Higgins' scratch fifth highlights Americans' Day 3 of track worlds

  
  


Cari Higgins placed fifth in the women's scratch race at the 2012 UCI Track World Championships. (Photo by Casey B. Gibson)
Cari Higgins placed fifth in the women's scratch race at the 2012 UCI Track World Championships. (Photo by Casey B. Gibson)
The 2012 UCI Track World Championships continued Friday in Hisense Arena in Melbourne with much improved results for the Americans. Cari Higgins finished fifth in the scratch race, Michael Blatchford advanced in the men's sprint and Sarah Hammer sits in third place midway through the six-event women's omnium.

Women's Scratch Race
Cari Higgins (Boulder, Colo./Exergy Twenty12) finished fifth in a highly animated scratch race. From the start gun to the finish line, there were repeated attacks and a relentless peloton refusing to let any rider get too far away.

A two-rider attack consisting of Vera Koedooder (NED) and Charlotte Becker (GER) built a half-lap margin with nine laps remaining in the 25-kilometer race. Soon after that attack returned to the field, Jarmila Machacova (CZE) launched one of her own with four laps remaining, building a sizeable lead. With Higgins among the leaders of the peloton, Machacova was brought back, resulting a half-lap field sprint to the finish line. Higgins drilled it to the line, but narrowly placed fifth. Katarzyna Pawlowska (POL), edged Melissa Hoskins (AUS) and Kelly Druyts (BEL) at the finish line to earn the gold, silver and bronze, respectively.

"I definitely got my head together as far as having the right perspective on mass-start racing," Higgins said. "It felt nice to have it all come together today, but it left me hungry because fifth is not on top of the podium. I know I have the ability to be there. It leaves me hungry going into the offseason."

Women's Omnium
After the first of the two-day women's omnium, Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif./OUCH Pro Cycling) stands in third place as she bids to improve on the silver medal she earned in the women's omnium at the 2011 UCI Track World Championships. Annette Edmondson (AUS) and Laura Trott (GBR) each has 11 points through three contests, but Edmondson leads by virtue of better single-race results. Hammer and Tara Whitten (CAN) each has 21 points, but Hammer leads for the same reason. The women on Saturday will contest the individual pursuit, scratch race and time trial to complete the omnium.

In the first of the six events, Hammer, who was the penultimate rider on the track to contest the flying lap. She posted a 14.433 to place fourth. Edmondson recorded the best time in the flying lap with 14.377.

In the points race, Hammer finished 10th with six points, doubling her point total from the same race the 2011 UCI Track World Championships. Hammer found herself in different positions throughout the peloton at different points of the race. She maximized her positioning to finish second in the third sprint of the 80-lap race before placing fourth in the fourth sprint and third in the sixth sprint.

The top point totals stemmed from a four-rider breakaway in the first half of the race. The four riders attacked the field, eventually earning 20 points apiece for lapping the field. Lisa Brennauer (GER) added a second-place finish in the seventh sprint to boost her total to 23 points and win the points race. Jarmila Machacova (CZE) totaled 22 points to finish second while Angie Sabrina Gonzalez Garcia (VEN) placed third with 21 points.

After three events, Sarah Hammer sits in third place in the women's omnium at the 2012 UCI Track World Championships. (Photo by Caey B. Gibson)
After three events, Sarah Hammer sits in third place in the women's omnium at the 2012 UCI Track World Championships. (Photo by Caey B. Gibson)
The last race of the evening session was the elimination race. Hammer stayed toward the front of the peloton to avoid the traffic at the back of the field and stayed alive in the race otherwise known as the miss-and-out. Hammer lasted through the elimination of 17 riders before she narrowly lost a sprint leaving six riders in the race. Trott would go on to the win the race

Men's Sprint
Riding in the biggest gear he's ever used in a sprint paid off for Michael Blatchford (Cypress, Calif./Project London 2012) as he recorded a personal best at sea level, finishing in 10.118. A total of 53 of the best sprinters in the world toed the line in the morning's qualification. The result allowed Blatchford to qualify in 18th and advance to the 1/16 final. In that round, Blatchford faced Edward Dawkins (NZL). Dawkins came from behind Blatchford late in the contest to win and advance to the 1/8 final.

Kevin Mansker (Long Beach, Calif./Project London 2012) placed 35th with a qualifying time of 10.300.

The men's tournament concludes Saturday evening with the 1/2 final. Gregory Bauge (FRA) will face Shane Perkins (AUS) and Chris Hoy (GBR) will toe the line against his countryman Jason Kenny (GBR) in the semifinals.

"I just made sure I gave it my best," Blatchford said. "We downgeared a bit from what I time trialed in to see if I could get that jump. Obviously, that jump would have been more effective had I been in the back, I may have been able to catch him by surprise. It didn't go that way. I still think I gave him a run for his money. I rode it cleanly."

