2021 UCI Track World Championships

Ganna Spearheads Italy's Olympic Track Pursuit Team To World Title

Ganna Spearheads Italy's Olympic Track Pursuit Team To World Title

Italy won gold in the men's team pursuit at the track world championships confirming their status as new masters of the discipline.

Oct 22, 2021 by FloBikes Staff
Track Cycling Worlds Men's Team Pursuit Final

Italy won gold in the men's team pursuit at the track cycling world championships on Thursday confirming their status as new masters of the discipline after beating France in a tense final.

Germany's women then edged the Italians in the women's pursuit, while Frenchman Donavan Grondin won the 60-lap scratch title and Harrie Lavreysen of the Netherlands won the men's keirin sprint race.

In a cagey 4km struggle over the steep banked walls of the Roubaix velodrome Olympic team pursuit champions Italy, led by road race star Filippo Ganna, pounced with just two laps remaining to power clear and win by over two seconds.

The triumph is Italy's first in the event since 1997 and marks a power shift away from Great Britain and Australia, who have long dominated the discipline.

The 25-year-old Ineos Grenadiers rider Ganna led a youthful line up of Liam Bertazzo, Simone Consonni and Jonathan Milan, who were part of a four-man outfit that won gold in Tokyo, with Bertazzo preferred here in the world final to Olympic gold winner Francesco Lamon.

The three Olympic title winners were wearing gold helmets and riding gold colored bikes, which Olympic champions can do in all relevant races until the next Games.

Italy took 3min 47.192sec to win the title while Great Britain won the bronze medal race against Denmark.

Scratch and win

French 21-year-old Donavan Grondin then sprung a surprise in the 15km (60 laps) men's scratch race to the raucous approval of the home fans.

Grondin won on the last lap ahead of Belgium's Tuur Dens and the Briton Rhys Britton, none of whom had been amongst the pre-race favorites.

"I haven't raced the scratch for a while, but really, you never can tell with this race, it can be quite random," Donovan said of the none Olympic event.

"The fans carried me, and my parents are here, I was just hoping to stay in the mix to be honest."

Both finalists of the explosive keirin final were from the Netherlands as Harrie Lavreysen edged Jeffrey Hoogland to retain his world title.

An accident earlier in the keirin saw Japanese rider Koya Matsui leave the velodrome on a stretcher.

The day's action wound up with a German quartet Franziska Brausse, Lisa Brennauer, Mieke Kroger, and Laura Sussemilch denying Italy a team pursuit double, winning by a comfortable five seconds.

Action continues Friday with the women's sprint final, men's 1km time-trial, and men's 1km individual pursuit the highlights.