Women’s Team Pursuit
The Women’s Team Pursuit at the 2021 Track Cycling World Championships in Roubaix was notable for the absence of reigning World Champions the USA and for the presence of Nigeria – another step on the road to a truly global sport. But with nine teams entered and eight qualifying for the First Round, you got the sense that their debut would be over on Day 1 of the competition.
And so it proved to be. Their time of 5:33.212 was nine seconds adrift of qualification, but their was a historic moment for the sport. The team they were nine seconds adrift of was Switzerland who understand how it feels to be the only team to fail to qualify, having been 9th a couple of weeks ago in Grenchen.
First of the medal hopefuls to take to the track were Ireland – Bronze medalists in Grenchen – with Mia Griffin, Emily Kay, Kelly Murphy and Alice Sharpe a little off their European Championship pace, but comfortably quickest at that point.
Next up, though, were Italy and Elisa Balsamo, Martina Alzini, Letizia Paternoster and Martina Fidanza were nine seconds quicker than the Irish squad and looked comfortable.
Canada couldn’t quite match Ireland’s time and went third for the time being – almost a second adrift. But Katie Archibald, Megan Barker, Neah Evans and Josie Knight would knock them down to fourth in the next heat as the Great Britain squad slotted in ahead of Ireland, who beat them to the Gold in Grenchen.
And then Franziska Brausse, Lisa Brennauer, Mieke Kroeger and Laura Suessemilch took over a second out of the Italians to put them in pole position for the First Round and Finals on Day 2.
But if you thought we weren’t going to see the Nigerians again, you were wrong. Three of the riders would be back on track in the evening session riding the Team Sprint, where an eight-team entry guaranteed them a second ride.
1 Germany GER (BRAUSSE Franziska, BRENNAUER Lisa, KROEGER Mieke, SUESSEMILCH Laura) 4:13.082
2 Italy ITA (BALSAMO Elisa, PATERNOSTER Letizia, ALZINI Martina, FIDANZA Martina) 4:14.176
3 Great Britain GBR (ARCHIBALD Katie, BARKER Megan, EVANS Neah, KNIGHT Josie) 4:16.200
4 Ireland IRL (GRIFFIN Mia, KAY Emily, MURPHY Kelly, SHARPE Alice) 4:23.095
5 Canada CAN (BARRACLOUGH Ngaire, van DAM Sarah, ATTWELL Erin J, COLES-LYSTER Maggie) 4:23.988
6 Belarus BLR (TSERAKH Hanna, SALAUYEVA Aksana, KIPTSIKAVA Nastassia, NASKOVICH Taisa) 4:29.158
7 Poland POL (PLOSAJ Nikol, KARASIEWICZ Karolina, LORKOWSKA Patrycja, PIKULIK Wiktoria) 4:29.445
8 Switzerland SUI (SEITZ Aline, ANDRES Michelle, BURI Fabienne, SCHNEIDER Cybele) 4:34.370
9 Nigeria NGR (YEKEEN Tawakalt, AYUBA Grace, SAMUEL Mary, UKPESERAYE Ese) 5:33.212
Men’s Team Pursuit
Kazakhstan went off first in the Men’s Team Pursuit, with 15 starters meaning five teams wouldn’t qualify. And at this stage the seeding of the heats looked pretty good with a 4:06.798 unlikely to trouble the qualifiers.
Belgium were next and were almost four and a half seconds quicker, but even that didn’t feel safe – and when Poland went six seconds faster with 12 teams still to go, you could sense that the cut off would be around the four minute mark.
France comfortably cleared that hurdle – Thomas Boudat, Thomas, Denis, Valentin Tabellion, and Benjamin Thomas (spot the odd one out there…) – improving the benchmark by another five seconds. Technically, you need times from five teams to start to identify the qualifiers, but France were clearly through. You’d need to wait until the penultimate heat to know if they were going to qualify quickest of all.
That sixth heat saw Derek Gee, Michael Foley, Jackson Kinniburgh and Ethan Ogrodniczuk on track for Canada and as they came home in third place in a time of 3:59.651, that four minute target looked even more likely.
Great Britain breezed past that – Ethan Hayter, Ethan Vernon, Kian Emadi and Oliver Wood clocking 3:53.722 to go second. Russiawent third, only to be pipped by Switzerland who had also shown good form in Grenchen, taking Silver behind reigning World Champions and Olympic Silver medalists Denmark.
Germany couldn’t match Poland’s earlier time, but did go a couple of seconds ahead of Canada in sixth place – with Italy and Denmark to come.
