O'Shea on target for omnium podium
Minsk, Belarus: Defending champion Glenn O'Shea is in a strong position to be on the podium again when the omnium is decided on day four of the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Minsk, Belarus.
At the halfway mark the 23 year old is sitting on seven points, three ahead of Olympic Champion Lasse Norman Hansen of Denmark with New Zealand's Aaron Gate one point further back in third after the first three races of the six race event.
On day one O'Shea was a member of the victorious pursuit team but today it was all about his individual effort as he opened his omnium campaign with third place in the flying lap before winning the points race. In the elimination race he held on for third to give himself a handy buffer but O'Shea knows he has to maintain his form and focus tomorrow.
"He took a bit of a knock at the Olympic Games where he was in exactly the same position going into the second day and unfortunately it didn't quite work out for him in the scratch race," said Cycling Australia Endurance Coach Matthew Gilmore. "So we've done a lot of work and video analysis of that race in particular. He really wants to defend his title and bounce back from the Olympics.
"The highlight for me today was his points race, it's an area that he's had to work on in recent months," said Gilmore. "It was one of his strongest points but since he's been doing a lot of the team pursuit work that's fallen away a little bit but today really pleasing to see he's bounced back."
But the plsu side of the team pursuit training is an improvement in O'Shea's timed events.
"It was a a really solid time (his flying lap) and it sets the tone for the rest of the competition," explained Gilmore. "A good little confidence booster, he knows the form's good, he brought that to the points race and then rode a very smart elimination race where he was able to put points into Hansen who is his main rival here."
The second day of omnium will begin with the 4000m individual pursuit round.
"The IP (individual pursuit) will be very important for Glenn," said Gilmore. "Lasse Hansen, it's one of his stronger events, so (hopefully) we can limit our losses there."
The scratch race comes next before the omnium wraps up wth the lung-busting kilometre time trial.
There were no medals for the Cyclones today but some promising results across the board.
In the men's keirin both Andrew Taylor and Scott Sunderland qualified for the final but missed the medals finishing fourth and fifth respectively. Keirin gold went to Oympic sprint champion Jason Kenny ahead of Germany's Maximillian Levy with Matthijs Buchli of the Netehrlands third.
"It was good to get in the final but just unfortunate, I had good legs but from the get go I was stuck at the back which is always going to be difficult," said 24 year old Sunderland who is racing in his sixth world championships. "I tried to make use of it but coming round (I was) getting hooks galore, people riding up, people riding down and really finding it hard to get through."
After finding himself at fifth wheel in the keirin train behind the motor-pace derny Sunderland had to reassess his plan but couldn't get a clean run through the field.
"I was hoping to slot in behind Max Levy (Germany) who was below me but I think Jason Kenny came underneath me and that made it difficult but like I said I had really good legs and I was feeling strong so it's a shame."
Meantime 27 year old Taylor from Dubbo in country New South Wales made an impression on debut to find himself in the medal race.
"Obviously I'm very happy to make the keirin final and finish fourth," said Taylor. "But like Scotty said you always want to get higher.
"But first world titles to make the keirin final is a big step and with the likes of Max Levy, Scott Sunderland and Jason Kenny, it's a top class field so very happy to make the final but a little bit disappointed."
Australia's third starter in the keirin was Matthew Glaezter who qualified for the consolation final and ended the competition ranked eleventh.
All three along with Mitchell Bullen will line up on day four in the men's sprint.
Great Britain scored another gold medal when Simon Yates snatched the points race win in the final sprint across the line. Yates ended the 40 kilometres on 35 points pipping Spain's Eloy Teruel Rovira by one point. Russian Kirill Sveshnikov claimed the bronze medal. Australian teenager Alexander Edmondson started strongly winning the first of the 16 sprints and grabbing points in the next two. But midway through the race the 19 year old team pursuit world champion couldn't match the acceleration and slipped out of medal contention. He finished the race in eleventh place on 10 points.
