Germany take gold as Pendleton slumps

Wed, 04 Apr 11:14:00 2012

Germany broke the world record twice in the space of an hour to win the women's team sprint title at the track cycling world championships in Melbourne.

2012 World Track Cycling Championships Germany Miriam Welte and Kristina Vogel - 0

Miriam Welte and Kristina Vogel clocked 32.549 seconds in the final at the Hisense Arena to better the mark of 32.630 seconds set in their qualifying heat.

After dumping in-form British pair Victoria Pendleton and Jessica Varnish out of their head-to-head qualifier, the ice-cool Germans withstood a ferocious challenge to deny Anna Meares and Kaarle McCulloch a fourth consecutive title.

Pendleton and Varnish set the previous world record of 32.754 at the London World Cup meeting last February.

"I don't know what we did today. It's so amazing and we never believed we could go so fast," Vogel said after the Germans edged the Australian pair by 0.048 seconds.

"It's now just a dream and I have to calm down.

"I told Miriam that we wanted to do a new German record but to do a new world record, it's amazing. I don't understand that at the moment."

The Germans' achievement was a bolt from the blue, where Australia was expected to battle with Britain for the title.

"They're a great combination...It's not as if they've just turned up," Olympic individual sprint champion Pendleton said.

"The pair of them have both had exceptional performances over the last four or five years but they've never managed to put them together at the right time and tonight that's what happened.

"I wouldn't say we did a terrible ride, they just did an exceptional ride in terms of a really storming first lap and a very, very strong finish."

Pendleton and Varnish’s London 2012 medal credentials took a big after finishing fourth in the event.

The GB duo arrived in Melbourne as the talk of the town having set a new world record on the way to winning gold at the London World Cup in February.

However the expected battle between GB and hosts Australia – and Pendleton and long-time rival Meares – didn’t materialise.

Australia, and Meares, were forced to settle for second while, more worryingly with London 2012 looming large Pendleton and co. missed out on a spot on the podium by losing out on bronze to China.

Varnish – so impressive in London – failed to back up that display on Aussie soil meaning Pendleton was 0.371 of a second down when she took over.

Despite making up some ground Pendleton – the individual sprint champion from the Beijing Olympics – was unable to put herself on the podium.

Sportsbeat / Eurosport

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