Day 2 of the 2015 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in St-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France, saw five world titles awarded, with a second world record also set.
The first title was awarded in the women’s 500 metre individual time trial, with the same three medalists as last year, but reverse order. Russia’s Anastasia Voynova took gold after finishing in the bronze medal position last year, while world record holder Anna Meares of Australia retained silver, and defending champion Miriam Welte of Germany dropped to bronze.
The Team Pursuit for both women and men concluded this evening, with Australia finally breaking Great Britain’s four year winning streak to take the title in a record-breaking time of 4:13.683; almost three seconds faster than the previous record of Great Britain, who took silver. Canada defeated New Zealand for the bronze medal.
“For the past couple of months all four of us have all been training inside and out, really hard,” explained Amy Cure. “It is so special to share these special moments with these girls. We couldn’t ask for anything else.”
“Beating the Brits, who have dominated the past few years and we’ve always been trying to top them. They put out a bloody good effort, setting pretty much a world record as well and it took a lot to beat them, but we did.”
The men’s gold medal final was one of the most exciting of the evening, with a seesaw battle between New Zealandand Great Britain that saw the two nations swap the lead multiple times before the New Zealand pulled away in the final lap and half to win by six-tenths of a second.
“Yes we are very proud,” agreed Dylan Kennett. “We are a super young team. In the Final the oldest was 21. Regan [Gough] is only 18, so it’s pretty crazy really for that to be the first team to win one.”
“Beating the Brits, two time Olympic Champions, and having the Aussies on the third step there … a pretty special feeling to top those two teams. Beating Great Britain in the finals is something you dream of.”
The men’s Scratch Race saw a race winning break of five riders develop just past the halfway mark, with Lucas Liss of Germany attacking the other members of the breakaway as they lapped trailing riders, and then hanging on for the win. Albert Torres Barcelo (Spain) took silver ahead of Bobby Lea of the United States.
“This is the first time for me that I am World Champion. It is a very nice feeling,” said Liss. My father was World Champion in the Men’s Team Time Trial in 1973, I hope he is very happy now. Now we have two World Champions jerseys at home. It is a great feeling.”
The biggest cheers of the night were reserved for the men’s Keirin, with defending champion Francois Pervis of host France taking a thrilling win in a last lap attack. Edward Dawkins (New Zealand) just held off Azizulhasni Awang (Malaysia) for silver.
“Yes, this title is better than last year,” Pervis said. “Last year was my first title and that is always special. A back-to-back title is always great, but to win here in France, in my town in front of my fan club, my family, my public, it is unbelievable.”
“All this winter I had very bad condition, never made a very good time in the training and all my competitions were very bad results. In my head it was very difficult. I crashed one month ago and it was hard on my motivation. But I was World Champion and wanted to be World Champion in France, so I must be motivated. I couldn’t give up.”
The UCI Track Cycling World Championships continue on Friday with three titles to be awarded in the women’s Individual Pursuit, the men’s kilometre metre time trial and the men’s points race. The women’s sprint and men’s Omnium also begin.
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