Australia and Holland clean up on the opening day of the World Cup track round in Sydney, winning th
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM Australia and Holland were the dominant nations on the opening day of the fourth round of the World Cup track event at the Dunc Gray velodrome in Sydney. Both nations won three events in what is the final round of this competition. Australia’s victories came courtesy of Rochelle Gilmore, who was unstoppable in the women’s 20km points race, Ben Kertsen, who smashed his personal best to claim the kilometre time trial series title, and Anna Meares, who took the sprint gold to get the home team off to a flying start. Kersten gave himself a great boost before next month’s world championships in Los Angeles as he bettered his personal best by three-tenths of a second, scorching over the four laps in 1-01.645. It earned him the gold medal and the title of 2005 kilometre World Cup Champion. He was almost a second clear of Dutch silver medallist Tim Veldt, with Frenchman Francois Pervis third. Olympic and world time trial champion Meares also signalled she’s on track for LA when she took out the women’s sprint event. Meares qualified fourth fastest but her nous saw her down the fastest qualifier, Yvonne Hijgenaar (Hol), in the semis to set her up against Chinese sensation Shuang Guo in the final. Leading out in the first race, Meares held off Guo, a triple junior World Champion in 2003, but in the second race Guo snatched the lead position only to have Meares run her down in the final metres to clinch gold. Gilmore was the dominant rider in the women’s 20km points race. Of the eight sprints contested she won four, placed second in one and was fourth in another to finish with 24 points, double that of silver medallist Giorgia Bronzoni of Italy, with China’s Yunmei Wu third on 10 points. Holland’s sprint world champion Theo Bos proved the worth of his two weeks of advance preparation in Sydney when he sailed home for gold in the men’s keirin final. Former world champion Laurent Gane showed he still has the speed to come home in second, with Czech rider Pavel Buran third. In the men’s 15km scratch race Holland’s Wim Stroetinga sprinted home for gold ahead of Denmark’s Alex Rasmussen, with reigning world champion Greg Henderson (New Zealand) third. That second place gave Rasmussen the overall crown. Britain’s only medal on the opening day of the event came thanks to a fine ride by 19-year-old Edward Clancey in the individual pursuit. He qualified for the final, where he was overhauled by Holland’s Levi Heimans, also 19, a kilometre from the finish. The bronze medal went to Russia’s Ivan Kovalev.