortere of Belgium took he first lap wih Meyer and it looked as though the medals would come from within that group. At least, it looked that way to everyone except Chris Newton of Great Britain. Newton picked up 26 points – winning 4 of the 9 sprints he scored in – to pass de Poortere and close in on the Bronze medal. A single point on the final sprint wasn’t quite enough, though, with the Czech Kadlec holding on to take 3rd behind Schep.

Men’s Points Race
GOLD
Cameron MEYER AUS 70
SILVER
Peter SCHEP NED 33
BRONZE
Milan KADLEC CZE 27
4 Chris NEWTON GBR 26
5 Ingmar DE POORTERE BEL 24
6 Christophe RIBLON FRA 17
7 Walter Fernando PEREZ ARG 13
8 Roger KLUGE GER 13
9 Daniel KREUTZFELDT DEN 10
10 Makoto IIJIMA JPN 8
11 Andreas MÜLLER AUT 8
12 Carlos TORRENT TARRES ESP 5
13 Lukasz BUJKO POL 3
14 Angelo CICCONE ITA 3
15 Ho Ting KWOK HKG
16 Tristan MARGUET SUI –19
Zachary BELL CAN 5 20 20 DNF
Ioannis TAMOURIDIS GRE
DNF
Thomas SCULLY NZL DNF
Artur ERSHOV RUS DNF
José Ramon INFANTE AGUIRRE MEX DNS

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Nobody who watched the German Team Sprint squad in action at the last Revolution of the 2009-10 season will have been entirely surprised at their form. Narrowly losng in Manchester – despite having to avoid a collision with Great Britain coach – and former German World Champion – Jan van Eijden on their opening lap, they were clearly on form, but few predicted anything but a France vs Great Britain final.

With France – defending World Champions – faced Germany – World Cup winners – in the last heat and it was Great Britain who topped the times as they lined up. Pedal problems for Chris Hoy delayed the start, but the time of 43.802 was a reasonable one andd Kenny and Hoy set the fastest times so far for their legs, with Ross Edgar 3rd fastest over the middle stint. The final heat, though, was run at a blistering pace and it was Forstermann fastest out of the gate before the French closed them down to clock a 43.373, just 8 hundredths ahead of the German trio.

Pedal problems again – for Kenny this time – required a restart in the Bronze medal ride, but it couldn’t prevent them dominating the race against China. Kenny’s opening lap was the second fastest of the day- 4 hundredths off Forstermann, who would also improve in the final – and the squad recorded a 43.590.


The Final was a show of strength by the Germans. Levy and Nimke looked neat and tidy on the first lap but Forstermann’s pace meant that there was a two bike length gap to the lead out man. It didn’t matter; they were a quarter of a second up after the first lap. France clawed some of that back on the second lap and took a big chunk out of the lead in the closing 250, but it was’t enough. Germany 43.433, France 43.453. Sprinting is a thre-way fight again.

Men’s Team Sprint Qualifying
1 France 43.373
Gregory BAUGE, Michaël D’ALMEIDA, Kévin SIREAU
2 Germany 43.458
Robert FÖRSTEMANN, Maximilian LEVY, Stefan NIMKE
3 Great Britain 43.802
Ross EDGAR, Chris HOY, Jason KENNY
4 China 44.017
Changsong CHENG, Lei ZHANG, Miao ZHANG
5
New Zealand 44.450
Edward DAWKINS, Adam STEWART, Sam WEBSTER
6
Russia 44.498
Sergey BORISOV, Denis DMITRIEV, Sergey KUCHEROV
7
Australia 44.578
Daniel ELLIS, Jason NIBLETT, Scott SUNDERLAND
8
Netherlands 44.630
Teun MULDER , Yondi SCHMIDT, Roy VAN DEN BERG
9
Poland 44.820
Maciej BIELECKI, Kamil KUCZYNSKI, Damian ZIELINSKI
10
Japan 45.136
Kota ASAI, Yudai NITTA, Kazunari WATANABE
11
Canada 45.523
Stephane COSSETTE, Travis SMITH, Joseph VELOCE
12
Czech Republic 45.674
Tomas BABEK, Adam PTACNIK, Denis SPICKA
13
GRE Greece 45.730
Vasileios REPPAS, Christos VOLIKAKIS, Zafeirios VOLIKAKIS
14
Ukraine 45.795
Danylo DUTKEVYCH, Artem FROLOV, Andrii VYNOKUROV
15
Spain 46.071
David ALONSO CASTILLO, Itmar ESTEBAN HERRAIZ, Alfredo MORENO CANO
16
ITA Italy 46.436
Valerio CATELLINI, Francesco CECI , Luca CECI

Final
GOLD
Germany 43.433
Robert FÖRSTEMANN, Maximilian LEVY, Stefan NIMKE
SILVER
France 43.453
Gregory BAUGE, Michaël D’ALMEIDA, Kévin SIREAU

BRONZE Great Britain 43.590
Ross EDGAR, Chris HOY, Jason KENNY
4
China 44.002
Changsong CHENG, Lei ZHANG, Miao ZHANG

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