Track World Cup : The Cup returns to Germany After three years of Dutch domination, the UCI Track Cycling World Cup Classics is back in the hands of Germany. The victory of Marcel Barth and Robert Bartko in the Madison - the last event of the fi
After three years of Dutch domination, the UCI Track Cycling World Cup Classics is back in the hands of Germany. The victory of Marcel Barth and Robert Bartko in the Madison - the last event of the fifth round, held in Copenhagen - was a symbolic sign of the change in the balance of power between the two teams. The Germans, winners in the last act of the competition, are in front of the Netherlands in the final classification. Great Britain, returning to the competition with its best riders, finishes third.
Five weeks before the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Pruszkow (Poland), which will close the track season, the French sprinters easily dominated the direct confrontation with the British. Moreover, the British were forced to make do without their key athlete Chris Hoy, who fell in the final of the keirin.
The Scottish rider – triple Olympic Champion in Beijing – had won the team sprint the day before with Jason Kenny and Jamie Staff. Suffering from a hip injury, he was obliged to sit out the individual event, and will be forced to rest for around ten days.
However, his participation in the World Championships next month should not be in jeopardy. In his absence, Kévin Sireau and Grégory Baugé – celebrating his second consecutive win after Beijing – shared the keirin and sprint titles.
In the women’s competition, Victoria Pendleton didn’t have a much better weekend than her renowned teammate. After her victory in the sprint, the British rider was unable to make the top three in her two other races: the 500 metres – won by the Cuban Lisandra Guerra – and the keirin, which saw Clara Sanchez (France) claim gold.
Among the most admired riders in Copenhagen, Taylor Phinney deserves a special mention. At just 19 years old, the American, former World Juniors Champion, celebrated a double victory - in the individual pursuit and the kilometer. His excellent time in the latter discipline, for which he has never specifically trained, makes him one of the favourites for Pruszkow.
Eleonora Van Dijk (the Netehrlands) enjoyed a very successful weekend, claiming two gold medals. For the first time in her career, she won both the pursuit and the points race.
As for Elizabeth Armistead, her results are no longer a surprise: in Copenhagen, she won both the team pursuit and the scratch race, for which she also tops the general classification. Together with Joanna Roswell, she is guaranteed to assure the future of the endurance events for the amazing British team.
The World Cup in Copenhagen, where the UCI World Championships will take place in 2010, allowed the Asian riders to take out two events: the points race with Kam-Po Wong (Hong Kong) and the scratch race with Japan’s Kazuhiro Mori.
Overall, representatives of 12 countries and three continents took at least one first place in the final classifications. This is a telling demonstration of the universality of track cycling and the importance of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup Classics in promoting and developing this discipline.
All eyes now turn to Pruszkow, Poland, from 25th – 29th March!