Pippo Ganna sat out the Euros, but he’s back this week and, along with Simone Consonni, Francesco Lamon and Jonathan Milan showed that Italy is still a force to be reckoned with – 3:49.008 meant that they would be the only squad under 3:50.
Denmark had a mix of youth and Experience in their squad and, in the final heat, Tobias Hansen, Carl-Frederik Bevort, Rasmus Pedersen and Robin Skivild could only manage a 3:52 – pipping Great Britain for third place.
1 Italy ITA 3:49.008 (CONSONNI Simone, GANNA Filippo, LAMON Francesco, MILAN Jonathan)
2 France FRA (BOUDAT Thomas, DENIS Thomas, TABELLION Valentin, THOMAS Benjamin) 3:51.128
3 Denmark DEN (HANSEN Tobias, BEVORT Carl-Frederik, PEDERSEN Rasmus, SKIVILD Robin) 3:52.873
4 Great Britain GBR (HAYTER Ethan, VERNON Ethan, EMADI Kian, WOOD Oliver) 3:53.722
5 Switzerland SUI (VITZTHUM Simon, IMHOF Claudio, THIEBAUD Valere, VOGEL Alex) 3:54.176
6 Russian Cycling Federation RCF (SYRITSA Gleb, GONOV Lev, IGOSHEV Egor, NOVOLODSKII Ivan) 3:54.521
7 Poland POL (BANASZEK Alan, RUDYK Bartosz, SAJNOK Szymon, STANISZEWSKI Daniel) 3:56.449
8 Germany GER (BUCK-GRAMCKO Tobias, HEINRICH Nicolas, KEUP Pierre-Pascal, REINHARDT Theo) 3:57.123
9 Canada CAN (GEE Derek, FOLEY Michael, KINNIBURGH Jackson, OGRODNICZUK Ethan) 3:59.651
10 Belgium BEL (DENS Tuur, POLLEFLIET Gianluca, van MULDERS Brent, VANDENBRANDEN Noah) 4:02.468
11 Ukraine UKR (DZHUS Volodymyr, HRYNIV Vitaliy, TSARENKO Kyrylo, VASYLIEV Maksym) 4:03.983
12 Kazakhstan KAZ (DINMUKHAMETOV Ramis, POTAPENKO Dmitriy, ZAKHAROV Artyom, ZHUMAKAN Alisher) 4:06.798
While the Women’s event sees the riders rest before a First Round and Finals on Day 2, the Men have Qualifying and the First Round on Day 1 and the Finals on Day 2.
In the first heat Russia took on Poland for the chance to ride for Bronze – the first round format is different to the Team Sprint where the fastest two heat winners and the fastest two losers progress; here it’s the winners of Heats 3 and 4 that ride for Gold and the next two fastest teams. Russia took pole position for a Bronze medal spot with a 3:54.030, with Poland not out of it with a 3:55.875.
Russia were still in with a shout after Heat 2, which Switzerland won by a couple of seconds over Germany, in a time of 3:52.569.
Given the Qualifying times, it was no surprise that France qualified for the Gold medal ride in Heat 3 – but they did have to see off Denmark to do it. The Danes brought in Matias Malmberg to replace Robin Skivild and, despite being four and a half seconds off France’s pace, did book a place in the Bronze medal ride, edging out Russia.
No surprises in the final heat, either, with Italy cruising to victory – almost five seconds up – on Great Britain. The young GB squad did manage a creditable 3:51.577, which saw them into the Bronze medal ride against the Danes.
1 Russian Cycling Federation RCF (SYRITSA Gleb, GONOV Lev, IGOSHEV Egor, NOVOLODSKII Ivan) 3:54.030
2 Poland POL (BANASZEK Alan, KRAWCZYK Szymon, RUDYK Bartosz, SAJNOK Szymon) 3:55.875
1 Switzerland SUI (IMHOF Claudio, RUEGG Lukas, THIEBAUD Valere, VOGEL Alex) 3:52.569
2 Germany GER (BUCK-GRAMCKO Tobias, HEINRICH Nicolas, KEUP Pierre-Pascal, REINHARDT Theo) 3:54.145
1 France FRA (BOUDAT Thomas, DENIS Thomas, TABELLION Valentin, THOMAS Benjamin) 3:47.816 Qualified Gold
2 Denmark DEN 3:52.275 (MALMBERG Matias, HANSEN Tobias, BEVORT Carl-Frederik, PEDERSEN Rasmus) Qualified Bronze
1 Italy ITA (BERTAZZO Liam, CONSONNI Simone, GANNA Filippo, MILAN Jonathan) 3:46.760 Qualified Gold
2 Great Britain (HAYTER Ethan, VERNON Ethan, TANFIELD Charlie, WOOD Oliver) GBR 3:51.577 Qualified Bronze
Women’s Team Sprint
Japan went off first in the Women’s Team Sprint qualifiers and set a benchmark time of 49.178, which was immediately beaten but Millicent Tanner, Lauren Bate and Blaine Ridge-Davis of Great Britain who went top with a 48.388.
