UCI Track Worlds Day 3: Golds for GB through storming rides from Simon Yates and Jason Kenny

Yates wins points race at age of 20, while Kenny succeeds Chris Hoy to rainbow jersey in the keirin

by Simon_MacMichael   February 22, 2013  

Minsk 2013 gold medal and rainbow jersey (copyright Britishcycling.org.uk)

Storming rides from Simon Yates in the points race and Jason Kenny in the keirin have seen Great Britain take their gold medal tally to three at the 2013 UCI Track World Championships on the third day of competition in Minsk.

Yates, aged just 20 and coached by 2002 world points champion Chris Newton, rode a superb race, getting into every significant move to leave himself one point adrift of Spain’s Eloy Teruel ahead of the final sprint and timing his move to perfection inside the last couple of laps to overhaul him.

"I can’t believe it really,” reflectd Yates. “I tried to save it early on, it’s a long race, there’s no point spending all your money in the first half, I saved my energy. I was pretty nervous before the start, I’d like to say I rode it quite clever. Things went my way.

“It fell perfectly to how I wanted to ride it. It was a bit touch and go in the last few laps, luckily I had the gas in the end.”

Shortly afterward Yates had won his title, Jason Kenny came off the last bend in the keirin final to pass last year’s runner-up, Germany’s Maximilian Levy, and succeed Sir Chris Hoy as world champion.

"It's an unbelievable feeling,” said Kenny, who had earlier had to come through the reperchage where he faced riders including Great Britain's other representative, Matt Crampton, the pair having also faced each other in the first round.

In the second round, Kenny again looked like he had missed out on progressing until Francois Pervis of France was relegated, the Briton admitting he had got "a bit lucky ."

Reflecting on the final, where he had initially looked boxed in but found a gap to leave him in a very strong position at the bell to challenge for the win, he said: "It was a dream ride. I couldn't have written it any better if I'd tried. It's good to be in that position and take my opportunity."

Again, he admitted that he had enjoyed "a little bit of good fortune, getting on Levy's wheel. He just committed everything.

"He was obviously feeling really confident and fair play to him - he was going really quick. Luckily I just had a little bit in the tank to roll him when it mattered, at the very death.”

In Melbourne last year, Kenny had taken bronze behind Hoy and Levy, but the one rider per country rule introduced for individual track events at London 2012 meant he sat the event out as Hoy took the sixth gold medal of his careeer.

Becky James, meanwhile, is into the semi finals of the women’s individual sprint tomorrow, and is therefore guaranteed to be riding for a medal of some description, beating three-time world team sprint champion Kaarle McCulloch of Australia in the quarter final.

In the other event decided today, Katarzyna Pawłowska of Poland retained her title in the women's scratch race, with Mexico's Sofia Arreola second and Russia's Evgenia Romanyuta third. Great Britain's Dani King, who yesterday helped retain the women's team pursuit title, was sixth.

Tomorrow's schedule, plus details of TV and online coverage, is:

BBC coverage: 17:15-19:00 on BBC Two and online, 16:00 GMT on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra. Highlights on the Red Button from 21:00-23:15 GMT
   
Morning   
М - Sprint 200 m t.t. (24) Qualifying  
M - Omnium Ⅳ Individual Pursuit 4 km  
M - Sprint 1/6 Final  
W -Sprint 1/2 Final 1st heat  
W - Omnium Ⅰ Flying lap  
M - Sprint 1/8 Final  
W - Sprint 1/2 Final 2nd heat  
M - Omnium Ⅴ Scratch 15 km  
M - Sprint Rep. 1/8  
W - Sprint 1/2 Final (3rd i.r.)  
W - Omnium Ⅱ Points race 20 km  
   
Evening   
М - Sprint 1/4 Final (1st)  
W - Sprint Finals 3-4 & 1-2 (1st)  
W - Points Race 25 km Final  
М  - Sprint 1/4 Final (2nd)  
W - Sprint Finals 3-4 &1-2 (2nd)  
M - Omnium Final Kilometre t.t.  
W - Points Race 25 km Award ceremony  
М - Sprint 1/4 Final (3rd i.r.)  
W - Sprint Finals 3-4 & 1-2 (3rd i.r.)  
M - Omnium Award ceremony  
W - Sprint Award ceremony  
М - Sprint 5th to 8th places  
W - Omnium Ⅲ Elimination