The second day of the 2019 Junior Track Cycling World Championships in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany, provided another exhilarating day of action.
The day began with the women’s sprint qualifiers, and it was one of the pre-race favourites, Germany’s Alessa-Catriona Propster, who recorded the fastest 200m time of the morning’s session in 11.120 at an average speed of 64.748km/hr. Propster, buoyed by winning silver alongside Christina Sperlich in yesterday’s team sprint, showed the confidence and power that won her individual sprint gold at July’s European Track Championships.
Veronika Jabornikova (CZE) and Marie-Divine Kouamé (FRA) set the second and third fastest times, respectively, in 11.353 and 11.399, with Emma Finucane (GBR, 11.399) fourth and Germany’s Katharina Albers fifth in 11.461, as the top five riders qualified for the last 16. The remaining riders would battle it out in the next round of duels later in the morning to see who would join them.
The first round of the men’s keirin hit the track next. Heat one highlighted once again just how strong India’s Esow Alben is after Wednesday’s team sprint-winning performance as he took the heat one sprint honours in 10.785. Winners of the remaining six heats were (in order): Krzysztof Patora (POL), Alexandr Safarov (KAZ), Julien Jager (GER), Sam Gallagher (AUS), Konstantinos Livanos (GRE) and Gedvinas Serafinas (LTU). It was Livanos who registered the fastest sprint of 10.645. All six qualified for the keirin second round.
The women’s sprinters returned next to fight for the remaining places in the last 16. In heat eight, Belarus’s Dziyana Miadzvetskaya scorched to the fastest time of 12.109 in beating Russia’s Nelli Vershinina. Miadzvetskaya qualified along with the following 10 riders: Nikola Seremak (POL), Jing Luo (CHI), Madison Dempster (CAN), Charlotte Robinson (GBR), Sophia Shuhay (USA), Jingye Sun (CHI), Nikita Nisha (IND), Kayla Hankins (USA), Kazane Iida (JAP) and Triyasha Paul (IND). They’d join the five fastest from the morning’s session, including Germany’s Propster.
The men’s keirin took to the track once again with the repechages, giving riders another chance to progress to the second round. And it was an opportunity taken by 12 riders including the fastest in each of the six heats: Paul Schmidt (GER), Vincent Yon (FRA), Muhammad Ridwan Sahrom (MAS), Mateusz Sztrauch (POL), Matteo Bianchi (ITA) and Inho Jung (KOR).
The last 16 of the women’s sprint were up next, with Propster setting out her stall by beating India’s Paul in a time of 12.678, giving the German a place in the quarter finals. However, Britain’s Finucane sent the competition a warning as she clocked the fastest time of the last 16 in 11.996 (the only rider to break 12sec). The other six qualifiers were: Veronika Jabornikova (CZE), Kouamé (FRA), Miadzvetskaya (BEL), Seremak (POL), Luo (CHI) and Robinson (GBR).
The two qualifiers of the men’s 7.5km Scratch provided the final action before the afternoon session, with 12 of the 18 riders making the final from each heat. In heat one, Korea’s Youngkyun Park and South Africa’s Matthew Fortuin were the two standout riders with the competition one lap down. The next 10 riders, from third-placed Rohan Haydon-Smith (AUS) through to 12th-placed Yoel Agustin Vargas (ARG), qualified for the 10km Scratch final later in the day.
Heat two was a more competitive affair as six riders lapped their rivals. Denmark’s Benjamin Hertz was the fastest with Mathias Guillemette (CAN) in second and Jacob Thomas Decar Zuniga (CHI) third. The remaining riders down to Portugal’s Diogo Narciso in 12th made the final.
The afternoon’s schedule started with round one of the women’s team pursuit with the two fastest teams progressing to battle for gold, and teams three and four riding for bronze. The Italian quartet of Matilde Vitillo, Camilla Alessio, Eleonora Camilla Gasparrini and Sofia Collinelli were fastest in Wednesday’s opener and once again raced impressively to beat Germany by over 6secs thanks to a time of 4:29.467. It was enough to make the 1-2 final later in the day where they’d face New Zealand (Emily Paterson, Mckenzie Milne, Ally Wollaston and Samantha Donnelly) who qualified with an even quicker time of 4:28.784.
Despite losing to New Zealand, Russia’s third fastest time of the round was enough to make the 3-4 final against Great Britain.
The women’s sprint reached its quarter-final stage where two riders would face off in a best-of-three battle. Germany’s Propster, fastest in the morning, continued her good form by beating Great Britain’s Robinson in two heats. China’s Luo didn’t start so Jabornikova (CZE) had a bye to the semi-final.
Poland’s Seremak, fresh from team sprint bronze on Wednesday, beat France’s Kouamé over two heats, with Britain’s Finucane completing the semi-final line-up with a two-heat victory over Belarus’ Miadzvetskaya.
The men’s keirin continued with places up for grabs for the evening’s final. And after some superb tactical play and strength, the following six riders qualified for the 1-6 final on Thursday evening: Alben (IND), Jager (GER), Gallagher (AUS), Livanos (GRE), Sztrauch (POL) and Safarov (KAZ).
Medals were on offer next with the men’s team pursuit finals as Russia faced New Zealand for bronze, followed by Germany against France for gold. And what a memorable event it was as Russia (Ivan Novolodskii, Egor Igoshev, Vlas Shichkin and Ilia Schegolkov) became the first junior team pursuit quartet to break the four-minute barrier in beating New Zealand in a time of 3:59.955.
It gave the Russians bronze – but the world record didn’t last long as the German four of Tobias Buck-Gramcko, Hannes Wilksch, Moritz Kretschy and Nicolas Heinrich recorded a stunning 3:58.793. It was an incredible effort and needed to be to beat a French team (Kévin Vauquelin, Antonin Corvaisier, Clément Petit and Florian Pardin) who clocked 3:59.543.
The medals kept on coming with the men’s 10km scratch final. And it was Denmark’s Benjamin Hertz who showed the physical and mental fortitude to win gold. Colombia’s Anderson Arboleda Ruiz won silver with Jacob Thomas Decar Zuniga winning Chile’s second medal of the championships with bronze.
After the Netherlands’ Daan Kool finished first in the 7-12 keirin final, it was down to the keirin medal contenders. And what an effort from Greece’s Livanos, who won gold ahead of Australia’s Gallagher and India’s Alben, in silver and bronze medal positions, respectively.
The final race of the day was the women’s team pursuit finals. And the Italian quartet maintained the form, discipline and power they’d shown since Wednesday morning to win gold in a time of 4:26.060. But it was oh so close. A spirited New Zealand team lost out by just seventh-hundredths of a second to take silver. Earlier, Great Britain held off Russia for bronze.
The 2019 UCI Junior Track World Championships continue on Friday morning with the women’s Omnium qualifiers.
Medal Table after Day 2
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