The second day of competition at the 2015 Track Worlds in Paris so no less than five titles decided with the Women’s 500 Time Trial, the Men’s and Women’s Team Pursuit, Men’s Keirin and Men’s Scratch all up for grabs.

Women’s 500m Time Trial Final

Whether she was prepared for it or not, the focus would undoubtedly be on Australia’s Anna Meares for the 500m time trial. Meares, who had a break after London 2012, showed at the end of 2014 that she is beginning to show the form which has seen her dominate women’s track cycling over the past ten years. Whilst many were talking about Meares challenging her own world record, Meares herself claimed she was “just out there racing and trying to perform at [her] absolute best.”

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Victory would be far from easy for Meares, however. Germany’s Miriam Welte, who won the world title in 2014, would certainly profile formidable competition whilst Anastasia Voynova, bronze medallist in the World Championships in 2014 and the reigning U23 world champion, would be keen to trouble the top of the leaderboard. Katie Schofield and Victoria Williamson were Great Britain’s respresentatives in the event.

Sadly, Great Britain’s Katie Marchant and Victoria Williamson only just managed to squeeze below the 35 second mark to cross the line in 34.595 and 34.904 respectively. It was Virginie Cueff of France who was the only rider to break through the 34 second barrier in the first 12 riders.

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Wai Sze Lee, the fifteenth rider to start, was the next to take the lead but her time at the top was short lived when Meares rode 33.425 to put herself in top spot. When last year’s gold medallist, Miriam Welte, could only muster a time of 33.699 for second place, it could surely only be the final rider, Voynova, who had any chance of unseating Meares.

Voynova’s first lap was a fifth of a second quicker than Meares (18.783) and, stealing more time in the second lap, Voynova stopped the clock in 33.149 – almost a third of a second quicker than Meares and cemented her as the new world champion.

Meares would surely be disappointed with her second place, but shows she is slowly getting back to form and, with nearly 18 months until Rio, she has plenty of time to find it.

Women’s 500m Time Trial Final (Results)

1 Anastasia VOYNOVA (Russia) 33.149
2 Anna MEARES (Australia) 33.425
3 Miriam WELTE (Germany) 33.699
4 Elis LIGTLEE (Netherlands) 33.775
5 Wai Sze LEE (Hong Kong) 33.788
6 Virginie CUEFF (France) 33.926
7 Elena BREJNINA (Russia) 33.999
8 Daria SCHMELEVA (Russia) 34.141
9 Lisandra GUERRA RODRIGUEZ (Cuba) 34.226
10 Tania CALVO BARBERO (Spain) 34.280
11 Sandia CLAIR (France) 34.425
12 Katie SCHOFIELD (New Zealand) 34.595
13 Katy MARCHANT (Great Britain) 34.633
14 Stephanie MCKENZIE (New Zealand) 34.722
15 Victoria WILLIAMSON (Great Britain) 34.904
16 Juliana GAVIRIA (Colombia) 35.123
17 Luz Daniela GAXIOLA GONZALEZ (Mexico) 35.803
18 Kate O’BRIEN (Canada) 35.921
19 Mariaesthela VILERA (Venezuela) 35.926
20 Olena TSYOS (Ukraine) 36.286
21 Annerline WENHOLD (South Africa) 39.054 

Women’s Team Pursuit Finals

The women’s team pursuit finals was billed as a showdown between the Great Britain squad, undefeated at world championship level for five years, and an Australian squad in the form of their lives who had also given the appearance of holding back slightly in their second round ride.

The finals for fifth to eighth place were first. In the ride for seventh, Germany were victorious after showing greater strength in the closing laps, whilst the United States defeated China for fifth place, stopping the clock at 4:25.693 – a time which would have seen them medal in other championships.

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The Bronze medal final was between Canada and New Zealand. The Canadians had been disappointed in the second round after making technical errors they felt had cost them a faster time – and were determined to redeem themselves in the final of the competition. They certainly succeeded, as well – the quartet of Allison Beveridge, Jasmin Glaesser, Kirsti Lay and Stephanie Roorda found themselves up against New Zealand from the start, increasing their lead throughout the race and ultimately crossing the line in 4:17.864 – some five seconds clear of their Kiwi competition.

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The gold medal final was set to be a huge fight between the Australians and British. The Australian quartet of Ashlee Ankudinoff, Amy Cure, Annette Edmondson and Melissa Hoskins started faster, clocking an exceptional 1:07.518 first kilometre which immediately gave them half a second advantage over the British quartet. Joanna Rowsell put in a huge turn to try and get the British back in contention and, whilst pulling some time back, they were unable to dent the lead of the Australians significantly. Rowsell had to pull out early after her efforts, and despite Katie Archibald’s powerful turn, the British squad could not catch the formidable Australians who stopped
the clock at 4:13.683 – a new world record; completely eclipsing what would have, on any other day, been an exceptional ride by the British women. However, the Australian women have taken women’s team pursuiting to another level and it is now the turn of the British to play catch-up.

