USA’s Hammer takes gold at track cycling WC

February 20, 2013, 2:37 PM

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

MINSK, Belarus — Sarah Hammer of the United States grabbed her fifth gold medal, while Francois Pervis of France claimed his maiden title at the track cycling world championships on Wednesday.

Hammer, who twice won consecutive titles in the women’s individual pursuit — in 2006-07 and in 2010-11 — edged Amy Cure of Australia in a 3,000-meter race at Minsk Arena. Australian Annette Edmondson, the London Olympics bronze medallist, won the bronze ahead of Laura Brown of Canada.

Hammer, who won silver in London and was the world record-holder in the discipline, powered through the second half of the race and never looked back.

"Well, this is as usual, I guess, but it’s special every time," Hammer said of her victory. "In the qualifying it was quite well, but through the final everything could happen."

Pervis clocked 1 minute, 00.221 seconds, to be the only rider to finish four laps inside 1:01 in the men’s 1-kilometre time trial. Simon Van Velthooven of New Zealand, the bronze medallist last season, timed 1:00.869 for second. Joachim Eilers of Germany clocked 1:01.450 for third.

"I waited for this title for 11 long, long years," Pervis said. "And today I’m the champion and it’s the result of my work. I’m so happy."

Germany retained its title by beating China in the women’s team sprint, while Australia won the men’s team pursuit over Britain.

The German team of Miriam Welte and Kristina Vogel edged Gong Jinjie and Guo Shuang in a repeat of the Olympic final by 0.001 seconds when Vogel motored home with 250 metres left.

"It’s an amazing feeling to win it again," Vogel said.

The British team of Victoria Williamson and Rebecca Angharad James won bronze over Australia.

The men’s rematch of the London Olympics final didn’t feature the same result, as the Australian four of Glenn O’Shea, Alexander Edmonson, Michael Hepburn and Alexander Morgan, beat Olympic champions Steven Burke, Andrew Tennant and their new teammates Edward Clancy and Samuel Harrison by more than four seconds in the 4,000-meter race.

"It’s so fantastic for us," O’Shea said. "We knew it is going to be very close."

Denmark won bronze by beating Spain.

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