Second world record for Aussie golden girl Meares

Melbourne-Australia, April 08, 2012: Second world record Meares, Australia’s Anna Meares broke her second world record of the 2012 UCI Track Cycling World Championships to blitz the field in the women’s 500m time trial on the final night of competition. It was the eighth world record of the championships.

The result was enough to ensure the home team stayed at the summit of the medal standings, finishing with six gold, six silver and three bronze for the championships. Great Britain sits in second position, also finishing with six gold, but with four silver and three bronze medals.

However in the Olympic events it was Great Britain who prevailed, winning five of the ten gold medals on offer. Australia was next best with three, with Germany and France finishing with one a piece. Meares’ victory earned the 28-year-old her second rainbow jersey of the championships and tenth world title to sit equal with French track legend Felicia Ballanger as the winner of the most world track titles in women’s events.

Her first world championship victory was won in the same event at the same venue in 2004.

Meares finishes the competition with four medals from four events, adding to the gold she won in the keirin yesterday, her silver in the team sprint and bronze in the individual sprint. Meares stopped the clock at 33.010 seconds to break Lithuanian Simona Krupeckaite’s record, set at the 2009 world championships in Pruszkow, by .286 of a second.

She was over half a second faster than her nearest competitor, Miriam Welte of Germany (33.626). Great Britain’s Jessica Varnish (33.999) settled for bronze. A move of pure genius on the final turn by Sir Chris Hoy shocked the field with what was an unbelievable display of bike handling and pure speed to take out the men’s keirin final.

Hoy looked certain to be caught four wide in attempt to come over the top of New Zealand’s Simon Van Veltooven, Germany’s Maximilian Levy and compatriot Jason Kenny before the 36-year-old slipped to the inside to find what appeared to most to be a non-existent gap to race to his eleventh world title, and his fourth in the keirin. Levy and Kenny filled the remaining positions on the podium after Van Veltooven was relegated.

Reigning world champions Cameron Meyer and Leigh Howard of Australia tried desperately to win their third consecutive madison title with the pair heavily marked over the 200 lap event. Beligian’s Kenny De Ketele and Gijs Van Hoecke finished the event with 24 points to win the rainbow jersey, Great Britain’s Ben Swift and Geraint Thomas finished in silver (18 points) whilst the Australian pair took home bronze with 11 points.

In the women’s individual pursuit, Alison Shanks (3minutes 30.19seconds) picked up New Zealand’s first gold medal of the championships, outclassing Great Britain’s Wendy Houvenaghel by more than two seconds over the 3000m event. Australian pair Ashlee Ankudinoff and Amy Cure went head to head for the bronze, Ankudinoff prevailing with a time of 3minutes 30.199 seconds.

Women’s 500m time trial

Anna Meares smashed the world record to win her fourth women’s 500 metres individual time trial. Germany’s Miriam Welte was second, while Jessica Varnish of Great Britain placed third at Hisense Arena. Meares won her first world title at the same Melbourne Park velodrome eight years ago.

The Australian left the starting gate to a mighty roar from the home crowd to clock 18.716 seconds for the first lap.

As Meares rode the second lap, the crowd’s support increased and lifted the roof at Hisense Arena when the clock stopped at 33.010 seconds to announce a new world record. She crossed the line with her right arm aloft after the scoreboard confirmed Meares had lowered the world record by 0.286 seconds, which was set by Lithuania’s Simona Krupeckaite in 2009. Her win follows the 28-year-old’s success in the women’s keirin on Saturday.

“This track has been so good to me in the past and I haven’t ridden a time trial in 18months,” Meares said. “I knew tonight was going to be special, I did forget how much (it hurt)… the old legs were hurting afterwards. “My goodness I couldn’t believe how loud this crowd was for me tonight.”

Meares had to wait for 16 competitors to ride before the confirmation that she had won her fourth world time trial title.

Her previous titles were in 2004, 2007 and 2010. She joins Belarussian Natalya Tsylinksaya as a four-time 500m TT winner, with France’s Felicia Ballanger the most successful with five world titles.

“It’s something special [to win] my 10th world title in the event where it all began for me eight years ago,” Meares said.

Meares dedicated the win in the time trial to her first coach, Ken Tucker, who took her under his tutelage when she was 11. “I’m very thankful for all the time and effort he’s put into me and he’s a very special person in my life,” she said. Tucker said the performance had left him nearly speechless, a state he rarely felt.

“I always did have faith in her but she has exceeded all my expectations and the ride was just wonderful,” Tucker said.

Welte said she knew the time by Meares was out of her reach but she eclipsed the times of Varnish and Kaarle McCulloch of Australia. “I know I can’t go as fast as Anna,” Welte said. “When I’ve seen the time of Jess and Karle I knew I had to go under my personal best to get a medal here.”

Men’s keirin

Sir Chris Hoy won his fourth world keirin title with an audacious move on the finishing straight to power through a gap in the men’s final. The win makes Hoy the greatest winner of world keirin championships as he surpasses Frederic Magne of France and Germany’s Michael Hubner with three titles each. Hoy was fourth wheel as the bell rung on the final lap of eight with before the British rider followed teammate Jason Kenny on the back straight.

The 36-year-old dropped behind Kenny to the sprinter’s lane where Hoy held back, then surged between Germany’s Maximilian Levy and Simon Van Velthooven of New Zealand. The reigning Olympic champion passed Levy to cross the line pumping his fist. Levy, 2009 world keirin champion, won silver while Kenny won bronze.