Canada had Olympic Keirin bronze medalist Lauriane Genest, Olympic Sprint Champion and 200m Word Record Holder Kelsey Mitchell and Sarah Orban in their squad – and it showed. A 48.362 moved them to the top.
And now it was Nigeria again – with three of the Team Pursuit squad taking to the track to give the three-lap time trial a try. 55.653 wasn’t going to trouble the leaders, but with only eight teams entered, it was enough to go through.
Ukraine couldn’t match Japan’s time – or break the 50 second barrier – and slotted in to fourth, ahead of Nigeria. Their neighbours Poland could, though, and went third, between Great Britain and Japan on 48.778.
Then it was time for the big guns. Russia first, and Nataliia Antonova, Anastasiia Voinova and Yana Tyshchenko were the first squad under 48 seconds – going top with a 47.031.
The three-up format is relatively new for the Women – the last two European Championships adopted it; the last Worlds and the Tokyo Olympics were two-up. So it’s not surprising that we’re seeing a fairly constant evolution of the World Record. The Dutch – who didn’t qualify for the Worlds, largely because Covid kept them away from the qualifying events – did a 46.551 in Grenchen. Pauline Sophie Grabosch, Lea Sophie Friedrich and Emma Hinze took another four hundredths of that, putting the Germans into the First Round with a 46.511.
1 – Germany GER (GRABOSCH Pauline Sophie, FRIEDRICH Lea Sophie, HINZE Emma) 46.511 World Record
2 Russian Cycling Federation RCF (ANTONOVA Nataliia, VOINOVA Anastasiia, TYSHCHENKO Yana) 47.031
3 Canada CAN (GENEST Lauriane, MITCHELL Kelsey, ORBAN Sarah) 48.362
4 Great Britain GBR 48.388 (TANNER Millicent, BATE Lauren, RIDGE-DAVIS Blaine)
5 Poland POL (KARWACKA Marlena, LOS Urszula, SIBIAK Nikola) 48.778
6 Japan JPN 49.178 (UMEKAWA Fuko, OHTA Riyu, SATO Mina)
7 Ukraine UKR 50.230 (BASOVA Liubov, BILETSKA Alla, LOHVINIUK Oleksandra)
8 Nigeria NGR 55.653 (YEKEEN Tawakalt, SAMUEL Mary, UKPESERAYE Ese)
Because of the time gap between Nigeria and Germany – which amounted to the best part of half a lap – the UCI decided, sensibly, to spit that heat. It meant Nigeria went off alone first – and Germany, similarly, last. The Nigerians managed to back up their earlier ride, finishing just a tenth off – having ridden a 4k pursuit as well.
The more conventional Heat 2 – normally, the fastest two heat winners ride for Gold and the other two heat winners for Bronze – saw Great Britain beat Poland with a time of 48.066. At that point, on paper, GB and Nigeria were riding for Gold…
Japan ended Nigeria’s theoretical hopes after initially being beaten by Canada, who were subsequently relegated for an illegal change. GB and Japan for Gold, Nigeria in the Bronze medal ride.
Heat 4 and Russia pipped Great Britain with a 47.043. GB and Russia for Gold, Japan and Nigeria for Bronze…
And then it was all over for Nigeria – Germany broke the World Record again – 46.358 – to book a place in the final with Russia, with Great Britain and Japan racing for the Bronze.
