The second day of competition in the 2015 World Track Championships opened with the First Round of the Men’s and Women’s Team Pursuit – with Australia’s men determined to salvage something after their problems in qualifying and their female team mates determined to end Great Britain’s winning streak. In between we had the opening round of the Men’s Keirin with Francois Pervis back to defend the first of his three rainbow jerseys from 2014.
Women’s Team Pursuit First Round
The first session of the second day started with the first round of the women’s team pursuit which consisted of the fastest eight teams from the previous days qualification heats. The British quartet of Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell, Elinor Barker and Katie Archibald suffered a rare defeat to the Australians in the heats, with the two teams stopping the clock in fast 4:18 times and within seven-hundredths of a second of each other. The Australians and the British both qualified for the crucial heats three and four of the finals – the only two heats which have guaranteed gold medal slots in the final.
In the first heat, the United States team crossed the line in 4:24.145 – over five seconds clear of their German competition. The Chinese squad took the next heat in 4:24.263, four seconds ahead of Italy.
The third heat saw the British squad pitted against the team pursuit World Cup champions, Canada. The British would undoubtedly be keen to reassert their authority on the event after only qualifying second fastest but would undoubtedly be nervous after the in form Canadian squad posted a fast 4:20.699 in the qualifying heats.
The British team started well and, for the first three kilometres, were on world record breaking schedule and it was only a slight lapse in the fourth kilometre which meant they missed the mark by four tenths of a second (4:16.979). The Canadians, despite riding a time which saw them break their own national record by two seconds, had to settle for a time of 4:17.799 and a place in the bronze medal final.
The Australians would have undoubtedly been watching the third heat with nervousness, the British squad having ridden very close to the world record and the Canadians putting down a time faster than their own national record, set in the qualifying heats the previous day.
The Australians started well and were marginally up on the British team at two kilometres. However, a fade in the final kilometre – albeit a negligible one – meant the crossed the line in 4:17.410. With the New Zealand team mustering a time of 4:22.954, the Australians qualified for the gold medal final with the British squad, although it would now be Great Britain who would have the psychological advantage heading into the race. Canada and New Zealand would face each other for the bronze medal.
Women’s Team Pursuit First Round (Results)
1 United States (Sarah HAMMER, Jennifer VALENTE, Lauren TAMAYO, Ruth WINDER) 4:24.145
2 Germany (Anna KNAUER, Charlotte BECKER, Stephanie POHL, Mieke KROEGER) 4:29.925
1 China (Dongyan HUANG, Wenwen JIANG, Yali JING, Baofang ZHAO) 4:24.263
2 Italy (Simona FRAPPORTI, Beatrice BARTELLONI, Tatiana GUDERZO, Silvia VALSECCHI) 4:28.923
1 Great Britain (Katie ARCHIBALD, Laura TROTT, Elinor BARKER, Joanna ROWSELL) 4:16.979 (Qualify for gold ride-off)
2 Canada (Allison BEVERIDGE, Jasmin GLAESSER, Kirsti LAY, Stephanie ROORDA) 4:17.800 (Qualify for bronze ride-off)
1 Australia (Annette EDMONDSON, Ashlee ANKUDINOFF, Amy CURE, Melissa HOSKINS) 4:17.410 (Qualify for gold ride-off)
2 New Zealand (Lauren ELLIS, Rushlee BUCHANAN, Jaime NIELSEN, Georgia Amy WILLIAMS) 4:22.954 (Qualify for bronze ride-off)
Men’s Keirin First Round
The Keirin is always one of the most anticipated races of the World Championships. Reigning World Champion, Francois Pervis, would be hoping to emulate his victory from a year previous on home soil. However, with former world champion Shane Perkins (Australia) and Sam Webster (New Zealand) lined up in the same heat, the path would be far from easy.
Maximillian Levy (Germany) and Edward Dawkins (New Zealand) took the top two spots in the first heat. Stefan Boetticher (Germany) and Matthew Glaetzer (Australia) took the places in the second heat, knocking out the Colombian hero of the recent world cup, Fabian Hernando Puerta Zapata, to the repechages.
