Track Worlds Day 4: Ganna wins individual pursuit after tight battle with Bigham

Italy’s Filippo Ganna celebrates winning the elite men’s Individual Pursuit
Italy’s Filippo Ganna celebrates winning the elite men’s Individual Pursuit (Image credit: Getty Images)

Men's Individual Pursuit

Italy’s Filippo Ganna won the elite men’s individual pursuit on day 4 of the UCI World Track Championships at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow. The current world record holder, set at last year’s Track Worlds, celebrated his second consecutive rainbow jersey in the discipline, and his sixth title since 2016.

In the gold medal round, Ganna clocked a time of 4:01.976 over the 4km race, besting Daniel Bigham (Great Britain) by 0:00.054 seconds. Silver medalist Bigham set the fastest pace for the first three time-checks, extending his lead from 0.7 seconds after one kilometer to 2.3 seconds after 3 kilometres. It looked like an upset was in the making but Ganna blasted to the victory in the final kilometre as Bigham faded.

The bronze was taken by Jonathan Milan (Italy) who edged out Ivo Oliveira (Portugal). 

Ganna set the fastest time in the qualification round with the four riders finishing in the same placings as qualification in the final medal contests.

The scheduling of the UCI combined Worlds forced Ganna to pick the early track events, including the individual pursuit which was held on the same day as the elite men’s road race won by Mathieu van der Poel (Netherlands).

With an eye on the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, Ganna and Milan decided to focus on the pursuit events.  Ganna and his compatriots took the silver in the Team Pursuit won by Denmark on Saturday.

His racing is not done as Ganna will compete in the elite men’s time trial, part of the Road World Championships, on August 11. 

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Men's Individual Pursuit results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Filippo Ganna (Italy)4:01.976
2Daniel Bigham (Great Britain)4:02.030
3Jonathan Milan (Italy) 4:05.868
4Ivo Manuel Alves Oliveira (Portugal) 4:08.469
5Tobias Buck-Gramcko (Germany)Row 4 - Cell 2
6Conor Leahy (Australia)Row 5 - Cell 2
7Oliver Bleddyn (Australia)
8Felix Gross (Germany)
9Chris Ernst (Canada)
10Manlio Moro (Italy)
11Thomas Sexton (New Zealand)
12Corentin Ermenault (France)
13Claudio Imhof (Switzerland)
14Kacper Majewski (Poland)
15Kazushige Kuboki (Japan)
16Niccolo Galli (Italy)Row 15 - Cell 2
17Michael Foley (Canada)Row 16 - Cell 2

Women's Elimination Race

Lotte Kopecky of Belgium won the elite women’s elimination race at the UCI World Track Championships for the second year in a row. Strong form clearly still in place from her second place at the Tour de France Femmes, Kopecky beat out Valentine Fortin (France) and Jennifer Valente (United States) for the rainbow jersey.

Kopecky avoided a three-rider crash early in the race and maintained her position. Italy’s Rachele Barbieri was the penultimate rider to be dropped, leaving Kopecky, Fortin and Valente to battle it out for the podium.  After Valente was gone on the next lap, Kopecky showed her sprinting prowess to take the victory at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow.

This is Kopecky’s fifth gold medal across four Track Worlds, having taken the title in the madison (2017, 2022), points race (2021), and elimination race (2022, 2023).

The Belgian champion has more racing on her schedule at the unified Cycling World Championships with the points race (August 8) and omnium (August 9) at Track Worlds and finally the elite women’s road race on August 13 to conclude the UCI World Road Championships. She will not defend her madison title.

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Women's elimination race results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lotte Kopecky (Belgium)Row 0 - Cell 2
2Valentine Fortin (France)Row 1 - Cell 2
3Jennifer Valente (United States)Row 2 - Cell 2
4Rachele Barbieri (Italy)Row 3 - Cell 2
5Elinor Barker (Great Britain)Row 4 - Cell 2
6Olivija Baleisyte (Lithuania)Row 5 - Cell 2
7Sarah van Dam (Canada)
8Anita Yvonne Stenberg (Norway)
9Lea Lin Teutenberg (Germany)
10Yareli Acevedo Mendoza (Mexico)
11Ebtissam Zayed Ahmed (Egypt)
12Patrycja Lorkowska (Poland)
13Maho Kakita (Japan)
14Gabriela Bartova (Czech Republic)
15Argyro Milaki (Greece)
16Marit Raaijmakers (Netherlands)Row 15 - Cell 2
17Alžbeta Bacikova (Slovakia)Row 16 - Cell 2
18 Nafosat Kozieva (Uzbekistan)Row 17 - Cell 2
19Chloe Moran (Australia)Row 18 - Cell 2
20 Emily Shearman (New Zealand)Row 19 - Cell 2
21Lena Mettraux (Switzerland)Row 20 - Cell 2
22Emily Kay (Ireland)Row 21 - Cell 2
23Laura Rodriguez Cordero (Spain)Row 22 - Cell 2

Women's Keirin

Ellesse Andrews of New Zealand stunned the pre-race favourites by winning the women’s keirin at Track Worlds. 