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Women’s Team Pursuit Finals (Results)

GOLD Australia (Annette EDMONDSON, Ashlee ANKUDINOFF, Amy CURE, Melissa HOSKINS) 4:13.683
SILVER Great Britain (Katie ARCHIBALD, Laura TROTT, Elinor BARKER, Joanna ROWSELL) 4:16.702
BRONZE Canada (Allison BEVERIDGE, Jasmin GLAESSER, Kirsti LAY, Stephanie ROORDA) 4:17.864
4 New Zealand (Lauren ELLIS, Rushlee BUCHANAN, Jaime NIELSEN, Georgia Amy WILLIAMS) 4:22.706

5 United States (Sarah HAMMER, Jennifer VALENTE, Lauren TAMAYO, Ruth WINDER) 4:25.693
6 China (Dongyan HUANG, Wenwen JIANG, Yali JING, Baofang ZHAO) 4:28.549
7 Germany (Anna KNAUER, Charlotte BECKER, Stephanie POHL, Mieke KROEGER) 4:30.122
8 Italy (Simona FRAPPORTI, Beatrice BARTELLONI, Tatiana GUDERZO, Silvia VALSECCHI) 4:31.448

Men’s Keirin

Second Round

After some shock departures in the first round of the event, the twelve riders who qualified for the second round were pitted in two heats. Even without some of the big names, both heats contained fearsome competition and some exciting racing would undoubtedly be on the cards.

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The first heat saw Nikita Shurshin (Russia), Maximillian Levy (Germany) and Sam Webster (New Zealand) through to the final. The second heat, which appeared more like the line-up for a final than a second round, was an aggressive affair. In the end, it was Edward Dawkins (New Zealand) who crossed the line first with Francois Pervis (France) in his wake. Azizulhasni Awang (Malaysia) grabbed the final qualifying spot. The hotly tipped Colombian and last year’s silver medallist, Fabian Hernando Puerta Zapata, finished in last place and will be left to contend the minor final.

Men’s Keirin Second Round Results

Heat 11 Nikita SHURSHIN (Russia) (Q)
2 Maximilian LEVY (Germany) +0.088 (Q)
3 Sam Webster (New Zealand) +0.103 (Q)
4 Matthijs Buchli (Netherlands) +0.149
5 Matthew Glaetzer (Australia) +0.259
6 Krzysztof Maksel (Poland) +0.339

Heat 2

1 Edward DAWKINS (New Zealand) (Q)
2 Francois Pervis (France) +0.081 (Q)
3 Azizulhasni Awang (Malaysia) +0.097 (Q)
4 Stefan Boetticher (Germany) +0.112
5 Michael d’Almeida (France) +0.116
6 Fabian Hernando Puerta Zapata (Colombia) +0.166

Final

The final for 7-12th place was a tightly fought affair. Stefan Boetticher of Germany looked set to cross the line first around the final bend, but a powerful finishing burst by Puerta saw him pass Boetticher in the final straight and take the win. A long way off the silver medal from last year, but the win in the minor final will provide some consolation to Puerta.

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The roar from the velodrome crowd for the main final of the men’s keirin was huge as Francois Pervis, the poster boy of the French squad and triple world champion in 2014, lined up to defend his title. Pervis found himself behind Germany’s Maximillian Levy until the final lap when he powered past to steal the crown – with the crowd almost inconsolable in celebration. Pervis appeared more surprised than the crowd in victory, claiming he “did not know where he was standing” a month ago. The win is likely to provide him with confidence to defend his individual sprint and time trial titles.

Men’s Keirin Final Results

GOLD Francois Pervis (France)
SILVER Edward DAWKINS (New Zealand) +0.085
BRONZE Azizulhasni Awang (Malaysia) +0.229
4 Maximilian LEVY (Germany) +0.274
5 Nikita SHURSHIN (Russia) +0.287
6 Sam Webster (New Zealand) +0.968

Men’s Keirin Minor Final Results

7 Fabian Hernando Puerta Zapata (Colombia)
8 Michael d’Almeida (France) +0.040
9 Matthijs Buchli (Netherlands) +0.093
10 Matthew Glaetzer (Australia) +0.343
11 Michael d’Almeida (France) +0.407
12 Krzysztof Maksel (Poland) +0.494

Men’s Team Pursuit Finals

Whilst Australia had been fastest in the first round, the nature of the final qualifying meant the team could only qualify for the bronze medal final; their mechanical failure in qualifying costing them dearly. Nevertheless, the go
ld medal final would consist of a Great Britain team who would be determined to restamp their authority on the event after languishing in eighth place in Cali a year ago, vs a New Zealand team whose track cycling scene is at an all time high.

