Flying Friedrich brings Germany gold; Dygert shatters pursuit WR

By Derek Wilson, dpa

Lea Sophie Friedrich produced a storming second lap to win gold for Germany in the 500-metre time trial at the world track cycling championships on Saturday.

American Chloe Dygert cut her own world record twice in winning the women’s individual pursuit, there was a fifth victory for the Netherlands in the women’s Madison and France’s Benjamin Thomas triumphed in the men’s Omnium.

The 20-year-old Friedrich trailed Mexico’s Jessica Salazar after her first lap but dug deep in front of home fans in Berlin to win in 33.121 seconds.

Salazer was knocked into silver for her first global medal, just 0.033 seconds behind, while bronze went to Italy’s Miriam Vece, 5 hundredths off the pace.

Defending champion Daria Shmeleva finished only sixth.

“I cannot describe it,” said Friedrich. “I am so proud that we could rock it.”

Germany now have three golds, all from women’s speed events in a rerun of the recent Kristina Vogel/Miriam Welt era.

“We have trained hard. You can’t give one reason for our strengths,” said Friedrich. “We are simply so fast. But it is all so close. The competition is really strong, they all ride insane times.”

Friedrich had already won gold as part of the team sprint earlier in the championships. Team-mate Pauline Grabosch missed out on the medals in fourth despite topping the timesheets in qualifying.

Dygert took nearly 3 seconds off her world record in qualifying, a jump so large organizers took time to double check there hadn’t been a timing error.

She then posted 3 minutes 16.937 seconds over 3 kilometres to win her third world title in the discipline – around 3.5 seconds quicker than her 3:20.060 minutes to win in 2018.

“Last year I had the goal of getting a [three minutes] 15 or 16 so I got that at least, a 16,” said Dygert. “Today I really wanted to get a [three] 14 so I’m a little bummed! But to win is always good.”

Dygert missed 2019 with injury and believes there is more to come.

“My all-time goal I want to break 3:10 [minutes],” she said, noting the further development of equipment technology would help her.

Germany’s Lisa Brennauer was well beaten into silver in 3:23.229 minutes, around 5 seconds off her national record from qualifying.

Franziska Brausse defeated Lisa Klein in an all-German fight for bronze.

Thomas dominated to win his second Omnium worlds gold after taking silver last year.

He made the decisive break in the elimination race, the third of four events, and held on through the final points race to win on 158.

Both Thomas and Dutch silver medallist Jan Willem von Schip (135 points) lapped the field late on as did Briton Matthew Walls, for whom it was crucial in lifting him to bronze on 117.

Titleholder Campbell Stewart of New Zealand and Olympic champion Elia Viviani of Italy were never in medal contention.

Dutch duo Kirsten Wild and Amy Pieters retained their Madison rainbows having led from the start in a typically chaotic points race.

They were never seriously threatened over 30 kilometres en route to a winning tally of 36 with all points picked up in the sprints – no nation managed to lap the field.

France won the final sprint, worth double points, to take silver on 24 ahead of third-placed Italy on 20.

The Madison is back on the Olympic programme in Tokyo later this year after being cut from the last two Games – with the Dutch now favourites.

“We trained firstly for this world championships,” said Pieters. “The Olympic Games are the next step.”

In the men’s sprint, defending champion Harrie Lavreysen of the Netherlands cruised into Sunday’s semi-finals but British Olympic champion Jason Kenny crashed out.

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