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2006 UCI Track World Championships Preview

April 6, 2006 – Only one week to go before the start of the UCI Track World Championships which will take place at the Bordeaux Lac Velodrome from 13 to 16 April, where nearly 300 athletes from 38 countries will be battling it out for one of the 15 rainbow jerseys awarded at this event.
Following the excellent 1998 edition, the 2006 event
promises to be another good year. All the 2005 World Champions will be taking part. Here is an idea of what to expect.

Ladies first
The battle is expected to be particularly exciting in the 500 m where the Olympic Champion and World record holder, Anna Meares will be aiming to regain the title she lost last year when she had been defeated by the Byelorussian rider, Natallia Tsylinskaya. In the points race, Olga Slyusareva (RUS) will also try to regain the title of the discipline she dominated since 2002. Vera Carrara (ITA) only managed to defeat her during last year’s World Championships. On homeground, Clara Sanchez will be attempting a hat-trick by aiming for a gold in the keirin event for the third-year running. To do this she needs to beat the Italian, Elisa Frisoni who will be hungry for revenge after having been beaten twice by the French rider.

Men’s events
In the keirin event, the Dutch will be the intimidating team. With Teun Mulder, outgoing champion, Théo Bos and Tim Weldt, it will be very unlikely to see them lose the title unless they are surprised by the Malaysian, Josiah NG, confident after his recent win in the World Cup general ranking or the Pole, Lukasz Kwiatkowski and even the Ukrainian rider, Andriy Vynokourov. However in the sprint the same Dutch riders will have to battle hard to get ahead of the Frenchmen, Mickaël Bourgain and Grégory Baugé who will be extremely motivated in a velodrome full of supporters who will be totally behind them.

The most open event will without doubt be the kilometre. The 2005 gold and silver medallists of the discipline will however not be in the line-up. This will give the British rider, Chris Hoy, third last year, a chance for victory unless the Australian, Ben Kersten, Olympic champion, or the French rider, François Pervis stand in his way. Exciting battles to look forward to in the individual pursuit. The 2004 and 2005 World Champions, Robert Bartko (GER) and Sergi Escobar Roure (ESP) should once again dominate the event but they need to watch out for the Czech, Ondrej Soseka, from the professional continental team Acqua Sapone and current hour record holder. Finally, the team events will be particularly exciting since the outcome is uncertain. Although the Netherlands and Great Britain may appear favourites to win both the pursuit and sprint, they have to be cautious of the French, German and Polish teams in the team sprint. Poland could obviously create a big surprise.

Eastern intervention could also determine the team
pursuit. The Ukraine and Russian teams, who will be wearing the winner’s World Cup jersey of the discipline, are expected to scoop first place.

Also to watch out for…
“¢ Victoria Pendleton, Anna Meares and Tamilia Abassova in the women’s sprint
“¢ The duel Alex Rasmussen-Gregory Henderson, 2004 and 2005 World Champions in the scratch event
“¢ The two Australians Katie Mactier and Katherine Bates competing against each other in the women’s individual pursuit which will be judged by the Swiss, Karin Thürig
“¢ The uncertain outcome of the Madison, men’s points race and women’s scratch

Finals Program
Thursday 13 April
“¢ 500m time trial
“¢ Women’s individual pursuit
“¢ Team sprint
“¢ Men’s points race
Friday 14 April
“¢ Women’s points race
“¢ Men’s individual pursuit
“¢ Kilometre time trial
“¢ Men’s keirin
Saturday 15 April
“¢ Men’s scratch
“¢ Women’s sprint
“¢ Team pursuit
Sunday 16 April
“¢ Women’s scratch
“¢ Men’s sprint
“¢ Madison
“¢ Women’s keirin

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