In the women's sprint Kaarle McCulloch qualified tenth fastest and after a second round loss fought her way back through the repechage into the quarter finals. But she then came up against top seed Rebecca James of Great Britian who was too quick on the day dispatching McCulloch in two straight heats.
Stephanie Morton clocked the sixth best 200m time in qualifying and won her way into a quarter final berth against last night's 500m time trial winner Wai Sze Lee from Hong Kong. Lee continued her winning streak besting Morton, also in straight heats.
The consolation final (fifth to eighth) was won by China's Jinjie Gong with Morton secured sixth overall and McCulloch seventh.
In the women's 10km scratch race Melissa Hoskins went in hoping to better her silver medal of 2012 and was looking comfortable until ten laps from home when a succession of attacks in the last ten laps saw a trio break clear. Of the three it was Poland's Katarzyna Pawlowska who grabbed the win ahead of Mexico's Sofia Arreola Navarro with Russian Evgeniya Romanyuta sprinting out of the bunch on the final lap to claim third place.
Day four action will also feature two of our women's team pursuit silver medallists with Ashlee Ankudinoff lining up in the points race while Annette Edmondson, who was second at last year's worlds and claimed bronze at the Olympic Games in London, begins her quest for omnium glory in Minsk.
Australia, with two gold, two silver and two bronze medals, is now sitting second on the medal table behind Great Britain who have three gold, one silver and two bronze medals. Germany is ranked third with two gold, two silver and one bronze. Eight countries have won gold medals with seven of the 19 events yet to be decided.
2013 UCI Track World Championships - Cyclones Australian team list and medal summary
- Men's 4000m Team Pursuit - Glenn O'Shea, Michael Hepburn, Alexander Edmondson, Alexander Morgan
- Men's 4000m Individual Pursuit - Michael Hepburn
- Women's 3000m Individual Pursuit - Amy Cure
- Women's 3000m Team Pursuit - Ashlee Ankudinoff (Q), Amy Cure, Annette Edmondson, Melissa Hoskins
- Women's 3000m individual pursuit - Annette Edmondson
- Men's 15km Scratch Race - Luke Davison
The eight sprint events are team sprint, sprint, keirin and time trial for both men and women.
- Kaarle MCCULLOCH (Gymea Bay, NSW 20.01.1988) 2012 Olympic Games bronze medal (team sprint)
- Stephanie MORTON (Moana, SA 28.11.1990) 2012 Paralympic Champion (tandem time trial)
- Mitchell BULLEN (Armidale, NSW 06.12.1991)
- Matthew GLAETZER (Paradise, SA, 24.08.1992) 2012 team sprint world champion
- Scott SUNDERLAND (Waneroo, WA 16.03.1988) 2012 team sprint world champion
- Andrew TAYLOR (Dubbo, NSW 24.07.1985)
The eleven endurance events are men's and women's team pursuit, individual pursuit, scratch race, points race and omnium plus the Madison for men.
- Ashlee ANKUDINOFF (Menai, NSW, 20.08.1990)
- Amy CURE (Penguin, TAS 31.12.1992)
- Annette EDMONDSON (Stirling, SA, 12.12.1991) 2012 Olympic Games bronze medal (omnium)
- Melissa HOSKINS (Lesmurdie, WA, 24.02.1991)
- Luke DAVISON (South Coogee, NSW 08.05.1990)
- Alexander EDMONDSON (Stirling, SA 22.12.1993)
- Michael HEPBURN (Brookfield, QLD 17.08.1991) 2012 individual pursuit world champion & Olympic Games silver medal team pursuit
- Alexander MORGAN (Mitcham, VIC 18.07.1994) 2012 team pursuit junior world champion
- Glenn O'SHEA (Ridleyton, SA [formerly VIC] 14.06.1989) 2012 omnium world champion & Olympic Games silver medal team pursuit
SBS Television is broadcasting daily live and highlights coverage of the Championships - check local guides for details.