Hammer wins 4th individual pursuit world title in dramatic fashion


After winning the silver medal in the women’s team pursuit just last night, Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif./OUCH) returned to competition at the UCI Track World Championships Friday and collected a gold medal in the 3,000-meter individual pursuit. For Hammer the world championship gold is her fourth, tying legendary American pursuiter Rebecca Twigg.
Women’s Individual Pursuit
Hammer saw the Stars-and-Stripes raised and the Star-Spangled Banner played in front of thousands in Apeldoorn.
Hammer saw the Stars-and-Stripes raised and the Star-Spangled Banner played in front of thousands in Apeldoorn.

In Friday night’s gold medal final, Hammer had to dig deep as she found herself down by 3/10ths of a second to the reigning Olympic silver medalist, Alison Shanks of New Zealand, heading into the final 1,000 meters of the race. Just as she did in 2006, 2007 and 2010 Hammer laid it down in the closing meters and earned her fourth women’s individual pursuit world title; by just nearly 3/10ths of a second.
“This one was so, so special because it was really close,” said Hammer following her victory. “I knew it was going to be that way from qualifying. I just wanted to keep it in the last kilo, and really that last 500, I knew I would just have to dig to the line. I could tell it was getting closer and closer with the way the crowd was, and that it was going to come down to that last final push. I wasn’t as confident in my individual pursuit just because I’ve been focusing a lot on the omnium. Finally my sprint training is starting to kick in!”
With two strong Australians, Josephine Tomic and Sarah Kent, dropping out of the competition and the absence of any British riders, all eyes were on the final match-up of former world champions in the morning’s qualifying. The pair did not disappoint, with Hammer turning on the as on the middle-third to best Shanks by around 2/10ths of a second and set-up the gold medal re-match.
A last minute entry, Cari Higgins (Boulder, Colo./Peanut Butter & Co TWENTY 12) posted a personal best time at 3:49.616 to finish 12th in the women’s individual pursuit.
Hammer will continue her quest for world championship hardware in the omnium events this weekend.  
Men’s Omnium
Bobby Lea(Mertztown, Pa./The Sports TEAM) also opened up his quest for the men’s ominium title on Friday. The Pennsylvanian flew out of the gate in the first omnium, the flying lap. Not a sprint specialist, Lea recorded a 13.742 over the 250 meters to put himself in 11th place in the omnium early going.
An aggressive points race saw three riders lap the field within the first few of the 30-kilometer race. Lea was able to make the front group when the field split late in the race, but was unable to score any points, finishing 18th.
Lea went on to finish 16th in the elimination, meaning he was the seventh of the 22 omnium riders eliminated. In the new omnium event, the final rider to cross the line on every other lap must leave the track and is given the last available placing.
Halfway through the six-event men’s omnium competition Lea currently sits 18th in the standings.
Coming Up
The men’s omnium competition will wrap-up on Saturday, while Hammer will begin her third and final medal quest of these world championships in the women’s omnium. After winning a silver medal in the last round of the World Cup in Manchester, Jennie Reed (Kirkland, Wash./OUCH) will also contest the women's scratch race on Saturday.
Cycling fans can watch live online at universalsports.com beginning at 9:00 a.m. EST on Friday or see a re-cap of all the action from Apeldoorn during a two-hour show on the Universal Sports television network on Sunday, April 3rd at 7:00 p.m. EST.
Check the link for the full schedule and more information on the UCI Track World Championships. Don’t forget to stay tuned to www.usacycling.org for daily reports, PHOTOS and brief, behind the scenes VIDEOS of all the action.
UCI Track World Championships
March 23-27, 2011
Women’s Individual Pursuit
1. Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif./OUCH) Qualifying Time: 3:33.522 Finals Time: 3:32.933
2. Alison Shanks (NZL) Qualifying Time: 3:33.789 Finals Time: 3:33.229
3. Vilija Sereikaite (LTU) Qualifying Time: 3:38.073 Finals Time: 3:37.643
12. Cari Higgins (Boulder, Colo./Peanut Butter & Co TWENTY 12) 3:49.616  
Men’s Omnium - Flying Lap
1. Zachary Bell (CAN) 13.320
2. Bryan Coquard (FRA) 13.362
3. Alois Kankovsky (CZE) 13.378
11. Bobby Lea (Mertztown, Pa./The Sports TEAM) 13.742
Men’s Omnium – 30-kilometer Points Race
1. Juan Arango Carvajal (COL) 36
2. Luis Mansilla (CHI) 35
3. Eloy Teruel Rovira (ESP) 34
18. Bobby Lea (Mertztown, Pa./The Sports TEAM) 0 
Men’s Omnium – Elimination Race
1. Bryan Coquard (FRA)
2. Elia Viviani (ITA)
3. Luis Mansilla (CHI)
16. Bobby Lea (Mertztown, Pa./The Sports TEAM)
Mens Omnium standings– after three of six events
1. Bryan Coquard (FRA) 18
2. Elia Viviani (ITA) 21
3. Michael Freiberg (AUS) 22
18. Bobby Lea (Mertztown, Pa./The Sports TEAM) 45

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