Australia’s pursuit team and the German pair of Miriam Welte and Kristina Vogel in the women’s team sprint remained on top of the world but there were newcomers as well in the first day of the World Championships in Cali with victories by New Zealand in the men’s team sprint and Belgium’s Kelly Druyts in the women’s Scratch.
Men’s pursuit – Australia still rules
Only second in the qualifications behind Denmark, the Aussies finally upstaged the Danes in the final. And even with a team reshuffled by half from last year’s worlds in Minsk, they still kept the upper hand. Luke Davison, Glenn O’Shea, Alexander Edmondson and Mitchell Mulhern triumphed in 3:57.907 to earn their country’s tenth crown in the discipline since 1993.
Edmonson, twice crowned at the age of 20, said: “We knew it would not be easy against the Danes but we rode our own race without watching the others. We needed to stay focused. We came here with a lot of experience and knowing we had done the right preparation.” Denmark, with Casper Von Folsach, Lasse Norman Hansen, Rasmus Christian Quaade and Alex Rasmussen clocked 3:59.623. In the third place final, New Zealand’s Aaron Gate, Pieter Bulling, Dylan Kennett and Ryan Marc beat the Russians to take the bronze in 3:58.989.
Women’s team sprint – Welte and Vogel keep their crown
Unbeaten this season and world champions since 2012, Kristina Vogel and Miriam Welte were again too strong for the opposition. In the final, they outshone China’s Junhong Lin and Tianshi Zhong. Britain’s Jessica Varnish and Rebecca James took the best over Russia for the bronze. Vogel was over the moon and more confident than ever for the individual event: “I only have one world to say – treble! I’m really proud of what we achieved tonight,” she said. Welte was also delighted: “I can’t believe we are world champions again.” In the short history of women’s team sprint, which started in 2007, Germany are now on par with Australia, crowned between 2009 and 2011.
Men’s team sprint – New Zealand at last
After the bronze medal in 2012 and silver in 2013, New Zealand continued their steady progression to clinch the men’s team sprint world title in Cali. Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster and Edward Dawkins stopped favourites and title-holders Germany from a double. “It’s a childhood dream come true, I can’t stop smiling,” said Dawkins. Rene Enders, Robert Forstermann and Maximilian Levy had to be content with the runner-up spot. Third last year, France again finished on the last podium place with the Olympic silver medal trio of Gregory Beauge, Kevin Sireau and Michael D’Almeida.
Women’s scratch – The new queen is Belgian
Third in 2012, Kelly Druyts achieved a career high to seize the rainbow jersey in the Scratch. Thanks to the title, the first for Belgium, she prevented Poland’s Katarzyna Pawlowska from making it three in a row. The Pole, crowned in the last two editions, had to be content with silver this time. Russia’s Evgenia Romanyuta came third.
The events are broadcast live on www.youtube.com/ucichannel