“This has been a dream for a long, long time. My last rainbow jersey was in elite juniors in 2017 so I have been pushing for this one for a long time and super-proud to bring it home for New Zealand this year,” said Andrews.

“The key was absolutely that push to stay in the lead around the bend. That last acceleration on the back straight was absolutely everything I had and from there honestly it was holding on as best I could because Martha was coming at me.

“It was not until that photo finish was confirmed that I was sure but it has still not sunk in."

She beat Martha Bayona (Colombia) by one hundredth of a second in the final sprint to the line. Two-time world champion Lea Sophie Friedrich (Germany) took bronze. 

The six riders battling for gold in the final also included Hetty van der Wouw (Netherlands), Nicky Degrendele (Belgium) and Mathilde Gros (France).

Andrews won her heat on the first round as did Friedrich, Bayona, Kristina Clonan (Australia) and Emma Finucane (Great Britain).  The New Zealander finished second to Emma Hinze (Germany) in the quarterfinals and second to Friedrich in the semi-finals.

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Women's keirin results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ellesse Andrews (New Zealand)Row 0 - Cell 2
2Martha Bayona (Colombia)Row 1 - Cell 2
3Lea Sophie Friedrich (Germany)Row 2 - Cell 2
4Hetty van der Wouw (Netherlands)Row 3 - Cell 2
5Nicky Degrendele (Belgium)Row 4 - Cell 2
6Mathilde Gros (France)Row 5 - Cell 2
7Kristina Clonan (Australia)
8Steffie van der Peet (Netherlands)
9Kelsey Mitchell (Canada)
10Alessa-Catriona Propster (Germany)
11Riyu Ohta (Japan)
12Emma Hinze (Germany)
13Lauriane Genest (Canada)
13Luz Daniela Gaxiola Gonzalez (Mexico)
13Mina Sato (Japan)
16Katy Marchant (Great Britain)Row 15 - Cell 2
16Miriam Vece (Italy)Row 16 - Cell 2
16Emma Finucane (Great Britain)Row 17 - Cell 2
19Veronika Jabornikova (Czech Republic)Row 18 - Cell 2
19 Helena Casas Roige (Spain)Row 19 - Cell 2
19Cho Yiu Yeung (Hong Kong)Row 20 - Cell 2
19Marlena Karwacka (Poland)Row 21 - Cell 2
23Taky Marie Divine Kouame (France)Row 22 - Cell 2
23Fuko Umekawa (Japan)Row 23 - Cell 2
23Nurul Izzah Izzati Mohd Asri (Malaysia)Row 24 - Cell 2
23Urszula Los (Poland)Row 25 - Cell 2

Men's Omnium

Iuri Leitao gave Portugal their first world title in track cycling in the men's Omnium in Glasgow on Sunday, combining raw power and clever tactics to steal the show from the better known contenders.

The 25-year-old snuck away in the Scratch Race to take the win in the first event in the morning session, with Oliver Wood (Great Britain) taking the sprint for second. Then, in the Tempo Race where points are available on each lap, Leitao attacked from the gun, swept up all the early points before lapping the field, ending the race with a sizeable lead on Spaniard Sebastian Mora.

Riding a savvy Elimination Race, Leitao held on til the final three, surging ahead to push Kelland O'Brien (Australia) out but missing the final sprint to New Zealand's Campbell Stewart.

The Portuguese rider only had to watch his nearest rivals in the points race, letting the lower ranked riders lap the field and only going with the threatening moves. Shunsuke Imamura (Japan) lapped the field four times to move into second but lost out to Benjamin Thomas (France) in the final sprint and fell to third. Fabio van den Bossche (Belgium) gained the most points with five laps but finished eighth overall.

"For us it's a really important step," Leitao said according to Reuters.

"We have a little bit more than a decade of track cycling and being the world champion of, in my opinion, the biggest race in the UCI World Championships is unbelievable. It's really a big step up for us."

Asked how he had responded to the pressure of leading the competition, he said: "I didn't feel too good after the elimination race so I tried to take it a little bit easy in the points race. I had a big gap so I could manage a little bit the points and after that it was full gas 12 kilometres."

The gold medal bodes well for Portugal's future in track cycling and for Leitao with the Olympic Games coming next summer.