1 Nigeria NGR 55.734 (SAMUEL Mary, UKPESERAYE Ese, YEKEEN Tawakalt)
1 Great Britain (BATE Lauren, RIDGE-DAVIS Blaine, TANNER Millicent) GBR 48.066 Qualified Bronze
2 Poland POL (KARWACKA Marlena, LOS Urszula, SIBIAK Nikola) 48.156
1 Japan JPN 48.622 (OHTA Riyu, SATO Mina, UMEKAWA Fuko) Qualified Bronze
2 Canada CAN (GENEST Lauriane, MITCHELL Kelsey, ORBAN Sarah) REL
1 Russian Cycling Federation RCF 47.043 (ANTONOVA Nataliia, SHMELEVA Daria, VOINOVA Anastasiia) Qualified Gold
2 Ukraine UKR 50.043 (BASOVA Liubov, BILETSKA Alla, LOHVINIUK Oleksandra)
1 – Germany GER (FRIEDRICH Lea Sophie, GRABOSCH Pauline Sophie, HINZE Emma) 46.358 World Record – Qualified Gold
The medal rides went to form, as you’d expect. Great Britain took the Bronze – Sophie Capewell coming in for Lauren Bate – with a 48.059 – and Germany the Gold, with another World Record of 46.064. A 45 looks likely next time out, which will probably be at the opening Track Nations Cup of 2022 in Glasgow in April.
GOLD – Germany GER (FRIEDRICH Lea Sophie, GRABOSCH Pauline Sophie, HINZE Emma) 46.064 World Record
SILVER Russian Cycling Federation RCF (ANTONOVA Nataliia, SHMELEVA Daria, TYSHCHENKO Yana) 46.718
BRONZE Great Britain GBR 48.059 (CAPEWELL Sophie, RIDGE-DAVIS Blaine, TANNER Millicent)
4 Japan JPN 48.612 (OHTA Riyu, SATO Mina, UMEKAWA Fuko)
Men’s Team Sprint
Again, a larger field in the Men’s event saw more teams eliminated – five this time – and Japan’s time of 44.414 suggested that they might be comfortably through. Kazakhstan had a bit of a wobble and were a second adrift and then Ryan Dodyk, Nick Wammes and Hugo Barrette of Canada went top with a 43.896.
India returned to the event after a couple of years away and weren’t that far away on 45.469 – albeit fourth of four so far. The Czech Republic had a difficult ride, but slotted in to third between Japan and Kazakhstan.
Spain and the Ukraine are often around the cut-off point in major competitions, but today neither looked likely to qualify – Spain going fifth – just nine thousandths ahead of India – and Ukraine winding up plumb last.
A young Great Britain squad of Alistair Fielding, Hamish Turnbull and Joseph Truman were fastest over the opening lap and would end the ride half a second clear of Canada at the top of the charts.
Poland were up next and couldn’t quite match the British squad, but did move into second place – until Joachim Eilers, Stefan Boetticher and Nik Schroetter put in a 43.251 to go top.
That left just France, Russia and the hot favourites the Netherlands to go. Florian Grengbo, Rayan Helal and Sebastien Vigier put France on to with the first sub-43 second ride – a very impressive 42.965 – while Russia went fourth on a 43.467.
Down at the cut-off point, that meant that Canada and Japan looked safe – unless disaster befell the Dutch – and the Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Spain, India and Ukraine were out.
Disaster, of course, went nowhere near the Dutch – but it was a lot closer than we’d expected – Roy van den Berg, Harrie Lavreysen and Jeffrey Hoogland ending up on top with a 42.690 – less than three tenths quicker than France.
1 Netherlands NED (van den BERG Roy, LAVREYSEN Harrie, HOOGLAND Jeffrey) 42.690
2 France FRA (GRENGBO Florian, VIGIER Sebastien, HELAL Rayan) 42.965
3 – Germany GER (SCHROETER Nik, BOETTICHER Stefan, EILERS Joachim) 43.251
4 Great Britain GBR (FIELDING Alistair, TURNBULL Hamish, TRUMAN Joseph) 43.467
5 Russian Cycling Federation RCF (GLADYSHEV Ivan, SHARAPOV Alexander, YAKUSHEVSKIY Pavel) 43.860
6 Poland POL (MILEK Mateusz, RUDYK Mateusz, SARNECKI Rafal) 43.898
7 Canada CAN (DODYK Ryan, WAMMES Nick, BARRETTE Hugo) 43.986
8 Japan JPN (OBARA Yuta, TERASAKI Kohei, YAMASAKI Kento) 44.414
9 Czech Republic CZE (BOHUSLAVEK Matej, TOPINKA Dominik, WAGNER Robin) 44.651
10 Kazakhstan KAZ (PONOMARYOV Sergey, REZANOV Dmitriy, CHUGAY Andrey) 45.340
11 Spain ESP (MARTINEZ CHORRO Alejandro, PERALTA Juan, JIMENEZ ELIZONDO Ekain) 45.460
12 India IND (KEITHELLAKPAM Jemsh Singh, SINGH Y Rojit, LAITONJAM Ronaldo) 45.469
13 Ukraine UKR (DYDKO Mykhaylo-Yaroslav, DANYLCHUK Bohdan, DENYSENKO Vladyslav) 46.135
Russia upset the form book slightly in Heat 1 – their win over Great Britain by 0.015 seconds putting Ivan Gladyshev, Alexander Sharapov and Pavel Yakushevskiy into the finals with a 43.380.
