So, not a bad haul of medals for Great Britain as the UCI Track Cycling World Championships draws to a close after five days of fierce competition in the Netherlands. But it wasn’t without its upsets and GB, despite ending fourth in the medal tables, were certainly down significantly on last year’s total of three golds, five silvers, one bronze; managing here just a solitary gold (Women’s Team Pursuit), plus three silver and five bronze. Meanwhile Australia blazed their way to a magnificent eight golds with 11 medal wins.
Australia’s Anna Meares ended Victoria Pendleton’s chance of a fifth consecutive world sprint title eliminating her in the semi-final stage in a battle which was as nerve jangling to watch as it must have been to participate in. Both riders displaying as much psychological grit and mind-game as raw power; but in the end it was Pendleton that cracked and Meares that went on to prove that this year’s Championships truly were an Aussie affair as she made comfortable work of defeating Lithuania’s Simona Krupeckaite 2-0 in the final to take her first sprint world title.
Things took an equally disappointing turn for Sir Chris Hoy who had to settle for silver in the men’s keirin as he was narrowly squeezed out by Australian Shane Perkins in the final few meters.
Still, there’s more than a year to go to the Olympics, right?
For full results, see:www.worldchamptrackcycling.com