FanPost

Track World Champs 2012, Final day - 8th April

Sunday 8th April - see below for timings

The competition has been full of highs and lows - spectacular racing, with some superb champions - and some hard-core commissaire's decisions that caused controversy, and Elia Viviani crshing out with a fractured pelvis....

The final day's events should be just as exciting, and hopefully perfectly safe. Today it's the keirin and madison for the men, and the Individual Pursuit and the 500m Time Trial for the women.

The afternoon session starts later than the rest - racing the men's keirin 1st round and repechages, and women's IP qualifying between 14:30-16:50 Melbourne time (from 05:30 BST; 06:30 CEST; 00:30 USA Eastern & 21:30 Saturday USA Western) - and the afternoon session is 19:00-22:20 Melbourne - 10:00 BEST, 11:00 CEST; 05:00 USA Eastern and 02:00 USA Western.

Here are the schedules, from various broadcasters - if you know more, add it to the comments

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So, what to expect? Well, the first event up is the men's keirin - and apart from Baugé, everyone else is there - and Chris Hoy (GB) and François Pervis (Fra) start as the World Cup leaders, and Max Levy (Ger) just behind them - although the Australian Shane Perkins would be a hero if he could win it as he did last year. There are all kinds of stars here - and I hope Aziz Awang wins at least 1 round, if only for his trademark wheelie across the line! Once again, there'll be all kinds of national rivalries going on for places in the Olympic race - Hoy v Kenny v Crampton for Britain, Perkins v Glaetzer v Sunderland for Aus, Pervis v Bougaïn for France and Levy v Eilers for Germany....

Next, the women's 3km IP, and after riding the Team Pursuit and the omnium, reigning champion Sarah Hammer won't be defending her title - but look out for Team Pursuit gold medallist Jo Rowsell - and Wendy Houvenaghel, who will be wanting to make up for not getting to race in that British TP team. New Zealand's Alison Shanks should be strong, and won silver last year - with Vilija Serekaite taking bronze. And Australians Amy Cure and Ashlee Ankudinoff will be wanting to repeat the men's success on the podium!

The other women's event of the day is the 500m Time Trial - straight up against the clock. I would love Australia's Anna Meares to win this - and she's incredibly fast, having broken the Flying Lap world record earlier in the week - but she's contested hard this week - silver in the Team Sprint, bronze in the sprint, gold in the keirin - so she might be a bit tired. Last year's winner, Olga Panarina (Belarus) must be thinking that too, as she's not competing - but we'll see silver & bronze - Sandie Clair (Fra) and Miriam Welte (Ger) - and the top 2 of the World Cup overall standings, Anastasya Voinova (Rus) and Lisandra Guerra Rodriguez (Cub)

And then we come to what most people have been waiting for - the men's madison. Now, if you are new t track, this might be confusing - two men from each team on the track at the same time, working in pairs, with only 1 racing at any 1 time, hand-slinging their partner to swap them into the race - with laps where riders can win points by winning the in-race sprints, but most importantly, big bonuses for taking a lap on the pack. Here's wikipedia's description, which may or may not help! But basically, ask in the comments if you don't understand, people are very helpful!

The madison is a staple of the track 6-day events, and I'm always rooting for the 6-day teams - Kenny de Ketele & Gijs van Hoecke (Bel) and Peter Schep & Wim Stroetinga (Ned) - but all eyes will be on 2011 Champions and home-town riders Cameron Meyer & Leigh Howard (Aus) - especially after Meyer's scintillating ride to win the points race! Look out also for Ben Swift & Geraint Thomas (GBr), Bryan Cocquard & Vivien Brisse (Fra) and Martin Blaha & Vojtech Hacecky Cze) - it should be a great race!

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As usual, turn up here for chat about the racing and all sorts of other nonsense - but especially, feel free to ask any questions! Track fans love to try to convert people!

And a huge thanks to the Podium Cafésters who've made this Champs so much fun to watch, with your jokes and snark and stats and great company - you rock! Track is great, but it's even better with fun company!

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