USA Cycling Sprint Program Director Jamie Staff discusses the performances of the sprinters at the world championships in the video below:

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Men's Omnium
Bobby Lea (Topton, Pa./Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA) finished the omnium in 17th place. Coming into the day, Lea ranked 18th, but he used a 13th-place result in the individual pursuit, 22nd in the scratch race and 13th in the time trial to move up one spot in the overall standings by the end of competition. Glenn O'Shea (AUS) finished atop the podium with 22 points for the world championship. Zach Bell (CAN) earned the bronze with 28 points and Lasse Norman Hansen (DEN) secured the bronze medal with 29 points.

The first omnium event of the day was the individual pursuit. Lea competed in the fourth heat and posted a 4:34.307, which stood up as the 13th-best mark in the event. Hansen's mark of 4:22.330 was the best time of the competition.

The 15-kilometer scratch race saw a four-rider breakaway gain a lap one the field with 30 laps remaining in the 60-lap contest. With approximately 25 laps remaining in the race, Lea made a move toward the front of the field. He was joined by three riders and the foursome tried to break off the front and make up the lap gained earlier in the race. Lea's move was chased down and he finished 22nd. Hansen won the race followed closely by Bell and Shane Archbold (NZL).

Coming Up
The competition continues into its penultimate day Saturday and Hammer is slated to complete the remaining three events of the women's omnium. She is slated to compete in the individual pursuit, scratch race and the 500-meter time trial. Also on Saturday's docket are the women's keirin while the men are scheduled to contest the semifinal and final rounds of the men's sprint and the individual pursuit.

Each day's second session will begin at 7 p.m. in Melbourne and will be streamed live at www.universalsports.com. Additionally, Universal Sports will air a two-hour recap show on April 14 at noon EDT. Please find daily recaps, videos and a photo gallery from Melbourne on www.usacycling.org.

The 2012 UCI Track World Championships web page offers a complete schedule, results and more.

2012 UCI Track World Championships
April 4-8, 2012
Hisense Arena
Melbourne, Australia

FULL RESULTS

PHOTO GALLERY

Women's Omnium I - Flying Lap
1. Annette Edmondson (AUS) 14.377
2. Laura Trott (GBR) 14.391
3. Li Huang (CHN) 14.427
4. Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif./OUCH Pro Cycling) 14.433

Women's Omnium II - Points Race
1. Lisa Brennauer (GER) 23
2. Jarmila Machacova (CZE) 22
3. Angie Sabrina Gonzalez Garcia (VEN) 21
10. Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif./OUCH Pro Cycling) 6

Women's Omnium III - Elimination Race
1. Laura Trott (GBR)
2. Evgenia Romanyuta (RUS)
3. Malgorzata Wojtyra (POL)
7. Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif./OUCH Pro Cycling)

Women's Omnium Standings after three of six events
1. Annette Edmondson (AUS) 11
2. Laura Trott (GBR) 11
3. Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif./OUCH Pro Cycling) 21

Women's Scratch Race
1. Katarzyna Pawlowska (POL)
2. Melissa Hoskins (AUS)
3. Kelly Druyts (BEL)
5. Cari Higgins (Boulder, Colo./Exergy Twenty12)

Men's Sprint Qualifying
1. Gregory Bauge (FRA) 9.854
2. Richard Foerstemann (GER) 9.873
3. Kevin Sireau (FRA) 9.893
18. Michael Blatchford (Cypress, Calif./Project London 2012) 10.118
35. Kevin Mansker (Long Beach, Calif./Project London 2012) 10.300

Men's Omnium IV - Individual Pursuit
1. Lasse Norman Hansen (DEN) 4:22.330
2. Zach Bell (CAN) 4:26.786
3. Edward Clancy (GBR) 4:27.643
13. Bobby Lea (Topton, Pa./Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA) 4:34.307

Men's Omnium V - Scratch Race
1. Lasse Norman Hansen (DEN)
2. Zach Bell (CAN)
3. Shane Archbold (NZL)
22. Bobby Lea (Topton, Pa./Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA)

Men's Omnium VI - Time Trial
1. Edward Clancy (GBR) 1:01.948
2. Glenn O'Shea (AUS) 1:03.042
3. Lasse Norman Hansen (DEN) 1:03.102
13. Bobby Lea (Topton, Pa./Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA) 1:05.106

Men's Omnium Standings
1. Glenn O'Shea (AUS) 22
2. Zach Bell (CAN) 28
3. Lasse Norman Hansen (DEN) 29
17. Bobby Lea (Topton, Pa./Pure Energy Cycling-ProAirHFA) 101



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