FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Track Worlds 2016 – Sprint glory for New Zealand

Posted in England, London by folkestonejack on March 2, 2016

The opening day of the UCI Track Cycling World Championships brought me back to the velodrome in the Olympic Park at Stratford almost four years on from my first visit for a test event ahead of London 2012. I’ve been back a few times since then but rarely has it looked quite so good as tonight, dressed in the world championship rainbow colours and with a full crowd in attendance.

A drummer added to a lively opening ceremony

A drummer added to a lively opening ceremony

The evening saw the award of the first world championship jerseys to Rebecca Wiasak (Australia) for the Women’s Individual Pursuit; Sebastian Mora Vedri (Spain) for the Men’s Scratch Race; Anastasiia Voinova and Daria Shmeleva (Russia) for the Women’s Team Sprint and Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster and Eddie Dawkins (New Zealand) for the Men’s Team Sprint.

The final of the Men’s Team Sprint was particularly thrilling as the Dutch team’s strong start took them into a slender lead over the New Zealanders which they maintained into the last lap. The supreme efforts of Eddie Dawkins turned that around and gave the New Zealanders victory with a margin of two-tenths of a second (43.257 against 43.469).

Sam Webster celebrates after victory for New Zealand in the Team Sprint

Sam Webster celebrates after victory for New Zealand in the Team Sprint

It was a good reminder to me of all the reasons that I love track cycling and also, crucially, how much better it is to see live – particularly in the endurance races where things are going off on every part of the track but the camera can only focus on one (and is often slow to pick up on the start of a move).

I am here for three evenings in a row, which seemed a little mad when I booked the tickets a year ago but which makes perfect sense now that I am in the stands. The atmosphere, the spectacle and the opportunity to scream your lungs out (which I never do anywhere else) – it’s just perfect.

Results

Women’s Individual Pursuit
Men’s Scratch Race
Women’s Team Sprint
Men’s Team Sprint

Gallery

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