GB Mixed Sprint Para Team - Darren Kenny, Sarah Storey & Jody Cundy - ©Copyright Christina Kelkel
The final day of the competition saw Jody racing in the Mixed Team Sprint alongside Darren Kenny and Sarah Storey. The GB team started into the competition as defending Champions and WR holders, however a rule change after last year’s World Championships – allowing fewer points per team – had forced the British coaches to reorganise their Team Sprint line-up. So today’s race was “a complete mystery” as Jody put it before the competition.
Tension was on after the Chinese posted a time of 51.152 but GB’s Darren Kenny got the team off to a great start. With Sarah loosing a little bit of time on lap two however, it was down to Jody to secure GB a ride in the final. And Jody did just that crossing the line in 51.114, only .038 ahead of China.
With both teams that close, it was obvious that the final for Gold would be a tough one for Darren, Sarah and Jody. And disaster stroke at the start of the first lap already, when Sarah slipped through the attachment on her handlebar, which she uses to compensate for the lack of grip caused by her disability. Sarah said “ I slipped out of it in the first banking which gave me an even bigger gap on Darren than this morning. The one thing that has never happened before, happened today, which is very annoying.”
Having issues with her handlebars, Sarah struggled to get onto Darren’s wheel and more importantly into his slipstream. Unsurprisingly then, GB was down after lap two and it was down to Jody again to try to make up the lost time. Unfortunately for him though, the damage was already done and the time gap too big to make up, so the GB team had to settle for Silver in a time of 51.175 behind the Chinese who rode a 50.564. The first time since 2007 that Great Britain has not won the Team Sprint title.
Team GB out the gate - UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships Los Angeles, USA - ©Copyright Christina Kelkel
After the race, Jody said “We gave it all, but we lost to the better team today. Unfortunately, we had some issue with Sarah’s handlebar attachment, which had a deadly knock on effect. She lost Darren’s wheel so she didn’t get the benefit of his slipstream and as a result faded more towards the end of her lap. As a consequence, the delivery speed dropped so my lap wasn’t as fast as it could have been neither.”
Looking at the positives, Sarah commented, “We rode the same time (as in the qualifying) with a problem, and that problem cost us a lot of time. However, it would be worse to come away from this situation knowing there was nothing we could do, but we’ve got so many things that we can do now.”
One of these things will be to add more Team Sprint training into their programs, as Jody explained, “I think if we had practiced more, we could have been better. Maybe we have been a bit complacent with the Team Sprint because we’ve always won it comfortably, but we literally did our trial and no practice. Effectively, we had only done one training session in this line up, so it’s probably our own fault for not practicing.”
However, Jody and the rest of the team feel confident that they can win back the Team Sprint crown in London. Jody said: “We’ve got a lot of things technically, that we can pick up easy, free speed. The Team Sprint race has been a lot more competitive than we expected, but we’re not a million miles off from where we were last year and from where we need to be right now. I don’t think we’re out of this at all, I think we’re in a strong place for London.”
Silver on the Podium - ©Copyright Christina Kelkel
Although these World Championships have not been Jody’s most successful ones, he emphasized the fact that the London Paralympic Games are his main focus for 2012 “We have been working incredibly hard, but there is still a lot more work to do for London. I’ve defended my kilo title and picked up a silver and a bronze in the team sprint and pursuit, so I cant complain. What has been really amazing though is the support myself and the team have been getting from the fans back home! I’d like to say thank you to all of you, it really does mean a lot to me and I can’t wait to get to London and perform in front of a home crowd!”
Jody will now enjoy a brief holiday with his family in Los Angeles, before returning to the UK and starting his intensive preparations in the run up to the Paralympic Games.
Cali Track World Cup 2011
Update From Cali World Cup
The highlights of yesterday are quite interesting; in the men’s team sprint qualifying the German trio of Rene Enders, Maximilian Levy and Stefan Nimke set a new World Record in an impressive ride (42.914), the women’s team sprint was won also by Germany with Kristina Vogel and Miriam Welte.
2 Team Erdgas
Women’s Team Sprint:
The women’s scratch race was full of attacks, Sofi Arreola (Mex) was very active in the race but at the end there was a break away with 4 and she couldn’t make it but she won the bunch sprint to finish in 5th place.
1 Kelly Druyts (Bel)
2 Katarzyna Pawlowska (Pol)
3 Ahreum Na (Kor)
4 Leire Olaberria Dorronsoro (Spa)
5 Sofia Arreola (Mex)
In the women’s Team Pursuit GBR were fighting the NZL girls for gold and it was a very close battle till one of the girls of New Zealand got dropped off the wheel of her teammate and that gave the British team a gold medal while the American team finished 3rd.
The men’s team pursuit was a different story, the Australians were fighting for gold against New Zealand but unfortunately for the World Champions one of their teammates had a crash in the first kilometre of the race and they were not allowed to start again. NZL finished 1st, AUS 2nd and DEN 3rd.
The craziest race of the day was the 3rd event of the omnium: Elimination race. As usual, it started super fast, everyone fighting to be in a good position in the peloton, short after the race started there was a crash with 4 riders including Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) one of the race favorites! He and the rest of the guys were allowed to come back on the race but the crash caused a bad effect on them so they were all eliminated soon.
There was more chaos during the race because riders didn’t want to leave the track after they were eliminated; I guess there was a lot of confusion there. Very close to the finish there was another crash with more race favorites like Zach Bell (Can) and Shane Archbold (NZl), they were also back in the race but both with bad luck, Zach was eliminated right after the crash and Shane was disqualified of the event after not leaving the track when he was eliminated.
The race was about to get more confusing and at the same time more interesting when the race commissaries said Juan Esteban Arango (Col) was eliminated but the Colombian rider was refusing to leave the track! The commissaries let the race continue and they eliminated Eloy Teruel Rovira (Spa), this rider was seriously upset and had a fight with the judges after leaving the track so he also got disqualified of the event.
The commissaries told Arango he must leave the track and said the race was over while Bryan Coquard (Fra), Michael Freiberg (Aus) and Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) were still on the track! The riders were confused and complaining to the UCI commissaries while the DS from Colombia was also fighting to get his rider back on the track, he said that the red monitor that lets the riders know that they are eliminated was never flashing in his Arango’s bike so he wasn’t really eliminated…. Anyways the commissaries let him come back to the race, the other riders were not happy but they kept on racing.
Arango was the first eliminated, followed by the Belgian rider and Bryan Coquard beat Michael Freiberg (reigning World Champion) in the final sprint.
The current omnuim standinga are here:
1 Bryan Coquard (Fra) France 10 pts
2 Recep Ünalan (Tur) Turkey 14 pts
3 Juan Esteban Arango (Col) Colombia 16pts
4 Zach Bell (Can) Canada 20 pts
5 Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Denmark 28 pts
6 Martyn Irvine (Irl) Ireland 30 pts
7 Michael Freiberg (Aus) Australia 31 pts
8 Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Belgium 32 pts
Full results of every event from Tissot Timing click here.
Live streaming of the Cali Track World Cup is available at Mundo Ciclistico by clicking here.