Kenny and Bury's Yates win gold at track cycling world championships
BOLTON cycling superstar Jason Kenny ended two years of hurt when he won gold at the Track Cycling World Championships tonight.
And he was joined on the winner’s podium by Bury’s Simon Yates who produced the biggest shock of the day by winning the points race at the sport’s only global event other than the Olympics.
Three-time Olympic gold medallist Kenny has one World Championships gold to his name already, but that was by default when Gregory Bauge was stripped of the top prize in the individual sprint for an anti-doping violation in 2011.
Kenny described that as “a bit of a rubbish way” to win gold, but judging from his ecstatic celebration as he crossed the line first in today’s keirin final, the same certainly could not be said of this victory.
Kenny actually almost did not even make the final, reinstated after a rival was penalised in their qualifying race.
But he took full advantage when it mattered, surging to victory with a powerful sprint off the final bend.
Yates, meanwhile, surprised everyone by winning gold in his first major competition with a stunning performance at the Minsk Arena.
The 20-year-old was a massive outsider but rode with maturity to with the 40k event.
He made his move late in the 160-lap race, which includes 16 sprints where the points are won, finishing strongly to amass 35 points and win by a single point and five ahead of bronze medal place.
It was a remarkable performance by the Bury rider and provided a massive boost to his chances of going to the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016 when the points race could return to the Olympic schedule.