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The two minor finals saw France triumph against the Netherlands for seventh place, and Russia riding a fast 3:56.870 for fifth place against Switzerland. In the bronze medal match, the Australian squad of Jack Bobridge, Luke Davison, Alex Edmondson and Miles Scotson would always be the favoured contenders to take the bronze medal, and a blisteringly fast start (their first kilometre ultimately turned out to be a whole second quicker than the New Zealand team in the gold medal final) saw them immediately up on the Germans. Although they started to slow after three kilometres, the drop off was negligible against their European competition and they ended up catching them to claim the bronze medal.

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The tension was palpable as the Great Britain and New Zealand squads lined up for the gold medal final. The British quartet of Edward Clancy, Steven Burke, Owain Doull and Andrew Tennant made a steady start, but started to claw time back and found themselves up on the Kiwis after three kilometres. However, whilst New Zealand could respond at this point and put themselves back in contention, the British team clearly had no more to give. New Zealand ended up crossing the line first in 3:54.088, with the British squad two-thirds of a second behind in 3:54.687. The gold medal is the first ever title for the New Zealand team, whose track cycling fortunes have improved year on year since the country’s first velodrome was constructed in 2004. And, whilst silver may have been a disappointment for the British women, it is a much more positive result for the men and demonstrates a clear jump back to form after their disasterous showing in Mexico a year ago.

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Men’s Team Pursuit Finals Results

GOLD New Zealand (Pieter BULLING, Dylan KENNETT, Alex FRAME, Marc RYAN) 3:54.088
SILVER Great Britain (Edward CLANCY, Steven BURKE, Owain DOULL, Andrew TENNANT) 3:54.687
BRONZE Australia (Jack BOBRIDGE, Luke DAVISON, Alexander EDMONDSON, Miles SCOTSON) 2:57.319 (3km)
4 Germany (Theo REINHARDT, Henning BOMMEL, Kersten THIELE, Domenic WEINSTEIN) OVL

5 Russia (Artur ERSHOV, Alexander EVTUSHENJO, Alexey KURBATOV, Alexander SEROV) 3:56.870
6 Switzerland (Oliver BEER, Tom BOULI, Stefan HUENG, Frank PASCHE) 3:58.158
7 France (Bryan COQUARD, Julien DUVAL, Damien GAUDIN, Julien MORICE) 3:59.938
8 Netherlands (Tim VELDT, Wim STROETINGA, Dion BEUKEBOOM, Roy EEFTING) 4:01.320

Men’s Scratch Final

A talented field lined up for the start of the men’s scratch race final. Amongst the contenders was Ireland’s Martyn Irvine who was a big Celtic hope for gold after triumphing in the event two years ago and collecting silver in Cali in 2014. The reigning world champion, Ivan Kovalev of Russia, would also be determined to maintain his title.

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Bobby Lea (USA) broke away from the bunch with 23 laps remaining, and was joined by Albert Torres Barcelo (Spain), Roman Gladysh (Ukraine) and King Lok Cheung (Hong Kong). Irvine, despite trying hard, lacked the support from the bunch to get to the front group and was unable to get in contention. Lucas Liss of Germany, however, managed to break away and, with a huge effort, caught the front bunch. In the final laps, Liss attacked again and managed to distance himself from the front group and crossed the line well clear of Torres Barcelo (silver) and Lea (bronze). Liss immediately dedicated the win to his father, Lucjan, who had passed away suddenly three weeks ago. Lucjan, like Lucas, had also become world champion at age 23.

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One of the most impressive rides was the sixth place earned by Great Britain’s Matthew Gibson in his world championship debut, whilst Irvine, who could only manage tenth, will be looking to improve on this in the omnium competition.

Men’s Scratch Race Final (Results)

1 Lucas LISS (Germany)
2 Albert BARCELO TORRES (Spain)
3 Bobby LEA (United States)
4 Roman GLADYSH (Ukraine)
5 King Lok CHEUNG (Hong Kong)
6 Matthew GIBSON (Great Britain)
7 Ivan KOVALEV (Russia)
8 Morgan KNEISKY (France)
9 Andreas MUELLER (Australia)
10 Martyn IRVINE (Ireland)
11 Otto VERGAERDE (Belgium)
12 Scott LAW (Australia)
13 Hardzei TSISHCHANKA (Belarus)
14 Jiri HOCHMANN (Czech Republic)
15 Tim VELDT (Netherlands)
16 Adrian TEKLINSKI (Poland)
17 Rui Filipe Alves OLIVEIRA (Portugal)
18 Alex BUTTAZZONI (Italy)
19 Cyrille THIERY (Switzerland)

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