It was a case of mate vs mate when Kiwi sprinters Sam Webster and Ethan Mitchell went to a deciding third race to secure a spot in the semifinals of the individual sprint on the final day of the Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Cambridge.
Mitchell upset his Commonwealth Games gold medal teammate Webster in the deciding third ride to advance to the semifinals in the final session later today.
Meanwhile Kiwis Natasha Hansen and Olivia Podmore are through to the semifinals of the women’s keirin, and Regan Gough, a member of the winning New Zealand team pursuit, is seventh after two of four races in the omnium at the Avantidrome.
Polish champion Mateusz Rudyk, 23, was fastest qualifier in 9.638s which broke the All Comers record by 4/100ths of a second.
Both New Zealand riders, Webster and Mitchell, clocked the same time of 9.692s to be fourth and fifth fastest respectively, to bypass the first round and move to the 1/8th round. Australians Nathan Hart and Jacob Schmid were second and third fastest respectively.
Poland’s Mateusz and Australia’s Nathan Hart progressed to the semifinals in two straight rides, while talented Frenchman Sebastien Vigier fought back to edge Schmid in the decider of their quarterfinal.
Mitchell lost his first round quarterfinal against Webster, but fought back to win the next two races and progress to the semifinal.
Individual scratch race winner Christos Volikakis followed up on that form by winning the scratch race that opened the men’s omnium competition.
The Greek rider made his move three laps from the finish to power home, with New Zealand’s Regan Gough working his way from the inside on to the wheel of Volikakis to come home in second.
Seven riders put a lap on the field to head the points in the tempo race won by Italian Liam Bertazzo, with Gough in 15th place.
After two of the four disciplines, Japan’s Eiya Hashimoto leads on 74 points from Claudio Imhof (SUI) on 70 and Bertazzo and Raman Tsishkou (BLR) on 66, while Gough is seventh on 50 points. The elimination and points races are on the evening programme.
World champion Nicky Degrendele of Belgium has scrapped into the semi-finals of the women’s Keirin, narrowly coming through a repechage to advance.
After being beaten in her heat by American Madalyn Godby and New Zealand’s Natasha Hansen, Degrendele held on for third place in the repechage to progress.
Fresh from winning the sprint title yesterday, Hong Kong’s Lee Wai-Sze continued her strong form, pipping Great Britain’s Katy Marchant on the line as both riders advanced straight through to the semis.
New Zealand’s Olivia Podmore, riding for the Subway NZ Trade Team, produced a well-timed ride to also go directly to the semi-finals, finishing just behind France’s Mathilde Gros in heat three.
CAPTION: Sam Webster checks on teammate Ethan Mitchell in their quarterfinal clash on the final day of the Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Cambridge. (Credit: Guy Swarbrick)