UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships: a world record and two triple UCI World Champions

Aug 19, 2018, 16:09 PM

Women's 500m time trial 

After the Men’s individual pursuit yesterday, it was the turn of the Women’s 500m time trial to see its world record lowered at the UCI World Cycling Centre’s velodrome in Aigle, Switzerland. The author of the latest record is Germany’s Lea Sophie Friedrich, who added the 500m time trial victory to those of the team sprint and individual sprint on Days 1 and 3.

She set the new unofficial record of 33.922 in qualifying before tackling the distance again in the final and coming away with the title in a time of 34.045.

“My third title. I am so happy,” she exclaimed. “And the world record. That is even more important to me. It was a dream, but I didn’t think I could do it.”

Victory was all the sweeter because she shared the podium with her team mate Alessa-Catriona Propster (3rd), who she beat yesterday in the semi-finals of the individual sprint.

“Yeah, well that’s the sport. That’s how it is. But I am so happy she got bronze today. It makes it all much nicer,” said the UCI World Champion, who won silver in the same event last year behind the then world record-holder Mathilde Gros (FRA).

Russia’s Iana Tyshenko separated the two Germans, claiming the silver medal.

Women’s individual pursuit

Lea Sophie Friedrich is not the only triple UCI World Champion of the Championships so far.

Italy’s Vittoria Guazzini added the individual pursuit title to those she won in the team pursuit and the Omnium. Russia’s Daria Malkova, second to Guazzini in the Omnium, again had to be content with the silver medal, while Australian Sophie Edwards beat France’s Marie le Net in the ride-off for bronze.

Guazzini’s mother and sister have been at the UCI World Cycling Centre throughout the competition closely watching Vittoria rake up victory after victory. “I have no words to describe it,” said the proud Mum. “I see how much work she puts into her training. I follow her to a lot of her races and I always get nervous!”

The family remains at the UCI WCC in Aigle, Switzerland, next week to watch Vittoria compete in the UEC European Track Championships (Under-23/Junior).

Women’s points race

A crash involving six riders caused a break in the Women’s points race with 16 of the 100 laps (20km) still to race.  Having lapped the field mid-race, Italian Silvia Zanardi was in the lead before the interruption. In the final laps, Zanardi was threatened by Australia’s Sarah Gigante, who also made up a lap on the field and briefly moved into the winning position.  However, by earning points in the two final sprints, including winning the last sprint counting double, Zanardi clinched the world title:

“I just listened to my coach’s instructions. He told me to stay calm, breathe and win the last two sprints!” she said.

Sarah Gigante won silver and Belgian Shari Bossuyt finished in third place.

Men’s individual sprint

Poland’s Cezary Laczkowski is the 2018 Junior UCI World Champion in the Men’s individual sprint. After recording the fourth fastest time in qualifying, he went on to win his 1/8-finals, quarter-finals and semi-finals before dominating Australian Thomas Cornish in the final.

“I felt better and better as the day went on and I know I am better in heats than in qualifying,” said Laczkowski. “It has been a long preparation, my coach prepared me to win and I am just so happy… and so very tired!”

Fastest qualifier in the morning, Jakub Stastny (CZE) was beaten in the semi-finals by the eventual UCI World Champion and found himself in the ride-off for bronze. The Czech beat Australia’s Leigh Hoffman in two straight rounds to earn the third place on the podium.

Men’s Omnium

Already in the lead going into the final event of the Omnium, the points race, France’s Donavan Vincent Grondin perfectly handled the race to assure himself the gold medal.

“The day got off to a bad start with a crash in the qualifying heat this morning, but then I was more motivated than ever,” said the athlete who went on to finish 2nd in the Scratch Race, 8th in the Tempo Race and 2nd in the Elimination. “In the points race I knew I just had to survey what was happening. I still can’t quite believe it.”

The silver medal went to Denmark’s Frederik Wandahl and bronze to Australian Blake Quick.

The final day of competition tomorrow will see UCI World Champions crowned in the Women’s Madison, the Men’s Madison, the Women’s keirin and the Men’s kilometre time trial.