Two days gone, three to go and Friday’s packed schedule started with the women’s omnium a centrepiece of the day, beginning with the qualifiers and rolling onto the four main events. The two qualifiers would see riders complete 10km (40 laps) with sprints every 10 laps, and 12 riders from each heat would progress to the scratch event later in the morning. Qualifiers from the two heats included Spain’s Naia Amondarain Gaztanaga, who dominated proceedings in heat two courtesy of lapping the main bunch.
Next up came the power men: the sprinters. India stunned many by winning their first-ever junior track gold on Wednesday in the men’s team sprint. What lay ahead for the individual sprint that would reach its conclusion on Saturday evening?
The sprint qualifiers see the top four riders qualify for the last 16 with riders five to 28 through to the last 32. Greece’s Konstantinos Livanos, who clearly enjoyed a great night’s sleep after winning keirin gold on Thursday night, smashed the 200m distance in 10.118, ahead of second-fastest in the sprint – and second fastest in the keirin final – Sam Gallagher (AUS) in 10.159. Ivan Gladyshev (RUS) and India’s Ronaldo Singh Laitonjam finished third and fourth, respectively, to make the last 16.
The omnium women returned next for the 5km scratch event. And it came as no surprise that Italy’s Eleonora Camilla Gasparrini, who helped Italy win team-pursuit gold on Thursday, took the honours, albeit shadowed by young American sensation Megan Jastrab. Poland’s Nikola Wielowska finished third, and that’s how the overall rankings stand heading into the 5km tempo round of the omnium later in the day.
On Thursday night, the Frankfurt (Oder) crowd were treated to the German team-pursuit quartet smashing the world record as they rode to gold. Two of the successful team, Nicolas Heinrich and Tobias Buck-Gramcko, were back on Friday for the individual pursuit… and carried on where they left off with Heinrich crossing in the fastest time of 3:11.850 followed by Buck-Gramcko in 3:12.287. It meant they’d fight for gold later in the day.
The bronze medal will be fought between Canada’s Tristan Jussaume and Great Britain’s Zach Bridges who finished in third and fourth, respectively.
Twelve sprinters from the last 32 joined the day’s earlier four fastest riders in the last 16 of the men’s sprint. Greece’s Konstantinos Livanos showed no sign of fatigue after Thursday’s keirin gold and Friday morning’s fastest sprint time to beat The Netherlands’ Tijmen van Loon in a time of 10.600.
But this round the fastest-time crown settled on the head of Singh Laitonjam (10.475) as the Indian rider set a mammoth average speed of 68.735km/hr. The following six riders also qualified for Saturday morning’s quarter-final: Gallagher (AUS), Gladyshev (RUS), Daan Kool (NED), Julien Jager (GER), Esow Alban (IND) and Muhammad Rid Sahom (MAL).
We’d flagged up America’s Jastrab as one to watch in the build-up to these championships (https://www.uci.org/track/news/2019/2019-uci-junior-track-world-championships-six-riders-to-watch) and that prediction’s gained traction as, after the tempo event of the omnium, she now leads on 74 points. The 17-year-old moved up one position after the morning’s scratch discipline by finishing third in the tempo event, behind winner Miliaeva (RUS) and second-placed Ella Barnwell (GBR).
Miliaeva’s win lifts her into ninth after a disappointing 21st in the scratch with Barnwell in second overall with 72 points. Wielowska finished fourth in the tempo event to lie third overall. The morning’s scratch winner, Gasparrini (ITA), drops to fourth overall after finishing sixth.
Two 15km points-race qualifiers would see 24 riders progress to the 25km points-race final after the break. After two tactical games of cat-and-mouse, it was Germany’s Hannes Wilksch and Spain’s Raul Garcia Perna who qualified as the winners of heats one and two, respectively.
After a two-hour break of rest, refreshment and refuelling, the men returned for the points-race final with an enduring 100 laps ahead of them. Wilksch and Garcia Perna had won their heats before lunch but over 30 minutes of racing, where a one-lap sprint every 10 laps would see the most astute and powerful accrue points, the final could be a totally different affair.
And it was for Wilksch who, despite his best efforts, could only muster ninth. Garcia Perna, on the other hand, racked up eight points after the first two sprints, giving him the lead alongside Italy’s Edoardo Zambanini. Positive but there remained 80 laps to go...
By the halfway point, France’s Kevin Vauquelin had charged into the lead after grabbing five sprint points on laps four and five. Garcia Perna responded with three points of his own on the next lap to retake the lead, though Russia’s Vlas Shichkin also rode into contention with a five-point haul to add to two points accrued on lap three.
Come the second half numerous riders lapped the main pack twice for 40 extra points, meaning Shichkin held the lead into the final lap – which he then added to in style by winning the final sprint for 10 points and the gold medal. Brilliant riding from the Russian. A single point on the ninth lap gave Vauquelin silver and, just reward for his consistent efforts, Garcia Perna took the bronze.
Extreme endurance morphed into extreme speed next in the women’s sprint semi-finals. Alessa-Catriona Propster of Germany looked the rider to beat in Wednesday’s heats and, buoyed by fantastic home support, she beat British sprinter Emma Finucane over two heats to make the final. There she’ll face Poland’s Nikola Seremak who beat Veronika Jabornikova (CZE), again over two heats.
The women returned for the third heat of the omnium in the elimination. And Jastrab cemented her first-place position by taking the victory and, with it, 40 points for an overall tally of 114. She leads Britain’s Ella Barnwell by four points, who finished second in the elimination heat.
Gasparrini and Wielowska are third and fourth overall on 106 and 104 points, respectively. With 18 points between them and the fifth-place rider, Maike van der Duin (NED), it looks like the medals will be fought between the top four riders. But with the final points race to come and many points on offer, it was still in the balance…
Unlike the men’s individual pursuit title, which went to the powerhouse that is Germany’s Buck-Gramcko, adding to the team-pursuit gold he’d won 24 hours previous. His time of 3:09.926 was nearly 2secs ahead of countryman and fellow team-pursuit gold medallist, Heinrich (3:11.648). Canada’s Tristan Jussaume took bronze (3:18.258) ahead of Britain’s Zach Bridges (3:18.527).
The women’s sprinters returned for the medals where Finucane won Great Britain’s fourth bronze of the championships. Then came the finalists, Propster and Seremak, and over two lightning-fast heats, Propster won a well-deserved gold.
The final event of a wonderful day’s racing saw the omnium women, fatigued but fierce, face the final heat – the points race. And after 60 laps, 15km and sprints every 10 laps, Jastrab won the four points that gave her overall victory in 118 points. Gasparrini secured eight points to leapfrog Barnwell for silver to complete day three of the 2019 Junior Track World Championships.
Medal Table after Day 3
Follow the 2019 UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships Live !
If you want to watch the live stream of the event, please visit the Sport Deutschland TV website.
For results and rankings, please go to the Live Timing platform.
Don't want to miss anything of the action? Please check the 2019 UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships - Frankfurt (Oder) - Competition Schedule.