by Stephanie Gutowski and Lyne Lamoureux

Ukraine wins the Women's Team Pursuit, USA takes bronze

The three Ukrainian team composed of Yelizaveta Bochkarova, Svitlana Galyuk and Lesya Kalitovska won the third road of the World Cup Women's Team Pursuit by beating the Russian team of Evgeniya Romanyuta, Olga Slyusareva and Elena Tchalykh. Winners in Beijing last month, the Ukrainian team took over the World Cup leadership from the Russian with just one World Cup remaining this year.

After the first kilometer, Ukraine was already ahead of Russia by over one second (1:564), and the gap increased to almost two seconds (1:909) after the second kilometer. Finally, after the final third kilometer, the Ukrainian women's advantage grew to two seconds and a half (2:580).

The American team composed of Kristin Armstrong, Lauren Franges and Christen King beat the German team of Charlotte Becker, Christina Becker and Verena Joos to win the third step on the podium. The American team made it to the final round by finishing fourth in the qualifying heats with a time of 3:35:946 with an average speed of 50.012 k/hr.

"In the qualifying we had Armstrong taking 2 lap pulls. She was by far the strongest of the three of us. For us, being mainly endurance riders, it's easier for us in the second round... to flush everything out in the first round." said Lauren Franges on the difference between the qualifying and final rounds.

In the head to head race for third place, the American team pulled out in front in the first kilometer with a small gap of a third of a second (0:306) which decreased to 0:041 after the second kilometer. The American trio finished with a time of 3:31:453 with a small gap of 0:067 ahead of the German team.

A very happy Franges after the podium ceremony confided that "It feels awesome you know having a former world TT rider on the team... it's a lot of pressure so we knew we had to really step up our game coming into the final. I knew we had to leave everything out on the track."

Kristin Armstrong could not attend the podium ceremony and according to Franges, "She is okay. The effort she put in took a lot out of her but she's okay."

Women's Team Pursuit
1. Ukraine 3:27.438
2. Russia 3:30.018
3. USA 3:31.453

Italy's Roberto Chiappa win the Men's Sprint

Roberto Chiappa easily won the final of the Men's Sprint beating Frenchman Kévin Sireau of Cofidis in two rounds. The Italian made it to the final by eliminating Shane Kelly, Mickaël Bourgain et Teun Mulder.

Chiappa was very confident going into the final. "My condition this week is very strong. I had good feeling for the keirin yesterday, and today my condition was getting better all the time, stronger for each qualification heat, " he explained. "But it was not easy because I respect my opponents."

Second-place Kévin Sireau made it to the final by beating, in three rounds, his countryman Grégory Baugé in the semi-finals.

"Again, I pushed my limits, I learned a lot compared to the two last World Cups, and it was pretty hard especially against Gregory (Baugé). Three qualifying rounds before starting the final makes it very hard" said Sireau.

When asked about his goals for the year, Sireau replied "everything (World Championships and Olympic Games). I hope to go to the Olympic games, but the selection is difficult given the talent."

With his win in Sydney and his fifth place finish in Los Angeles, Mickaël Bourgain of France kept the lead in the World Cup standings.

Men's Sprint
1. Roberto Chiappa (ITA)
2. Kévin Sireau (FRA)
3. Teun Mulder (NED)

Jennie Reed wins the Women's Keirin

American Jennie Reed, of the Momentum Cycling Team, won the final heat on the Women's Keirin ahead of the Netherlands' Willy Kanis, China's Jinjie Gond, Cuba's Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez. Russia's Swetlana Grankowskaja and Australia's Anna Meares. "I love the keirin. I have a good feeling for it, and I ride on instinct." said a very happy Reed after the podium ceremony.

"I think I got more feeling in my legs, I knew what I was capable of today." explained Reed who won both her first and second qualifying heats to make it to the final. "In the morning session, I did not feel that well. Tonight I felt better, I knew I had the legs. I just thought I'd go out there and be patient. I read the race and decided to go for it."

"It really helps because I train here every day. I know the best position to be in... it's really hard here to pass if you are too many people back. I knew that I am strong for long sprints so they would have to worry about me. I know that if I got on the front they would have trouble getting around." said Reed about the advantage of racing with home-court advantage.

Reed's next focus is the World Championship in England. "I'd like to win the World title in the Keirin in Manchester."

With her win last month in Beijing, her seventh place finish in Sydney, and her second place finish in Los Angeles, Dutch Willy Kanis takes over the lead in the World Cup Standings.

Women's Keirin
1. Jennie Reed (USA)
2. Willy Kanis (NED)
3. Jinjie Gong (CHN)

Belgian duo wins the Men's Madison

The Belgian duo of Kenny De Ketele and Tim Mertens won the Men's Madison with 8 points and more importantly by taking a lap over their opponents early in the race.

"It was kind of a plan of me and the coach but Tim didn't really know about it because I was planning to do the attack." explained Kenny de Ketele about the team's strategy to lap the field early on.

"He (Tim Mertens) needs something like that because sometimes he is too ... nervous when he knows. He's better just following through a race and he did a great job." continued twenty-year old De Ketele about surprising his teammate.

A laughing Mertens chimed in, while mimicking the madison exchange move, "He said 'surprise' and I said 'asshole'."

At the end of the race, the Belgian team finished ahead of Denmark's Michael Morkov and Alex Rasmussen and Germany's Roger Kluge and Olaf Pollack.

"We gained our lap and they gave us some space to do some recuperation and after that we just had to keep our lap in front of the group, and then with 40 or 50 laps to go I watched our points. We also were very high in points, so I know that there were only two teams that we didn't want them to get a lap because they were better on points, and that was just one of the teams that went on the attack at the end so we just knew we had to go and just keep going." explained De Ketele on the strategy after the duo lapped the field.

With this win, Belgium takes the top of the standings in the World Cup Men's Madison, and the team is "definitely defending the World Cup Madison title in Denmark."

"For the Olympics Madison and Worlds, we have three riders, we have also Iljo Keisse, he's actually our top rider. It's kind of between Tim and me to get the second place but it's really a friendly competition." said De Ketele about the upcoming Olympic Games. "All of us went for it and we're still in the race to get team pursuit into the Olympics and that's our next goal."

Men's Madison
1. Belgium 8
2. Denmark 18, -1
3. Germany 12, -1

Quotes and Photos from the podium at the LA Track World Cup Day2