2022 Tissot UCI Track World Championships: thrilling action on first day of races

A memorable first day

A memorable first day of races as Italy, Germany and Australia bring home the gold in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France.

The 2022 Tissot UCI Track World Championships got underway on Wednesday in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France, with three gold medals on offer in the women’s Scratch race, women’s team sprint and men’s team sprint.

Women's Scratch race

The first rainbow jersey went to Martina Fidanza (ITA) in the women’s Scratch race. The 22-year-old took the victory ahead of Maike van der Duin (NED) with Jessica Roberts (GBR) in third.

“I was relaxed after winning the jersey last year,” Fidanza said after the race. “I had a difficult year after my dad was in hospital and I broke two vertebrae [in a crash]. This jersey means a lot. I just went full gas for that final lap.”

World record for Germany in women's team sprint

In the women’s team sprint, Germany broke its own world record in the first round thanks to the collective efforts of Pauline Sophie Grabosch, Emma Hinze and Lea Sophie Friedrich. The trio finished just under 46 seconds with a time of 45.983 seconds. They faced China in the final, with Shanju Bu, Yufang Guo and Liying Yuan but despite China leading from the start, the German team took control and polished off a new world record, with a new time of 45.967.

In the fight for the bronze medal, Great Britain beat the Netherlands by a close margin.

“It’s insane,” Grabosch said. “Winning with a new world record is incredible. We went faster heat by heat. Sub-46, I can’t describe it.”

Gold to Australia in the men's team sprint

In the men’s team sprint, the Australian team of Leigh Hoffman, Matthew Richardson and Thomas Cornish qualified first in 41.896. The Dutch team with Roy van den Berg, Harrie Lavreysen and Jeffrey Hoogland and the French team with Timmy Gillion, Sébastien Vigier and Melvin Landerneau followed in second and third.

In the next round, Australia’s 41.630 meant they would face the Netherlands in the final, while the British team with Jack Carlin, Alistair Fielding and Hamish Turnbull met the German team, Stefan Bötticher, Maximilian Dornbach and Nik Schröter.

The Australians (with Matthew Glaetzer replacing Cornish) took gold by just 0.043 with a time of 41.600. In the fight for third place, Great Britain secured their third bronze medal of the day.

“It’s absolutely amazing,” Hoffman said. “The last time Australia was on top of the [UCI Track World Championships] podium was 10 years ago and we’re here now.”

Team pursuit qualifiers

In the women’s team pursuit qualifiers, the Italian quartet of Elisa Balsamo, Chiara Consonni, Martina Fidanza and Vittoria Guazzini qualified first, covering the 16 lap - 4km distance in a lightning time of 4:11.01. The British team with Neah Evans, Katie Archibald, Megan Barker and Josie Knight finished 2.106 seconds behind with the French team, Marion Borras, Clara Copponi, Valentine Fortin and Victoire Berteau, in third. Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada and the USA also qualified.

The men’s team pursuit qualifiers had Italy, with the new holder of the UCI Hour Record timed by Tissot, Filippo Ganna, looking to repeat their victory from 2021. But it was the British team with Ethan Hayter, Oliver Wood, Ethan Vernon and the former holder of the UCI Hour Record holder timed by Tissot, Dan Bigham, who qualified first in 3:48.092.

Ganna and his Italian teammates Francesco Lamon, Jonathan Milan and Manlio Moro qualified second in 3:48.243 with the French home nation, Valentin Tabellion, Thomas Denis, Corentin Ermenault and Quentin Larfague, in third on 3:48.845. New Zealand, Denmark, Australia, Germany and Belgium also qualified.

In the first round, Great Britain beat New Zealand and Italy beat France and so the British and the Italians ensure they will battle for gold on the Thursday. Australia and Denmark will race for bronze.