A blistering final 1km helped Marc Ryan secure a thrilling bronze medal in the men’s individual pursuit on day two of the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Colombia.
Ryan, who also took bronze as part of New Zealand’s men’s team pursuit team on day one, repelled a mid-race charge from Irishman Ryan Mullen to ride to victory in 4:22.895 in the race off for the minor medal.
Over the first kilometre the Timaru rider opened up a lead of more than a second, before Mullen slowly reeled in the Kiwi to within a tenth of a second at 3km.
However, the 31-year-old Ryan would not be denied and a stunning final 1km of 1:04.964 opened up a decisive advantage to take his second medal of the championships some 1.731 clear of his Irish rival.
In the final, Australia landed a fourth successive world title in the men’ s Individual Pursuit as Alexander Edmondson staved off a late charge from Switzerland’s Stefan Kueng to win by a margin of 0.413 in 4:22.582.
New Zealand has now won a medal in four of the past editions of the World Championships in the individual pursuit.
Ryan, who had earlier qualified third fastest in a time of 4:21.865, said: “With the changing conditions here and I have not done any specific training for the individual pursuit, I was unsure of where I stood this morning, so took the qualifying a little conservatively. So I am a bit disappointed at not getting to the gold medal ride.
“That said I am really pleased to have an individual event medal at the world championships.
“I knew I had to start faster tonight and put some pressure on and I knew I would crack him which happened in the final kilo.”
Elsewhere, there was disappointment for Olympic bronze medallist Simon van Velthooven in the men’s Keirin after he was disqualified for fractionally passing the back wheel of the derny bike in the first lap of the second heat in round two.
The Manawatu rider comfortably advanced with a heat victory in the opening round, but his quest came to an abrupt end with the race stopped and van Velthooven disqualified. In the Kiwi’s absence from the men’s Keirin final, Francois Pervis of France took gold.
Sprint coach Anthony Peden admitted after the highs of New Zealand striking team sprint gold yesterday, Van Velthooven’s disqualification was a huge disappointment.
“The keirin can be a lottery but that said I didn’t agree with the decision. I think there’s an inconsistency and a harshness in the penalty. By overlapping the back wheel of the motorbike it is an automatic disqualification – no warning or even a relegation.
“The final for seventh to 12th place had three riders in it – that’s not doing the sport too much good. Simon took the decision very well and very professionally.”
Teenager Dylan Kennett finished a respectable seventh in the final of the men’s Scratch race - a lap down on the gold medallist Ivan Kovalev of Russia. The Waimate rider had yesterday won bronze as part of the New Zealand team pursuit quartet.
Earlier today, Eddie Dawkins (Southland) was eliminated from after the first round repechage of the men’s keirin after picking up a mild groin strain as a result of his heroic efforts in winning the Team Sprint world title last night.
Meanwhile, Shane Archbold (Timaru) finished eighth in qualification for the men’s individual pursuit in a time 4:23.709.
Tomorrow at the Velodromo Alcides Nieto Patino sees Auckland’s Aaron Gate open the defence of his world omnium title as he competes in the flying lap, points race and elimination race on day one of the gruelling two-day multi discipline event.
Also returning to the track will be van Velthooven, who will be in the medal hunt in the men’s 1,000m time trial. The 25-year-old landed a bronze in the 2012 World Championships and silver in the 2013 edition and will be hoping to go one better and climb the top of the podium in Cali.
Tom Scully (Southland) makes his first appearance of the 2014 World Championships in the men’s points race.
After the completion of two days of the five-day event New Zealand have snared three medals, two short of their record breaking total of five achieved in 2012.
Men’s 4000m individual pursuit: Gold medal: Alexander Edmondson (AUS) 4:22.582, 1; Stefan Kueng (SUI) 4:22.995, 2. Bronze medal: Marc Ryan (NZL) 4:22.895, 3; Ryan Mullen (IRL) 4:24.624, 4.
Qualifying: Edmondson 4:21.003, 1; Kueng 4:21.203, 2; Ryan 4:21.865, 3. Also: Shane Archbold (NZL) 4:34.709, 7.
Men’s Keirin, first round, heat 2: Fabian Puerta (COL) 1; Hugo Barrette (CAN) 2, Maximilan Levy (GER) 3. Also: Eddie Dawkins (NZL) 6. Heat 3: Simon van Velthooven (NZL) 1, Matthijs Buchli (NED) 2, Tobias Wachter (GER) 3.
Repechage: heat 1: Matthew Glaetzer (AUS) 1, Christos Volokakis (GRE) 2, Kian Emadi (GER) 3. Also: Dawkins 4.
Second round, heat 2: Joachim Eliers (GER) 1, Puerta 2, Buchli 3. Also: Van Velthooven dsq.
Scratch race, 15km: Ivan Kovalev (RUS) 1, Martyn Irvine (IRL) 2, King Lok Cheung (HKG) 3. Also: Dylan Kennett (NZL) 7.
CAPTION: (3459) Marc Ryan in action on the way to the bronze medal in the individual pursuit, while (3827) Simon van Velthooven celebrates his win in the first round of the men’s keirin. He was disqualified in the second round.
Photo courtesy: Guy Swarbrick/BikeNZ