Hepburn keeps pursuit title on another golden day

AUSTRALIA’S Michael Hepburn retained his pursuit title at the world track championships on Thursday with Ireland’s Martyn Irvine claiming silver.

It was 21-year-old Hepburn’s second gold medal of the championships, coming a day after helping Australia win the team pursuit title.

Teammate Alexander Morgan, 18, just missed the bronze medal, losing to 19-year-old Swiss rider Stefan Kueng.

Irvine later won the men’s scratch race to give Ireland a first world track gold medal.

Andreas Muller of Austria was second and Australia’s Luke Davison was later given the bronze medal despite the original decision having gone to 2011 world champion Kwok Ho Ting of Hong Kong.

Great Britain retained the women’s team pursuit title, beating old rival Australia.

With Olympic gold medal-winning Laura Trott and Dani King joined by Elinor Barker, the British were too strong for Australia’s Annette Edmondson, Ashlee Ankudinoff and Melissa Hoskins in a time of three minutes, 18.140 seconds.

Canada beat Poland for the bronze.

Germany defeated New Zealand to win the men’s team sprint gold, but only by 0.49 seconds. France took the bronze medal.

Hong Kong’s Sarah Lee Wai Sze won the women’s 500-metres time trial, beating Germany’s Miriam Welte. Britain’s Rebecca James was third.

■ Australian Caroline Buchanan went to the London Olympics with the weight of the nation on her shoulders. Despite entering the final of the women’s BMX as one of the favourites, Buchanan placed fifth.

”I was pretty devastated and it was just a lot of disappointment within myself that I didn’t pull off my goal,” she said.

Buchanan is back on her bike – just in a different discipline.

The 22-year-old has returned to her home town of Canberra this weekend for the women’s downhill 2013 mountain bike Australian championship.

Buchanan will go into the national championship race on Sunday in peak form, having won the two previous rounds in the national series at Mount Buller and Thredbo.

But the one-off downhill national title race is the one that counts most, and Buchanan will need to win if she wants a ticket to the downhill world championships to be held in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, later this year.

■Another of cycling’s biggest races will start in Britain next year after organisers announced on Thursday that the Giro d’Italia will be flagged off in Northern Ireland.

The 2014 edition will begin in Belfast on May 10, kicking off three days of action that will also include a stage finishing in Dublin.


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