Not so in Heat 2, where the Germans put in a 43.300 to progress. Russia dropped to the Bronze medal ride as France popped in a 42.267 to beat Canada and book a place in the Gold medal ride – almost inevitably against the Netherlands.
The Dutch were made to sweat a bit as a pedal issue for Japan prompted a restart, but not too much – they qualified comfortably – albeit a fraction behind the French on 42.301.
1 Russian Cycling Federation RCF (GLADYSHEV Ivan, SHARAPOV Alexander, YAKUSHEVSKIY Pavel) 43.380 Qualified Bronze
2 Great Britain GBR (FIELDING Alistair, TRUMAN Joseph, TURNBULL Hamish) 43.395
1 Germany GER 43.300 (BOETTICHER Stefan, JURCZYK Marc, SCHROETER Nik) Qualified Bronze
2 Poland POL (MILEK Mateusz, ROCHNA Daniel, RUDYK Mateusz) 43.623
1 France FRA (GRENGBO Florian, HELAL Rayan, VIGIER Sebastien) 42.467 Qualified Gold
2 – Canada CAN 43.784 (BARRETTE Hugo, DODYK Ryan, WAMMES Nick)
1 Netherlands NED 42.301 (HOOGLAND Jeffrey, LAVREYSEN Harrie, van den BERG Roy) Qualified Gold
2 Japan JPN 44.164 (OBARA Yuta, TERASAKI Kohei, YAMASAKI Kento)
The Bronze medal ride saw a comfortable win for Germany – six tenths clear of Russia – but France again made the Netherlands work for it. The Dutch put in a 17.451 opening lap – but France were just six hundredths back. After two laps the gap was three tenths and by the end it was six – but the Netherlands had had to dip under 42 seconds to take the win – 41.979 the time.
GOLD Netherlands NED (HOOGLAND Jeffrey, LAVREYSEN Harrie, van den BERG Roy) 41.979
SILVER France FRA (GRENGBO Florian, HELAL Rayan, VIGIER Sebastien) 42.550
BRONZE Germany GER (BOETTICHER Stefan, EILERS Joachim, SCHROETER Nik) 43.141
4 Russian Cycling Federation RCF 43.717 (GLADYSHEV Ivan, SHARAPOV Alexander, YAKUSHEVSKIY Pavel)
Women’s Scratch Race
Riders like Katie Archibald, Kirsten Wild and Jennifer Valente have changed the nature of Women’s Scratch Racing over the last few years, attacking throughout the race and driving up the pace. Not so last night.
After a fast, but cagey race, the first attack came with eight to go as Austria’s Verena Eberhardt slipped off the front. That was quickly snuffed out and it looked as though we were in for a 20-up keirin.
With four to go, Johanna Kitti Borissza of Hungary attacked and, initially, there was no response from the bunch. Maria Fidanza of Italy saw her opportunity, attacked off the front and pulled out over half a lap on the field, to take a brilliant win. Jennifer Valente led the chase behind, but she was pipped to the Silver by Maike van der Duin of the Netherlands with Maggie Coles-Lyster of Canada fourth and Neah Evans of Great Britain 10th.
GOLD FIDANZA Martina ITA
SILVER van der DUIN Maike NED
BRONZE VALENTE Jennifer USA
4 COLES-LYSTER Maggie CAN
5 TSERAKH Hanna BLR
6 BERTEAU Victoire FRA
7 BACIKOVA Alzbeta SVK
8 PIKULIK Daria POL
9 SEVCIKOVA Petra CZE
10 EVANS Neah GBR
11 CALVO BARBERO Tania ESP
12 STENBERG Anita Yvonne NOR
13 BALEISYTE Olivija LTU
14 KAJIHARA Yumi JPN
15 KLIMCHENKO Tetyana UKR
16 SEITZ Aline SUI
17 EBERHARDT Verena AUT
18 VELASCO FUENTES Victoria MEX
19 JOSEPH Amber BAR
20 BORISSZA Johanna Kitti HUN