UCI Track Cycling World Cup – Day 3 Report

Men’s Sprint

 

GOLD – Germany (BOETTICHER)

SILVER – Germany (FOERSTEMANN)

BRONZE – Rusvelo (DMITRIEV)

 

An all-Germany final saw Friday night’s Team Sprint gold medallists Robert Foerstemann and Stefan Boetticher go head to head for gold in the Men’s Sprint final. It was Boetticher who got the better of his countryman, winning the first match and taking the second with a stunning sprint in the final 200m that saw him take gold in emphatic style and bring the UCI Track Cycling World Cup to a fitting end.

The bronze medal match was contested by Spain’s Juan Gascon Peralta and Denis Dmitriev of the Rusvelo team who needed only two matches to beat his rival and claim the bronze.

Great Britain’s representation came in the form of Olympic Team Sprint gold medallist Philip Hindes who finished 12th in the competition overall.

Olympic champion Jason Kenny did not  feature in the Sprint event after a heavy fall in the Keirin final on Saturday night where his World Cup was cut short with a broken collarbone.

 

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Women’s Keirin

 

GOLD – Germany (VOGEL)

SILVER – Petroholding Leningrad (GNIDENKO)

BRONZE – Hong Kong (LEE)

 

Germany’s in form Kristina Vogel picked up her second gold medal of the week, adding Keirin gold to the Sprint she won on Saturday night. Silver went to Ekaterina Gnidenko, racing for the Petroholding Leningrad team, and bronze went to Hong Kong’s Wai Sze Lee.

Great Britain’s Becky James qualified for the final and was unlucky not to finish on the podium after leading out after the exit of the derny.

Great Britain’s Jess Varnish missed out on the final after finishing 6th in her second round heat. After racing in the Team Sprint, Sprint and 500m TT fatigue was evident in Varnish and she finished 9th overall.

 

Women’s Omnium

 

GOLD – Great Britain (TROTT)

SILVER – Australia (ANKUDINOFF)

BRONZE – Russia (BALABOLINA)

 

Olympic and World Omnium champion Laura Trott won the Women’s Omnium title in dramatic style, beating rival Ashlee Ankudinoff from Australia into silver in the final heat of the sixth event, the 500m Time Trial. Going into the final event Ankudinoff was two points ahead of Trott with Trott needing to beat her rival by two places to secure gold. An aggressive ride in which Trott gave everything she had saw her deliver once again, finishing with the second fastest time behind Russian Tamara Balabolina which was enough to secure gold and bring the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome crowd to their feet. Victory in the 500m Time Trial meant Balabolina did enough to take home bronze for Russia.

 

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Women’s Omnium

 

Omnium I – Flying Lap

Rank 1 Australian (ANKUDINOFF) – 14.340

Rank 2 Fullgass.org (OLABERRIA DORRONSORO) – 14.364

Rank 3 Poland (PAWLOWSKA) – 14.524

 

Omnium II – Points Race 20km

Rank 1 Bulguria (SHARAKOVA)

Rank 2 Lithuania (TREBAITE)

Rank 3 Mexico (ARREOLA NAVARRO)

 

Omnium III – Elimination Race

Rank 1 Great Britain (TROTT)

Rank 2 Poland (PAWLOWSKA)

Rank 3 Russia (BALABOLINA)

 

Omnium IV – Individual Pursuit 3Km

 

Rank 1 Great Britain (TROTT)

Rank 2 Australia (ANKUDINOFF)

Rank 3 Poland (PAWLOWSKA)

 

Omnium V – Scratch Race 10Km

 

Rank 1 Russia (BALABOLINA)

Rank 2 Lithuania (TREBAITE)

Rank 3 Mexico (ARREOLA NAVARRO)

 

Omnium VI – 500m Time Trial

 

Rank 1 Russia (BALABOLINA)

Rank 2 Great Britain (TROTT)

Rank 3 Poland (PAWLOWSKA)

Book Review: Racing Through the Dark – The Fall and Rise of David Millar

 

Racing Through the Dark

The Fall and Rise of David Millar
by David Millar

I have read many autobiographies about cyclists over the years, but none of them can be compared to this magnificent book by David Millar.
The story can be read on two levels. The first is the most obvious one: a review of one of the most important and decisive periods in contemporary cycling: the end of the nineties and the beginning of the 21st century (the controversial Lance Armstrong era), recorded by an insider. The second is more universal: it is the tale of the loss of innocence, the psychologically fully acceptable story of how a talented young person gets drawn into a world of corruption and foul play, driven by the hunger for success and recognition, and how this world makes this acceptable, because everybody is playing by the same “rules” and the “real world” is well hidden and seems reassuringly far away (a term recently used by Armstrong’s in his defence as he declined to fight his longterm battle with USADA, ‘I played by the rules of the time’). In David Millar’s case, the protagonist survives, and returns on a higher level, an advocate of stronger anti-doping regulations, which, sadly enough, can’t be said of many heroes in many similar stories.

For the real cycling fan, “Racing through the Dark” contains a tremendous amount of background information of how things worked in the pro teams at the time of the 1998 Festina Tour de France: we see how the Cofidis team was organised, we see how “stars” like Philippe Gaumont and Frank Vandenbroucke were behaving like real lunatics, taking drugs before major races, and getting away with it, as long as results were good…We learn how the practice of injections used for recuperation was omnipresent, and how one step leads to the other, as was the case for Millar when he was staying in the house of one of his Italian teammates, who is called “l’Equipier” in the book, but who, in my opinion, can’t be anyone else but Massimiliano Lelli.

We also get a nice insight into contemporary racing, because, luckily, Millar’s racing days weren’t over after he‘d got caught. There is the story of his meeting with the flamboyant JV (Jonathan Vaughters), his friendship with Stuart O’Grady, the Commonwealth Games in India together with Cav (Mark Cavendish), who is described in a very positive way, participating in the Tour de France with a young Bradley Wiggins, who comes across to me to be a rather selfish person, not a team player.

And then there is the second level, the extraordinarily intelligent and well written story of the fall and rise of a talented sportsman, originally from Scotland, who, after his parents get divorced, spends his youth partly in Hong Kong, and partly in England, where his mother and sister still live. We follow his story, how he comes to France to become a pro cyclist, how he reaches top level, winning the yellow jersey in the Tour de France, living the life of a superstar, dwelling in Monaco and Biarritz, how he gets caught for doping practices, and falls into depression, but, sustained by the help of his sister and a few good friends eventually crawls back, and reaches the highest level again, clean and more satisfied this time.

It is this story of “redemption”, as Millar calls it, that makes the book more interesting than the average autobiography of well- known sportsmen, it shows the reader how easily one can make the wrong decisions, how gradually a naïve ambitious youngster chooses the side of the cheating colleagues, and how living in a protected, small universe makes one unaware of what is morally acceptable in the “real world”.

Racing through the Dark is a must read for every cycling fan, who is not only interested in facts and figures, but also enjoys reading a fine story that makes us understand what was going on in the pro teams in the recent past, and makes us hope that there is still a future for cycling.


Title:
Racing Through the Dark – The Fall and Rise of David Millar  

Author: David Millar    

Published by Orion

Available in Paperback, iBook & Kindle

Price:
RRP £8.99 (Paperback), RRP £8.99 (eBook), RRP £18.99 (Hardback)

 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

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