THREE GOLDS FOR GB ON DAY 2
The team pursuit, the Keirin and the women’s team sprint: on day two of the Copenhagen World Cup no less than three gold medals became Great Britain property.
The team pursuit victory was even more remarkable given one of the four components of the team was young Steven Burke. Chris Newton pulled out after forming part of the team that qualified for the finals, as Burke lived up to the challenge of racing with the more experienced trio of Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas and Paul Manning in style, helping secure GB’s third gold from three World Cups.
The quartet were fastest in all the splits in the final, averaging an impressive 59.779 kmh and clocking 4-00.84, just a whisker over four minutes. It was more than enough to take them to gold ahead of Denmark. Australia made up the podium with bronze.
In the Keirin, Chris Hoy lived up to his pre-race status of odds-on favourite for his third World Cup of the season. Hoy’s overall World Cup victory in the Keirin gives him (rather than the nation) an automatic place in Beijing. There is, of course, the question of whether Hoy is selected for GB, but given his current performance level that looks like being a mere formality.
Shanaze Reade and Vicky Pendleton netted GB’s third gold of the day in the women’s team sprint - adding to Pendleton’s silver in the sprint on day one. Riding for Science in Sport, Pendleton and Reade saw off Holland in the final, while France took the bronze.
Second in the qualifying round and with a slightly slower first lap than Holland, Pendleton turned the tables on lap two to cruise home for gold.
GB team manager Shane Sutton had nothing but praise for Steven Burke, although he insisted that the “good work was done by [U-23 coach] Rod Ellingworth, more than me or Matt [Parker].”
“Steven held up really well, we’re really pleased to see these young guys coming through. He was sitting there all morning watching them set the times, and then rose to the challenge.”
Regarding swapping Burke for Newton in the final, he pointed out that; “Chris was a bit tired, more psychologically than physically. It’s been push-push-push for him for the last few months, and he did a great job throughout.”
As for Hoy, Sutton said that it was at the very least Hoy’s 20th international win, “although everybody that calls me up says it’s either 20, 21 or 22 victories. Either way it’s a heck of a performance.”
More than the win itself, Sutton emphasised that the important element was “how he did it. He’s getting more and more strategic, not just winning from the front. That’s crucial, and he’s really nailing it each time.”
Selection for Beijing and the keirin is all but a foregone conclusion according to Sutton. “Sure, there’s a selection panel, but it’s pretty hard to see how he wouldn’t be chosen. He’s got big ideas for the Olympics.”
Sutton was equally impressed by Pendleton and Reade’s joint performance in the women’s team sprint, saying;“Vicky did an unbelievable last lap, they were still three tenths of a second down but then she pulled it all back on the Netherlands.
"It’s the first time that Holland have lost since last year. Shanaze still has a lot of work to do, but she’ll be great for Mancester. Like Vicky, she’s a very special rider.”
But the list of GB acheivements did not end there by any means. Sutton also highlighted young Matt Crampton’s fourth place in the kilometre time trail, clocking a highly impressive time of 1-03.2.
“It’s a truly exceptional result. He’s going to be up and coming for London.” Sutton pointed out. “That sort of ride shows that the system is working and the next generation are already coming through.” To judge from the results in Copenhagen, there can be few complaints about how the present crop of GB’s top riders are performing, either.
|WOMEN’S 500M TIME TRIAL|
Silver Sandie Clair (France)
Bronze Miriam Welte (Germany)
The Brits Anna Blyth was fifth and Shanaze Reade finished eighth.
|MEN’S TEAM PUSUIT|
The Brits With a time of 4-00.9, the British quartet of Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Paul Manning and Steven Burke beat the Danes, who qualified fastest.
|WOMEN’S POINTS RACE|
Silver Trine Schmidt (Denmark)
Bronze Theresa Cliff-Ryan (USA)
Silver Ricardo Lynch (Jamaica)
Bronze Arnaud Tournant (Cofidis)
|MEN’S KILOMETRE TIME TRIAL|
Silver Yevgen Bolibrukh (Ukraine)
Bronze Wen Hao Li (China)
The Brits Matt Crampton of Science in Sport just missed out on a bronze medal by two hundredths of a second.
|WOMEN’S TEAM SPRINT|
Silver Netherlands (Hijgenaar & Kanis)
Bronze France (Clair & Sanchez)
|MEN’S SCRATCH RACE|
Silver Andreas Mueller (Austria)
Bronze Juan Esteban Carvajal (Colombia)
Copenhagen World Cup – Day 1