As my initiative from last year has caught on and I am happy that many writers from all over the world are now contributing to www.juniorvelo.com, I am though left thinking that everything has been sais about yesterday(monday) at the Junior Worlds and suddenly I am left without a story.
I was thinking to write about the Meyer brothers’s exceptionnal performance in the Madison with Cameron coming back from the dead to take first place in the Madison and then with his team last night in Team Pursuit but it has already been done.
I was also thinking about writing that every time I see Jason Kenny he amazes me with his seemingly effortless lightning speed but this has also been done.
I’ll thus only tell you only one thing today.
I am amazingly proud of my son Lawrence’s performance at 11.16 in flying 200 m. for 25th place, one hundredth of a second shy of 24th place and a participation to the matches. He has brought tears to my eyes as he did the day he was born.
Good job boy ; you’re a man now.
Sunday July 6th 2nd day of competition at the velodrome and much warmer temperatures which should make for faster times.
In the morning session it was men’s pursuit and believe me its is hard to find an angle to look at it and make it palpitating. The effort is admirable and the times are there but I guess sprint is my passion.
Let’s just say that as awaited Cameron Meyer of Australia was perfect coming inside 0.9 seconds of his compatriot’s Michael Ford Junior world record of 3:17, recording a 3:18… something.
Women’s sprint matches gave us a few surprises, the lower seeded Australian McCullough eliminating the upper seeded Cueff from France and Sullivan from Canada.
Lyubov Shulika advanced without any difficulty as did Sandie Clair from France and these two should eventually face each other in the final.
Then comes the furious action ;first the keirin heat for men with an ultra aggressive Denis Spika from Czech Republic first relegated from his qualification after winning, reintering through the repechage, getting warned in the semi-final for aggressive behavior the race being interrupted for this. Upon rerun he gets qualified 2nd behind Jason Kenny in a semi where Australian Ellis takes a big fall.
Comes the final where he finished fourth behind wunderkind Kenny and the 2 frenchmen. Aggressivity is good in keirin but seldom replaces lightning fast speed and Kenny has got it.
Kilo was an open competition until Scott Sunderland from Australia, bronze medalist last year and last one to go came to the plate. He settled it once and for all with a superb 1:04.051 to edge GB’s Christian Lyte’s 1:05.45
Again many nice photos which I should be able to send today as yesterday was sunday and sunday everything’s closed in Flanders.
More from Robert Leroux!
Today the true action has started. This morning we had qualifying for scratch and points race for men.
The story of the morning session belongs to Australian Leigh Howard in the scratch qualifying. who despite being one of the strongest on paper had quite an ordinary race. He put himself in a bad position for finish and got tangled in a 3up fall on home stretch thus failing to qualify for the final, finishing 13 th of 15 and crossing the line with his bike in his hands rigth behind the Neerlander.
As most of the racers (12/14 or 15) were qualified no other surprises besides Howard’s.
The night session was for scratch and points race finals with nothing really worth mentionnig and like Steve says you can get the results on the official site.
First surprise of the night was French girl Sandie Clair besting Lyuba Shulika of Ukraine, getting revenge for her loss at European championships 2 weeks ago. We’ll see these 2 again for sprint and I am sure Miss Shulika, given her temperament, will seek to get even.
It was also the first stage of the battle of the sprinters for men as in Team Sprint GB and Australia finished 1 and 2 in qualifying, Jason Kenny besting his rival Scott Sunderland the 2 favorites for Junior men sprint. The story repeated itself again in the 1-2 final GB winning again in a very exciting race.
Gosh these 2 guys are fast.
Greece beat Russia for 3rd having been called 3 times for false starts en route and many in the velodrome feeling they should have been disqualified.
The German team, winner last year, seemed lost, Sacha Hubner sustaining a spectacular fall in qualifying courtesy of the Greeks false start; the Gemans never recuperated from the fall and were very disorganized in the race itself.
Robert Leroux sends these photos from the last days of training before Junior Worlds in Gent, Belgium. As usual, click for a larger version of any image.
Ghislain Boiron, french sprinter
Great Britain's team pusuit is among the best
Monique Sullivan from Canada and Malindi McLean from New Zealand. They spent the last 6 weeks at the WCC in Aigle Switzerland.
Scott Sunderland, sprinter from Australia, taking it easy between trainings
New Zealand team pursuit. They won last year and two of their boys are back.
Lawrence Leroux, Canadian sprinter practicing kilo starts; he also was in Aigle at the WCC for the last 6 weeks.
Copyright for the photos above belongs to Robert Leroux.
Wednesday August 2nd 2006
Finally the day has arrived. We have been waiting and athletes have been training all year for the Junior Track Worlds and finally the time has come.
This year it will be in Gent, Belgium a Flandrian city close to the North Sea which means that all the things you have heard about a heatwave in Europe do not apply here.
The weather, if you want to ask is rather awful, wind and rain and cold just like for ”Ronde Vlanderen” or Paris-Roubaix which are raced on the roads close by in early spring.
The track itself, located at the Eddy Merckx Wielercentrum named after the great man himself, is just wonderful. A 250 m. wood planked track built a few decades ago by the renowned Schuermann brothers it has been renovated and enclosed last year with great success. A particularity, the deep dark shade of the planks unlike ADT or Manchester.
And don’t think because it was outside before that it is not fast; quite the contrary, they have kept the old surface and British Junior sprinter Jason Kenny proved a month ago that it was quite fast indeed registering a blistering 10.49 over 200 m. at the Interland meet.
The teams are mostly here and yesterday we saw a few of them training as the Australians were there with the Meyer brothers. The entire French team was also there with sprinter Sandie Clair training doing flying 500 m. We also saw the Canadian and Japanese teams as well as the Americans which came to train around 6 pm as we were leaving.
I will try in the next few days to convey to you a little bit of these Junior Worlds spirit and I will look for the things that bring you a little more than just results as I did last year.
No pictures for now as I have problems sending them but they are in my camera anyway even if you get them only later when I return to Canada.
So see you soon; the action starts saturday August 5.