"When I started in the track, we had a small team. Now we have a lot of young riders so I think we have given a little bit of motivation for them.

"And it's really good to be to be a world champion in giving the hope to the new generation."

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1LEITAO Iuri40
2Oliver Wood (Great Britain)38
3Tim Torn Teutenberg (Germany)36
4Vincent Hoppezak (Netherlands)34
5Dylan Bibic (Canada)32
6Niklas Larsen (Denmark)30
7Campbell Stewart (New Zealand)28
8Shunsuke Imamura (Japan)26
9Benjamin Thomas (France)24
10Sebastian Mora Vedri (Spain)22
11Elia Viviani (Italy)20
12Kelland O'Brien (Australia)18
13Tim Wafler (Austria)16
14Daniel Crista (Romania)14
15Alan Banaszek (Poland)12
16Artyom Zakharov (Kazakhstan)10
17Fabio van den Bossche (Belgium)8
18Valere Thiebaud (Switzerland)8
19Gavin Hoover (United States of America)8
20Ricardo Pena Salas (Mexico)2
21Ka yu Leung (Hong Kong)DNF
22Bernard Benyamin van Aert (Indonesia)DNF
23Akil Campbell (Trinidad & Tobago)DNF
24Ahmed Almansoori (United Arab Emirates)DNF
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Tempo Race
RankRider (Country)Points
1Iuri Leitao (Portugal)40
2Sebastian Mora Vedri (Spain)38
3Shunsuke Imamura (Japan)36
4Niklas Larsen (Denmark)34
5Benjamin Thomas (France)32
6Fabio van den Bossche (Belgium)30
7Dylan Bibic (Canada)28
8Vincent Hoppezak (Netherlands)26
9Elia Viviani (Italy)24
10Alan Banaszek (Poland)22
11Oliver Wood (Great Britain)20
12Tim Torn Teutenberg (Germany)18
13Tim Wafler (Austria)16
14Campbell Stewart (New Zealand)14
15Valere Thiebaud (Switzerland)12
16Gavin Hoover (United States of America)10
17Ricardo Pena Salas (Mexico)8
18Daniel Crista (Romania)6
19Ahmed Almansoori (United Arab Emirates)4
20Akil Campbell (Trinidad & Tobago)2
21Kelland o Brien (Australia)1
22Artyom Zakharov (Kazakhstan)1
23Ka yu Leung (Hong Kong)1
24Bernard Benyamin van Aert (Indonesia)1
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Elimination Race
1Campbell Stewart (New Zealand)40
2Iuri Leitao (Portugal)38
3Kelland o Brien (Australia)36
4Dylan Bibic (Canada)34
5Vincent Hoppezak (Netherlands)32
6Sebastian Mora Vedri (Spain)30
7Tim Torn Teutenberg (Germany)28
8Oliver Wood (Great Britain)26
9Benjamin Thomas (France)24
10Elia Viviani (Italy)22
11Shunsuke Imamura (Japan)20
12Tim Wafler (Austria)18
31Fabio van den Bossche (Belgium)16
14Artyom Zakharov (Kazakhstan)14
15Akil Campbell (Trinidad & Tobago)12
16Bernard Benyamin van Aert (Indonesia)10
17Gavin Hoover (United States of America)8
18Valere Thiebaud (Switzerland)6
19Ricardo Pena Salas (Mexico)4
20Daniel Crista (Romania)2
21Ahmed Almansoori (United Arab Emirates)1
22Niklas Larsen (Denmark)1
23Ka yu Leung (Hong Kong)1
24Alan Banaszek (Poland)1
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Final standings
1Iuri Leitao (Portugal)187
2Benjamin Thomas (France)185
3Shunsuke Imamura (Japan)173
4Niklas Larsen (Denmark)170
5Vincent Hoppezak (Netherlands)160
6Elia Viviani (Italy)158
7Sebastian Mora Vedri (Spain)157
8Fabio van den Bossche (Belgium)155
9Oliver Wood (Great Britain)144
10Tim Torn Teutenberg (Germany)128
11Campbell Stewart (New Zealand)125
12Alan Banaszek (Poland)117
13Dylan Bibic (Canada)115
14Tim Wafler (Austria)92
15Kelland o Brien (Australia)75
16Gavin Hoover (United States of America)71
17Valere Thiebaud (Switzerland)47
18Daniel Crista (Romania)42
19Artyom Zakharov (Kazakhstan)25
20Ricardo Pena Salas (Mexico)14
21Bernard Benyamin van Aert (Indonesia)-25
22Akil Campbell (Trinidad & Tobago)-25
23Ka yu Leung (Hong Kong)DNF
24Ahmed Almansoori (United Arab Emirates)DNF

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