Van Velthooven crossed the line third but the New Zealand rider was relegated for entering the sprinter’s lane when a cyclist was already there. Hoy said he thought his chance of winning had gone with half a lap to go as he waited behind Kenny. “I thought he was going to go with everything and he didn’t,” he said.

“Normally I would have gone around the outside … I’ve never done that before in my life – took the inside – but it paid off. “Honestly I didn’t believe the door opened and I could get through. In some ways I’m very lucky, and very grateful to have won.” He thanked the crowd for their “fantastic” support. “They’ve been very fair,” he said.

“They’ve cheered everybody and they’re a very knowledgeable crowd. “So it’s been a pleasure to race here. I thank Melbourne for having us.” For Hoy, the keirin win was his 11th world title.

He said all his world titles were special but this one might be his last appearance at a world championships.

“This is particularly special because, as I said it might be my last world championships, it might not,” Hoy said. “But it’s the last meaningful race I’ll have before the Olympic Games (in August). “It’s a great one to give that confidence boost.”

Women’s individual pursuit

New Zealand’s Alison Shanks won her second world individual pursuit title after defeating Great Britain’s Wendy Houvenhagel in the final on the last night of competition. Shanks led after the first of twelve laps and never relinquished her lead to cover the 3000 metres in 3 minutes 30.199 seconds. Her winning margin was 2.151 seconds. It was the 29-year-old’s second success over Houvenhagel after she beat the Brit for gold at the 2009 world championships in Poland.

At the last world championships held in Melbourne eight years ago, Shanks’ compatriot Sarah Ulmer won the same event. The New Zealand cyclist had qualified fastest with a world championships record of 3 minutes 27.268 seconds on Sunday afternoon. Shanks said being a world champion was a feeling an athlete wants to repeat.

“It’s so hard to get and … once you’ve had that feeling, once you want it again more and more,” Shanks said. “There were really fast times in the qualifying and I thought I’d have to do a PB (personal best) just to make the final and I was absolutely stoked with my rides tonight.”

She said the support from the crowd was nearly like competing across the Tasman Sea in New Zealand. “It’s totally like a home crowd there are so many Kiwi’s that have come over and I think they (Australian fans) were giving us a little bit of pay back after what Aaron Gates did for Cam Myer last night in the points race.”

Ashlee Andkudinoff rode 3 minutes 33.593 seconds to defeat Australian teammate Amy Cure for the bronze. Andkudinoff led after the first lap to slowly build a lead of 1.14 seconds after 2000 metres. Cure raised her tempo in the final four laps but the 19-year-old fell short by 49 thousands of a second for the bronze medal. Andkudinoff said she was “pretty stoked” in winning the bronze medal. The 21-year-old missed competing in the women’s team pursuit but her goal was to make the Olympic team.

“I know that I really step up on race day but you’ve just got to be consistent all the time to make the team,” Andkudinoff said. “I’m disappointed that I’m not making it but I know what I need to work on.”

Men’s madison

Kenny de Ketele and Gijs van Hoecke won Belgium’s first world madison title in 14 years. The Belgian pair won with 24 points, ahead of Great Britain’s Ben Swift and Geraint Thomas on 18 and two-time defending champion Cameron Meyer and Leigh Howard of Australia on 11 points. De Ketele and van Hoecke’s win follow fellow Belgian’s Etienne De Wilde and Matthew Gilmore’s 1998 victory in Bordeaux.

The Belgian duo won four of the 10 sprints, while gaining a lap with the Netherlands, Australia and the Czech Republic with 43 laps left. Their win at the ninth sprint gave them an eight point buffer on Great Britain with only five points available with the final dash. De Ketele said that he was a world champion was yet to sink in.

“I try to recognise us as world champions now but it’s strange, it will only come in when we get home,” he said.

The 26-year-old said they would party on Sunday as reward for their gold medal. “I don’t think I will see my bed,” he said. “I don’t care.”

Austria’s Andreas Graf and Andreas Muller gained a lap on the field on lap 133 to place them in the lead but the move led by Meyer and Howard negated their lead. Thomas said he was absolutely on his knees with around 80 laps left but the performance of his teammate Swift kept him going. The British duo led after four sprints before Belgium began to dominate the sprints.

“He (Swift) was going so well and not wanting to let him down, so I just had to try and hang in there,” Thomas said. “Fortunately I did, and it’s unbelievable to get second there.” Meyer paid “full credit” to the Belgians and to the British pairs. “They had more points than us on the day and we’re still very happy to be on the podium in front of a home crowd,” Meyer said.

As defending champions, Meyer acknowledged he and Howard were marked riders. They won the madison world titles in 2010 and 2011. Meyer won his third world points title on Saturday.

“I had it yesterday, but I came away with a win, but I spent 150 laps frustrated and today I spent 200 laps frustrated,” Meyer said. “It’s disappointing that some countries go out there with a mindset that “oh, we’re going to follow one team”. “I know that’s bike racing, but I’m on the bad end of it, unfortunately, and so is Leigh (Howard).”

Final medal tally – 2012 UCI Track Cycling World Championships














Great Britain























 Second world record Meares Second world record Meares Second world record Meares Second world record Meares

Second world record Meares Second world record Meares Second world record Meares Second world record Meares

Second world record Meares Second world record Meares Second world record Meares Second world record Meares Second world record Meares Second world record Meares Second world record Meares Second world record Meares Second world record Meares

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