Sunday, March 30, 2008
Reed ends gold drought for U.S. in last event of cycling worlds
MANCHESTER, England -- Jennie Reed gave the United States its first gold medal, winning the last event in the track cycling world championships Sunday by taking the keirin title from Victoria Pendleton of Britain.
Reed of Kirkland, Wash., captured her first world title. She earlier won the bronze in the women's sprint. The other American medal was a silver by Sarah Hammer in individual pursuit.
"I've been waiting for this title for so many years," Reed said. "Coming round Vicky, I was really excited."
Reed went around Pendleton on the last bend. Pendleton, who already has two golds in these championships, won the silver medal in a photo finish over Germany's Christin Muche.
"I told myself today that I had to give myself a chance, and mentally I had to be strong and ready to win and not defeat myself before I started," Reed said. "I went to the line ready to win, and I think that was really critical."
Reed now begins preparation for the Olympics. But since there is no women's keirin in the program, she will have to beat Pendleton in the sprint if she wants to add that gold to her collection.
"It is a big confidence booster," Reed said. "This has really motivated me to train for the next five months."
None of the events decided Sunday is an Olympic discipline. Of the 10 events that will be contested in Beijing, Britain has won gold in eight.
This was also a big day for Dutch riders, with Teun Mulder winning the men's 1-kilometer time trial and Eleanora Van Dijk capturing the women's scratch race.
Mulder, the 2005 keirin world champion, completed the four laps at the Manchester Velodrome in 1 minute, 1.332 seconds. Michael D'Almeida of France took the silver medal in 1:01.514, and Francois Pervis was third in 1:01.579.
"One week ago I heard I would race the kilo," Mulder said. "I did no special training for this, only the keirin and team sprint. And I did the fastest and won the gold medal here. It's unbelievable."
Chris Hoy of Britain, the defending champion and a double gold medalist in Manchester, did not compete in the race because it is no longer part of the Olympic program.
Van Dijk broke away near the end of the women's scratch race. she was followed by defending champion Yumari Gonzalez of Cuba and Belinda Goss of Australia.
Spain's Gema Pascual was brought down by New Zealand's Catherine Cheatley, who crashed in front of her. Cheatley got up and continued, but Pascual stayed down. She eventually got to her feet and left the track with what appeared a shoulder injury.
In the omnium, a kind of cycling pentathlon held over a single day, Hayden Godfrey of New Zealand took a strong hold on the competition in the early stages and never let go. Leigh Howard of Australia took the silver medal, while scratch champion Aliaksandr Lisouski of Belarus won the bronze.