The first upset was in the third heat: Azizulhasni Awang (Malaysia) and Matthijs Buchli (Netherlands) were victorious in their heat, with ex-world champion, Kenny, finishing in a disappointing fifth place. The fourth heat, the toughest on paper, resulted in Shane Perkins (Australia) only managing to finish in third behind Webster and Pervis meaning he would now have to fight in the repechages.
The repechages proved a fruitless exercise for both Kenny and Perkins who were placed in the final repechage heat. Kenny’s made the decision to take the front slightly too early paid in the closing stages to finish behind Nikita Shurshin of Russia. Perkins could only manage third. The first two heats were taken by Krzysztof Maksel (Poland) and Michael d’Almeida (France). Puerta Zapata will undoubtedly be ecstatic to remain in contention with his win in the third heat.
Men’s Keirin First Round Results (Qualifiers to the second round)
Maximilian LEVY (Germany)
Edward DAWKINS (New Zealand)
Stefan Boetticher (Germany)
Matthew Glaetzer (Australia)
Azizulhasni Awang (Malaysia)
Matthijs Buchli (Netherlands)
Sam Webster (New Zealand)
Francois Pervis (France)
Men’s Keirin First Round Repechages Results (Qualifiers to the second round)
Krzysztof Maksel (Poland)
Michael d’Almeida (France)
Fabian Hernando Puerta Zapata (Colombia)
Nikita SHURSHIN (Russia)
Men’s Team Pursuit First Round
The first round of the men’s team pursuit saw the fastest eight teams in qualifying contest for the gold and bronze medal finals. New Zealand, who qualified fastest, would be riding in the fourth heat against fourth fastest Switzerland, whilst Great Britain, second fastest in qualifying, would face the Germans in the third heat. A place in the gold medal final was the prize for winning the final two heats, with places in the bronze medal final reserved for the two fastest teams outside the gold medal qualifiers.
In the first heat, Russia took a small advantage in the first kilometre and failed to surrender it until the end, clocking 3:57.181 against the Netherlands’ time of 3:58.230. The Australian quartet of Jack Bobridge, Luke Davison, Alexander Edmondson and the fresh Miles Scotson were pitted against the home team of France in the second heat. Despite the raucous support for the French team, the Australians, who had ridden a below par ride in the qualifying heats after suffering a technical incident, started fast and failed to overly tire. Clearly keen to put right their qualifying performance, the Australians crossed the line in 3:55.314 – which ultimately became the second fastest time of the first round and enabled them to qualify for the bronze medal final. Despite the home support, France clocked a time of 3:58.616.
The third heat, the first of the gold medal ride-off qualifiers, saw Britain triumph in 3:55.207 – some two seconds ahead of the Germ
ans’ time of 3:47.116. Furthermore, encouragingly for the British squad, the New Zealand team crossed the line in 3:56.198 – enough to qualify for the gold medal final against their Swiss opponents, but was slow enough to give the British quartet the psychological edge going into the finals.
The finals would therefore feature Great Britain and New Zealand for gold, with Australia and Germany battling it out for bronze.
Men’s Team Pursuit First Round Results
1 Russia (Artur ERSHOV, Alexander EVTUSHENJO, Alexey KURBATOV, Alexander SEROV) 3:57.181
2 Netherlands (Tim VELDT, Wim STROETINGA, Dion BEUKEBOOM, Roy EEFTING) 3:58.220
1 Australia (Jack BOBRIDGE, Luke DAVISON, Alexander EDMONDSON, Miles SCOTSON) 3:55.314 (Qualify for bronze ride-off)
2 France (Bryan COQUARD, Julien DUVAL, Damien GAUDIN, Julien MORICE) 3:58.616
1 Great Britain (Edward CLANCY, Steven BURKE, Owain DOULL, Andrew TENNANT) 3:55.207
2 Germany (Theo REINHARDT, Henning BOMMEL, Kersten THIELE, Domenic WEINSTEIN) 3:57.116
1 New Zealand (Pieter BULLING, Dylan KENNETT, Alex FRAME, Marc RYAN) 3:56.198
2 Switzerland (Oliver BEER, Stefan HuenG, Frank PASCHE, Thery SCHIR) 3:57.505