By John Stevenson
The British team dominated the track world championships in Mallorca over the weekend, taking seven of the 16 world titles on offer.
Victoria Pendleton and Chris Hoy were the standout riders of the British squad, taking five rainbow jerseys between them. Partnered with Shanaze Reade, Pendleton grabbed Britain’s first title of the weekend in the opening day’s women’s team sprint, followed up two days later with a win over Shuang Guo of China in the sprint and rounded out the weekend with victory in the final day’s keirin.
Hoy also took a keirin title, assisted by Ross Edgar who ran interference on most challengers, leaving Hoy to deal with France’s Mickael Bourgain. Hoy finished off the weekend with a victory in his signature event, the kilo.
As well as sprint event wins, the British team took expected victories in the team pursuit and individual pursuit. Bradley Wiggins started the endurance event campaign with victory in the individual pursuit in his second-fastest ever time, catching Germany’s Robert Bartko.
Bradley Wiggins, Ed Clancy, Paul Manning and Geraint Thomas beat the Ukrainian team of Lyubomyr Polatayko, Maksym Polischyuk, Vitaliy Popkov, Vitaliy Shchedov in the final with a time of 3:57.468 – just 0.878 seconds off Australia’s 2004 world record.
The previously-dominant Australian squad was the best of the rest, with Katherine Bates winning the points race and other team riders clocking up four bronze medals for second place on the medal table.
France was another former track power that had no answer to the British strength in depth this year. Its only gold medal came from the team sprint where Gregory Bauge, Mickaël Bourgain, and Arnaud Tournant beat Britain’s Ross Edgar, Chris Hoy and Craig Maclean by just 0.002 seconds.
The 2007 world championships saw the return of the multi-discipline omnium event. Alois Kankovsky of the Czech Republic won the pentathlon-style point contest which comprised a 200m time trial, 5km scratch race, individual pursuit, 15km points race, and 1km time trial.
Hong Kong’s Kam Po Wong took a historic victory in the men’s scratch race on the second day. It was the first ever world championship for a Hong Kong rider.
Sarah Hammer of the USA successfully defended her individual pursuit title, beating Britain’s Rebecca Romero.
Local hero Joan Llaneras, who is not merely Spanish but hails from Mallorca, won his fourth points race world championship.
Yumari Gonzalez Valdivieso of Cuba cheekily stole the women’s scratch race on the third day of racing ahead of Maria Luisa Calle Williams (Colombia). Valdivieso caught the field napping in the closing stages and was able to stay away till the line.
Switzerland’s Bruno Risi and Franco Marvulli were victorious in a tight Madison, beating Peter Schep and Danny Stam of the Netherlands by just one point.
The Netherlands sprint star Theo Bos once again lived up to his name in the men’s sprint, taking the world title by beating Gregory Bauge of France 2-0.