2014 , by Cycling Australia
Tasmania's Amy Cure secured Australia’s fifth medal of the 2014 UCI Track World Championship in Colombia with bronze in the women’s individual pursuit.
Reigning Olympic and 2011 world champion Anna Meares and fellow South Australian Steph Morton finished seventh and sixth respectively in the women’s sprint competition after being beaten at the quarterfinal stage.
South Australia’s O’Shea finished tenth in the men’s 40km points race, while at the halfway mark of the men’s omnium Luke Davison (SA) sits in fourteenth position.
The five-day Championships in Cali, Columbia continues on Saturday and concludes on Sunday.
Women's Individual Pursuit – Cure
After reaching the podium in the team pursuit on the second night of competition, Tasmania’s Amy Cure lined up against Ganna Solovei (UKR) in the bronze medal final of women’s 3000m individual pursuit.
2013 silver medallist in the event, Cure established an early lead of .77 at the first 1km check, before Solovei (UKR) fought back in second kilometre to reduce the deficit to just less than two tenths of a second.
An enthralling final kilometre ensued, with Cure upping the ante in the dying stages to cross the line in 3mins 36.174sec, three tenths of a second ahead of Solovei (3:37:003)
“Obviously I really wanted to get into that gold and silver medal ride, but I am really happy with how I went,” said Cure, the reigning Australian champion.
“For the past three to four years I have been four or five seconds off those girls so to sit back and realise I am finally getting close to them is a real positive for me,” added Cure, 21, recorded the third fastest time in the afternoon qualifying session (3:30.895), just three tenths of a second out of the ride for gold.
“(In the final) I started off pretty hard, and I knew it was getting close towards the end, so I had to lay it on the line and give it everything at the end.
“I am really happy with my performance and my two bronze medals and give it everything I have in the points on Saturday.”
Joanna Rowsell (GBR/3:30.318) defeated five-time world champion in the event Sarah Hammer (USA/3:31.535) for her maiden title in the event.
Women’s Sprint – Quarterfinals – Meares & Morton
In her first worlds campaign since the London 2012 Olympic Games, Meares qualified seventh fastest in the afternoon ‘Flying 200m qualifying’, progressing through to a quarterfinal match up with Tianshi Zhong (CHN) whom she had never raced previously.
Not fazed by her more credentialed counterpart, Zhong pounced at the bell lap in each race, with the move paying dividends each time as she edged Meares in two straight heats.
“Tough day, sometimes you have a bad day, but I can take a lot from this, there a lot of positives that can come out of it,” said Meares, who boasts five career medals in the event at the world level.
“The level is really stepping up and I wasn’t able to match it tonight unfortunately, but it is really good to get a good taste of new riders like this who has stepped up as much as they have.”
“It was ridiculous to see the quality of riders in the fifth to eighth final - the reigning world champion, the reigning Olympic champion, the reigning Paralympic champion - that says a lot about the riders who have stepped up.”
Likewise, Morton also exited the competition at the same stage, defeated by Germany’s Kristina Vogel, who claimed the team sprint gold medal on the opening night (with Welte) in straight heats.
Meares and Morton were left to fight it out in the small final for fifth to eighth rankings, with reigning world champion Becky James (GBR) finishing ahead of the two Australians.
Although disappointed in the result Meares instead refused to dwell, knowing the result is another step towards the next Commonwealth and Olympic Games.
“It is always a long, hard slog to be on the top on big competition days like Rio and I take solace in knowing that even riders like Chris Hoy didn’t win every race between Beijing and London,” said Meares, 30.
“Some days you get beaten, you just have to make sure you’re not defeated, that’s all.“ she added.
Both Meares and Morton will have a day off ahead of the women’s keirin on the final day of competition.
Men's Points Race 40 km FINAL - O’Shea
South Australia’s Glenn O’Shea finished in tenth place on 24 points in a thrilling points race won in spectacular style by hometown hero Edwin Ávila of Colombia.
In a truly superb display of points racing, Avila took three laps on the field with third being decisive as he won on 70 points ahead of Thomas Scully (NZL/65pts) and Eloy Teruel (ESP/58pts) who each took two laps.
O’Shea featured in a group of four which took a lap with just over ten laps remaining, and figured in the final two sprints to move up to tenth overall.
"I actually had really good legs today, but it was just one of those races where the moves you go in don't work, so that is disappointing given how good I felt," said O'Shea, after contesting his third event of the week. He won gold in the team pursuit on the opening night and finished eighth in the scratch race on night two.
"I am looking forward to Sunday's Madison, I am confident I can do well there and I actually think I am getting better as the week goes on," he added.
Men’s Omnium - Rounds 1/2/3 - Davison
Australia’s Luke Davison sits in fourteenth overall on 37 points after the first three of six rounds of the omnium.
Davison, who claimed the gold medal in the second round of the UCI World Cup Series in Mexico last December, finished third in the Flying Lap (13.187), eighteenth in the 30km points race and sixteenth in the elimination race.
The omnium features six events held across two days, with riders accumulating point based on their finishing position in each round. The rider with the lowest at the end of the six rounds is declared the winner.
The omnium continues on Saturday with the final three events - individual pursuit, scratch and kilometre time trial.
The 2014 UCI Track Cycling World Championships will be held in Cali, Columbia from February 26 to March 2.
Approximately 350 athletes will contest 19 World Championship events, across five days with two sessions daily (all finals will take place in the evening sessions).