The opening day of Round IV of the UCI Track World Cup series for 2017-18 in the Santiago was an old fashioned Friday with just a couple of qualifying sessions – for the Men’s and Women’s Team Pursuit – rather than the more customary half day of racing we’ve seen at other rounds.
The Ukraine kicked off proceedings – Oksana Kliachina, Valeriya Kononenko, Anna Nahrina and Ganna Solovei establishing the mark at 4:32.824. That was slightly too much for Xiofei Wang, Qiolin Chen, Chenhong Jin and Hong Wang who went second just over a tenth back on 4:32.987.
Lisa Kullmer, Tatjana Paller, Franziska Brausse and Laura Sussemilch of Germany couldn’t trouble those times either, slotting in behind China in third with a 4:38.730.
Japan have been going very well of late and Yuya Hashimoto, Yumi Kajihara, Kie Furuyama and Kisato Nakamura look on course for another medal. They went quickest on 4:28.145 with just two heats to go.
The first of those sow Racquel Sheath, Bryony Botha, Rushlee Buchanan and Kirstie James jump well clear. The Kiwi quarter went fastest by seven seconds with a 4:21.590. That was a little rich for Italy, but Elisa Balsamo, Simona Frapporti, Francesca Pattaro and Slivia Valsecchi slipped into second place almost exactly a second behind on 3:22.572.
1 New Zealand (SHEATH Racquel, BOTHA Bryony, BUCHANAN Rushlee, JAMES Kirstie) 4:21.590
2 Italy (BALSAMO Elisa, FRAPPORTI Simona, PATTARO Francesca, VALSECCHI Silvia) 4:22.572
3 Japan (HASHIMOTO Yuya, KAJIHARA Yumi, FURUYAMA Kie, NAKAMURA Kisato) 4:28.145
4 Ukraine (KLIACHINA Oksana, KONONENKO Valeriya, NAHIRNA Anna, SOLOVEI Ganna) 4:32.824
5 China (WANG Xiaofei, CHEN Qiaolin, JIN Chenhong, WANG Hong) 4:32.987
6 Germany (KULLMER Lisa, PALLER Tatjana, BRAUSSE Franziska, SUSSEMILCH Laura) 4:38.730
The Men’s competition was opened by the host nation and Elias Daniel Tello, Cristian Fabian Cornejo, Felipe Andres Penaloza, Luis Fernando Sepulveda set a decent benchmark time of 4:08.641 – six seconds inside the qualifying cut-off at Milton last weekend.
Japan went next and former Canada coach Ian Melvin seems to be having an immediate impact. Not only are the women’s team delivering on their potential, but Shunsuke Imamura, Ryo Chikatani, Shgo Ichumaru and Keitarao Sawada demonstrated that the men have made huge progress as they prepare for Tokyo 2020 – setting a time of 4:03.843 to go fastest.
Sanghoon Park, Jaeyeon Im, Okcehol Kim and Kyeong Min of Korea slipped between Japan and Chile with a 4:05.720 and stayed in second place as China went third, with a 4:06.631 for Kai Guo, Ya Ke Hou, Zhi Hui Zhang and Pingan Shen.
Arguably the ride of the session came from Daniel Holloway, Adrian Hegyvary, Ashton Lambie and Gavin Hoover of the USA who went top with a 4:02.798. Sure, a ‘good’ time these days starts with a 3, but the US failed to qualify for the first round in Pruszkow with a 4:11.853. In Manchester they shaved four and half seconds off and missed out again with a 4:07.334. In Milton they shaved over a second off that (4:06.084) and went through to the First Round, where they found another half second to qualify for the Bronze medal rider with a 4:05.735. Switzerland pipped them to the Bronze, but they took another seven tenths off their time – clocking 4:05.035. And they took over two seconds off that this evening. Impressive stuff.
They stayed top of the pile as Max Beyer, Jasper Frahm, Leif Lampeter and Leon Rohde of Germany went third on 4:04.750 – but they weren’t there for long. Tom Sexton, Campbell Stewart, Jared Gray and Nicholas Kergozou leapt to the top of the timesheets with a 3:58.071.
Denmark have been struggling to find a new line-up and, while they’re still not at their best, Kristian Kaimer Eriksen, Mathias Krigbaum, Mathias Larsen and Matia Malmberg put in a tidy performance to set a respectable time at 4:05.995 to go sixth.
That only left Francesco Lamon, Michele Scartezzini, Davide Plebani and Davide Vigano of Italy to go. Fractionally quicker than Korea and Denmark, they slotted into 5th with a 4:05.709 – just 11 thousandths ahead of Korea.
With nine heats, one team was going to be unlucky and despite having set a respectable time, it was Chile who missed out on the First Round.
1 New Zealand (SEXTON Thomas, STEWART Campbell, GRAY Jared, KERGOZOU Nicholas) 3:58.071
2 United States (HOLLOWAY Daniel, HEGYVARY Adrian, LAMBIE Ashton, HOOVER Gavin) 4:02.798
3 Japan (IMAMURA Shunsuke, CHIKATANI Ryo, ICHIMARU Shogo, SAWADA Keitaro) 4:03.843
4 Germany (BEYER Maximilian, FRAHM Jasper, LAMPATER Leif, ROHDE Leon) 4:04.570
5 Italy (LAMON Francesco, SCARTEZZINI Michele, PLEBANI Davide, VIGANO Davide) 4:05.709
6 Republic of Korea (PARK Sanghoon, IM Jaeyeon, KIM Okcheol, MIN Kyeongho) 4:05.720
7 Denmark (KAIMER ERIKSEN Kristian, KRIGBAUM Mathias, LARSEN Mathias Alexander E. , MALMBERG Matias Gunnar)) 4:05.995
8 China (GUO Kai, HOU Ya Ke, JIANG Zhi Hui, SHEN Pingan) 4:06.631
9 Chile (TELLO BOLVARAN Elias Daniel, CORNEJO ALISTE Cristian Fabian, PENALOZA YANEZ Felipe Andres, SEPULVEDA VILLAR Luis Fernando) 4:08.641