Great Britain – boosted, it has to be said, by far greater numbers than the other competing nations – extended its lead at the top of the European Masters Track Championships Medal Table to 5 points over nearest rival France. With a total of 16 Golds and 57 medals in all, the hosts dominate the competition but Germany picked up another Gold today, as did Ireland.
Janet Birkmyre took yet another Gold medal as she dominated the all-British Sprint competition. A second faster than her nearest rival in qualification, she wasn’t really challenged until the final – riding intelligently and conserving her energy in her first round win over Susan Smith and her Semi-Final against Heather Sanderson.
Second qualifier Cheryl Ownes won here three-up Round 1 match comfortably, but lost out in the two very close matches in the Semi-Finals to Jeanette Baxter, who had qualified third fastest but made the Semis via the Repechages.
Baxter was no match for Birkmyre in the Final, though, having to settle for Silver after two defeats in what were the quickest two matches of the competition. Owens comfortably saw off Sanderson to take the Bronze.
GOLD Janet Birkmyre GBR
SILVER Jeanette Baxter GBR
BRONZE Cheryl Owens GBR
The 50-54 Sprint competition was one of the most competitive of the week. Steve Cronshaw topped the timing sheets in qualifying, just 5 hundredths of a second ahead of compatriot Mark Zaschke. Cronshaw moved through to round one, beating Francois Alexieff of France. With Zaschke getting past Claudio Scabbia of Italy.
Joining them in Round 2 were fellow Britons Keith Williams, who put Frenchman Eric Morel into the Repechages and David Smith, who did the same to Ian Kay of Great Britain. Kay and Morel won their Reps to take their places in Round 2.
Faced with Cronshaw and Zaschke, though, the Rep winners didn’t stand much of a chance. Williams also qualified automatically, dumping Smith in to the 2nd Round Rep in the fastest heat so far. Morel’s luck continued as he won his second Repechage to join the three Brits in the Semi Finals.
Morel faced Cronshaw for the second time, and although he put up a good fight, the result was the same, with the Frenchman relegated to the Bronze medal ride-off. Williams would join him there, but not before making Zaschke work for his place in the final by taking first match, taking and competition to three rides.
Zaschke has to work hard in the Final against Cronshaw, which also went the full distance but, despite his earlier exertions it was Zaschke who took the title. Morel’s luck finally ran out as Williams took a well deserved Bronze medal.
GOLD Mark Zaschke GBR
SILVER Steve Cronshaw GBR
BRONZE Keith Williams GBR
Steve Davies of Great Britain qualified fastest in the 200m time trial and faced his fellow countryman Jim Robertson in the first round. Jim put up a brave fight, but had to settle for a place in the Reps. The other heats also went to form with the next three fastest qualifiers – Marc Dangleterre of France, Ireland’s Terry Cromer and Andy Laing of Great Britain all making through to the second round. They were joined from the Repechages by Barrie Bailey of Great Britain and Rene Grignon of France.
Grignon’s competition ended in the second Round as Davies qualified for the final, along with Laing and Dangleterre. Cromer took the last place in the Semis with a win over Grignon and Bailey in the Rep.
The Semi-Finals were straightforward with Davies beating Cromer and Dangleterre beating Laing, both in two matches.
The Final started with an easy win for Dangleterre, but Davies made a real fight of it in the second, ultimately losing out on the chance of a taking it to three matches by a wheel from the Frenchman. Laing took the Bronze.
GOLD Marc Dangleterre FRA
SILVER Steve Davies GBR
BRONZE Andy Laing GBr
There were no major surprises in the qualifying with reigning champion Simon Coughlan of Ireland on top with a time of 3:33.0 and last year’s Silver medallist Stuart Dodd of Great Britain in second – 5.7 seconds back. Boyd Roberts of Great Britain and Sandro di Renzo of Italy qualified 3rd and 4th fastest to qualify for the Bronze medal ride.
The final itself was a repeat of 2008 – almost to the hundredth of a second! Coulghlan’s winning time of 3:34.643 was four hundredths slower than last year – and Dodds’ time was just seven hundreths slower than the time he set twelve months ago.
Roberts took the Bronze, beating Italy’s Sandro Di Renzo by almost 3 seconds.
GOLD Simon Coughlan IRE
SILVER Stuart Dodd GBR
BRONZE Boyd Roberts GBR
Outgoing 30-34 champion Joel Stewart of Great Britain set the fastest time in qualifying to join another top class Irish pursuiter – Ian O’Hara – in the final of the 35-39 competition. Stewart’s time in qualifying was just over four seconds faster than O’Hara’s and he went in to the final as firm favourite. That confidence was fully justified – Stewart’s time of 3:36.618 was just two tenths of a second slower than his time in the morning session. O’Hara was showing the strain from the earlier ride and was three seconds off his qualifying time, finishing seven seconds behind Stewart with a 3:43.428.
Steven Roe took the Bronze against Adam Roberts.
GOLD Joel Stewart GBR
SILVER Ian O’Hara GBR
BRONZE Steven Roe GBR
Lance Ravenhill of Great Britain took control of the 65-59 points race from early Leader Geoff Cooke with a brave solo effort. While he never quite managed to make contact with the back of the bunch, he racked up sprint wins, drawing level with Cooke on 8 points, with his third, then taking the last two – and the title – with 18 points. Cooke continued to score and took the Silver medal ahead of 2008 Champion Guido Lupo of Italy with 13 points to Lupo’s 9.
GOLD Lance Ravenhill GBR 18 points
SILVER Geoff Cooke GBR 13
BRONZE Guido Lupo ITA 9
Former World Masters Champion Otto Altweck led from the front, taking the first three sprints to clock up a race winning 15 points from Great Britain’s Brian Dacey on 9. The canny German let the others fight for the points in the final sprint, which saw Peter Tranberg of Denmark third across the line and third overall.
GOLD Otto Altweck GER
SILVER Brian Dacey GBR
BRONZE Peter Tranberg DEN