February 23, 2006 – Only a few days to go before the fourth and final round of the 2005-2006 UCI Track World Cup “˜Classics’ in Sydney. The overall team ranking and a number of individual rankings are still a long way from being decided. We take a look at what is at stake in this last international event before the UCI Track World Championships, which will be held in Bordeaux, France, from 13 to 16 April 2006. Team rankings: can the Dutch do it again? Winners in 2004-2005, the Netherlands is only a few points off Germany, current leader in the team rankings. Led by sprinters ThÃ©o Bos, Teun Mulder and Tim Veldt, the Dutch team seems poised to carry off the UCI Track World Cup “˜Classics’ trophy for the second year running. Watch out for the Russians, though, who won’t let slip the chance to win their first trophy. Individual rankings: several places yet to be decided In Sprint, victory is up for grabs between the Netherlands’ ThÃ©o Bos and Teun Mulder, Poland’s Lukasz Kwiatowski and Frenchman GrÃ©gory BaugÃ©.
The latter will be particularly confident after Los Angeles where he notched up his first individual win in the UCI Track Cycling World Cup “˜Classics’. Double stakes in the Kilometre race. Tim Veldt and Tomasz Schmidt will be trying to win the overall ranking and at the same time bag precious points for the team trophy competition. On home soil, Australian Ben Kersten will hope to confirm everyone’s expectations at the Dunc Gray Velodrome track, where he holds the speed record (80.36 km/h!). While the Dutch start as favourites in the Team Sprint event, they are too far behind in the overall ranking. The series will go to either Germany, Great Britain or Poland. The Netherlands, winner team of the 2004-2005 UCI Track Cycling World Cup “˜Classics’ In the men’s events, all eyes will be on the Keirin. As things currently stand, any one of six riders could emerge victorious: Ukrainian Andriy Vynokourov, the current leader, Spaniard JosÃ© Antonio Villanueva Trinidad, Dutchman Teun Mulder, Poland’s Lukasz Kwiatowski, Britain’s Jamie Staff or Malaysian Josiah Ng. It will be a fight to the end. In the women’s events, the outcome of the Points Race and Scratch is still hanging in the balance.
In the Points race, the final overall ranking should go to either China’s Li Yan or Cuba’s Yoanka Gonzalez. As for the Scratch, Ukrainian Lyudmyla Vypyraylo will try to hold on at the top of the overall ranking, a spot she has held since the Manchester event. The Netherlands’ Adrie Visser and Cuban Yoanka Gonzalez — again — could yet challenge her for the title unless Canadian Gina Grain has something up her sleeve. The revision of the track calendar The main objective of the reform “On Track to the Future” consisted in modifying the calendar of the discipline in order to guarantee better media coverage opportunities and thus increase the participation in the World Cup in particular.