Day 4: The long-distance races: 10K points races (Juniors) & 20K eliminations-race (Seniors)
Long distance races...
Junior women: Colombia at the top again!
They were 37 ladies on the starting line, eager to fight for the gold during 25 laps. The pack was quiet dense and compact during the first laps of the race. While the best skaters were already fighting for points at the front, the weaker ones were slowly being outpaced by the peloton. Many girls tried their luck to go get points. A total of 17 different skaters had actually points at the arrival. Two Colombians (Fabriana Arias: 12 pts; Nathalia Giraldo: 4 pts), two French (Déborah Marchand: 5pts; Marie Poidevin: 2pts), two Koreans (Ga Ram Yu: 9 pts; So Yeong Lee: 3 pts), two Italians (Sofia D’Annibale: 5 pts; Giulia Lollobrigida: 2 pts), two Chileans (Daniela Tapi: 1 pt; Javiera San Martin: 1 pt), one Japanese (Mayo Goto : 2 pts), one Dutch (Annemarie Boer: 1 pt), one Portuguese (Dina Rodriguez : 1 pt), one Chinese Taipei (Yi Hsuan Liu: 7 pts), and one American (Dorian O’Neil: 1 pt). The race was intense, hard and fast. Colombian Fabriana Arias repeated her fine performance of Ascoli, getting once again the highest points total. However, she grabbed the gold with only one point clear of Jung Kuan Yong from China Taipei (11 pts). Ga Ram Yu came 3rd (9 pts).
Junior men: South Korea in gold! Denmark missed the bronze…
What a huge pack on the starting line! 52 Junior men took off for 25 laps around the palms of the road of San Benedetto del Tronto. In the very first laps of the race, the pack of skaters was quite huge. There were several skaters lined up in several parallel lines. A few skaters left behind were soon eliminated. In the front group, we quiet often saw strong skaters such as the Koreans Sang Cheol Lee and Hong Rae Jung and the Italian Alessio Paciolla. Danish Stefan Due Schmidt was also pretty tremendous during that race. 16 skaters managed to get at least one point. This was the case for the two Italians (Alessio Paciolla: 9 pts and Stefano Mareschi: 3 pts), the two French (Tomy Lepine: 5 pts and Aurélien Roumagnac: 2 pts), the two Chinese Taipei (Tsung Nan Lin: 5 pts and Yen Po Chen: 1 pt), the two Koreans (Sang Cheol Lee: 9 pts and Hong Rae Jung: 8pts), the Swiss (Livio Wenger: 6 pts), one Danish (Stefan Due Schmidt: 7 pts), one Colombian (Manuel Saavedra: 1 pt), one German (Thimo Kiesslich: 4 pts), one Dutch (Luc Ter Haar: 2 pts), one Mexican (Mike Paéz: 1 pt), one Venezuelan (Sebastian Paredes: 1 pt), and one Chilean (Hugo Ramirez: 2 pts). The skaters kept everyone in suspense until the very end of the race considering that about eight skaters were able to grab a medal until the final sprint! That sprint turned in favor of the two Koreans who finished 1st (Sang Cheol Lee) and 3rd (Hong Rae Jung) of the race. Italian Alessio Paciolla took the silver medal. Danish skater was not able to bring the first medal to his country, finishing at the worst place, coming further down the ranking in fourth place. What a quick and tough race for everyone!
It must be noted that Hong Rae Jung had won the points/eliminations race in Ascoli, letting his teammate, Sang Cheol Lee, become world champion on the road.
Senior women: Colombia again and again!
Senior women were 32 to take part in the 20K-eliminations-race (50 laps). The protocol of the race was as followed: one elimination every other lap, starting from the very beginning of the race; last lap with 8 people. In the first ten laps of the race, there were 2 lines of girls in parallel. The pack was compact and the first skaters were directly eliminated from the pack. None of them were left behind. Later on during the race, the skaters sped up, and the race got harder and harder. The difficult part in the race was to place yourself in good position in the peloton. But the road is so specific that you keep passing and getting passed, again and again, which is very tiring. 30 laps from the arrival, two skaters fell down, one Venezuelan and one Dutch. At midrace, the peloton was in one single long line. The more the skaters approached the arrival, the more the skaters fought and hit each other. The last eliminations were very tied. The German, Sabine Berg, was noticed by everyone for two reasons: first of all, she narrowly escaped from the last three or four eliminations; and second, she was the only one with yellow Matter wheels in the final sprint, whereas all the other skaters wore G13 wheels. It may just be an anecdote, but we were told that Sabine Berg wanted to skate with those yellow-wheels since she had won her world title on those wheels a few years ago…
Anyway, in the final sprint, Colombian Carolina Upegui was the fastest one, since she crossed the line just in front of Italian Francesca Lollobrigida and Kelly Martinez, also from Colombia.
On the track (15K-eliminations-race), Kelly Martinez had won the title and Carolina Upegui had finished 3rd. They switched places on the road, as for the South Koreans in the Junior men. Francesca Lollobrigida got the same medal.
Senior men: Europeans ahead!
The Senior men were the most numerous on the starting line. 58 skaters took off for the 20K-eliminations-race for the last race of the day. The protocol of the race was the same one as for the ladies except that there were one elimination each lap. At the beginning, a few skaters, such as the Turkish and the Pakistanis, were quickly left behind. Then, the peloton stayed compact until midrace. As for the women, the skaters were directly eliminated from the pack. 22 laps from the end of the race, Peter Michael unfortunately fell in the last corner before the arrival line, while he was one of the favorites. There were 15 laps left when the skaters finally lined up. The pace of the race accelerated until the end. 10 skaters took place in the final sprint, among them six Europeans (two French, two Italians, one Belgian and one Dutch), one Argentine, one Ecuadorian, one Chinese Taipei and one from the Dominican Republic. In the last lap, Alexis Contin (France) led the pack until the very last corner where his left feet slipped. He left a bit his balance and unwittingly bothered Fabio Francolini (Italy) who was just behind. Bart Swings took advantage of the situation and managed to cross the line in first position. Belgian skater grabbed his first gold medal of the championship. Fabio Francolini became 2nd and Alexis Contin became 3rd. It must be noted that the first five skaters of the race were Europeans. Colombia does not dominate this category.
Statistics of the finals of day 4
Long-distance-races : 10K points race (Juniors) – 20K eliminations race (Seniors)
Brief comments on long distances medals:
Colombia got two out of four possible titles and one bronze medal which is almost the same as on the track, as far as the same types of races are concerned. It got its titles and its bronze medal in the same categories as in the track. Whereas it had also the bronze in the Junior men, South Korea seemed to be stronger en the road.
South Korea actually also “kept” its title in Junior men as on the track. However it got one more medals since it had only grabbed two medals in Ascoli (gold and silver). On the road, it got three medals (one gold, and two bronze medals).
European skaters did quite the same on the road, when compared with the similar distances in each category on the track. They got five medals in total (as on the track), among which one title for Belgium, three silver medals for Italy and one bronze for France. Italy got one more medal than on the track.
Finally China Taipei got one medal.
LinksBy Léa Réguer-Petit
Photos : Daniel Busser