USA’s Hammer and German team take first women’s events at track world’s

The first gold medals of the 2013 Track Cycling World Championships went to multiple individual pursuit champion Sarah Hammer and reigning Olympic champions Germany.

The team sprint podium: Gong Jinjie & Guo Shuang (China, silver), Miriam Welte & Kristina Vogel (Germany, gold), Victoria Williamson & Rebecca James (Great Britain, bronze). Image: British Cycling

American Sarah Hammer won her fifth world championship in the individual pursuit at the Track Cycling World Championships in Minsk last night. The 29-year-old from Temecula, California qualified fastest, covering 3000m in 3:30.05 and went on to thoroughly best Australian Amy Cure in the final. Cure’s countrywoman Annette Edmondson took the bronze ahead of Laura Brown of Canada.

“Well, this is as usual, I guess, but it’s special every time,” Hammer said. “In the qualifying it was quite well, but through the final everything could happen.

“I’m just going to call my parents at home, that’s about it. I’ll have a day’s rest tomorrow, then get ready for more races on Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” she said.

Hammer won her first individual pursuit world championship in 2006 and repeated in 2007. The went to achieve consecutive championship wins again in 2010 and 2011.

In the other women’s event of the night, the team sprint, victory went to the German duo of Miriam Welte and Kristina Vogel ahead of China’s Gong Jinjie and Guo Shuang.

The British pairing of Becky James and world championship debutant Victoria Williamson took the bronze ahead of Australia’s Kaarle McCulloch and Stephanie Morton.

“It’s been a good day. It was really unexpected,” said James. “It was hard for Vicky stepping in, Jess [Varnish] with her injury. She really stepped up today.”

Williamson added: “I’m gob-smacked. We didn’t come into the event with any position expectations. We just said we’d give it everything. To come out with a bronze medal is just amazing.”

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