Host Netherlands Wins Third Title at World Championships
The third day of competition at the 2018 UCI Track Cycling World Championships presented by Tissot, in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, saw the first multiple winners of these Championships. Kristina Vogel of Germany, who won the Team Sprint title earlier in the week won the women's Sprint title, tying her with the great Anna Meares for the most world titles, at 11. Kirsten Wild took the women's Omnium title for the host nation, adding to her Points Race title. Italy and Australia won the other two competitions for the day.
Wild was the dominant rider for the four event Omnium, winning the first, third and fourth events, for a total of 121 points. Amalie Dideriksen of Denmark, after a late race surge in the final Points Race moved up to second with 112 points, followed by Rushlee Buchanan of New Zealand in the bronze medal position with 106 points.
"I'm super, super happy," said Wild. "Yes, they [crowd] give me so much energy. It's amazing. Thank you everybody. I've trained so hard for this. All the people who helped me. It's really amazing that it worked out today. The way to win an Omnium is to stay at the front. If you're in the back you won't win. I think that's the only tactic that works."
The women's Sprint gold medal final saw Vogel go up against Stephanie Morton of Australia, the fastest qualifier in the competition. Vogel won the first heat, but Morton came back with a win in the second race, putting Vogel in the unusual situation of having to race a tie-breaker. The German rider controlled the final race from start to finish to win the title. Vogel's team mate Pauline Sophie Grabosch won the bronze medal in two straight rides over Lee Wai Sze of Hong Kong, China.
Asked about equally the record of Anna Meares, Vogel said, "At the moment and on this day I'm not counting. It was very hard at the end and it took me three final heats to get the gold medal. Today it took everything to make it to the finish line. I'm just proud to make this World title."
"She [Morton] is hard. She's in really good shape. I made a mistake in the second heat and sometimes there's a point of no return, when doing something and you have to try and do it to the end. I lost, but like I'm always saying, it takes two to win, so after the second race I kept saying 'I have to go, I have to go, just concentrate, just remember what you can', and here we are again."
Cameron Meyer of Australia successfully defended his title in the men's Points Race, a remarkable fifth time he has won this title. Meyer was clearly the strongest rider in the race, winning five intermediate sprints and taking two laps on the field, for a total of 70 points. Local Dutch fans saw their countryman Jan Willem van Schip win the silver medal with 52 points after taking the final sprint, while Mark Stewart of Great Britain won bronze with 49 points.
"It's special," Meyer said about his fifth title. "Every one of them is special when you win a gold medal in the World Championships. To win today was not easy. To be one of the favourites every time is a lot of pressure, but I enjoy it. I love the World Championships and to wear the Rainbow jersey again for another year, it's a special moment."
"There was a lot of laps taken. A lot of riders [were] doing very well out there. The Dutch, the Belgian, the British, lots of riders taking laps. I had to take multiple laps to win the race , but in the end I am very happy. It takes a lot. You need to be strong, the long distance, the sprints, tactical and that's what I love about it. It requires all the skills . Tonight I had pretty good legs and I was able to pull off the win."
The final title of the day was awarded in the men's Individual Pursuit, with Filippo Ganna taking the first gold medal of these Championships for Italy after a back-and-forth battle with Ivo Oliveira of Portugal. Alexander Evtushenko of Russia beat Charlie Tanfield of Great Britain for the bronze medal.