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Cycling | International Cycling

James, Gate win first world track titles



Britain's Rebecca James and Aaron Gate of New Zealand upset the favourites to claim their first major titles on the penultimate day of the world cycling championships on Saturday.

James, 21, won the women's sprint by beating German Kristina Vogel in the final for her third medal in the Belaruscapital after taking two bronzes in the team sprint and the 500 metres time trial.

After splitting the first two races, James took the lead in the decider and held off her rival on the home straight to win by half a wheel.

With the victory she has taken the mantle of the world's fastest woman from compatriot and six-times world sprint champion Victoria Pendleton, who retired after the London Olympics.

Vogel was bidding for a sprint double after winning the team title with Miriam Welte on Wednesday but had to settle for silver.

"I didn't think of it being the final, for me it was just another race," said the Welsh rider, who won the 2009 world junior sprint title in Moscow.

"I stayed very calm... and came away with the gold medal."

Hong Kong's Lee Wai Sze, who won the 500 metres time trial on Thursday, beat China's Guo Shuang for the bronze medal.

Gate, 22, took the men's omnium crown by beating several big names, including defending champion Glenn O'Sheaof Australia and Denmark's 2012 Olympic gold medallist Lasse Hansen.

The New Zealander was level with O'Shea on 17 points going into the last event - the one kilometre time trial - which he won to seal the overall victory. He also won the flying lap and the individual pursuit to finish with 18 points overall.

HUGE WIN

"It's pretty huge beating the world and Olympic champions," Gate, who only had two bronze medals in the team pursuit from the London Olympics and last year's world championships in Melbourne to his credit, told reporters. "I didn't expect to win coming into the race and I couldn't be happier."

Hansen's second place in the last event enabled the 20-year-old Dane to leapfrog O'Shea in the final standings by a point and take the silver.

Jarmila Machacova claimed the day's first gold by winning the women's 25-km points race to improve on her second-place finish two years ago in the Dutch city of Apeldoom.

"This was my dream - to win a world title," the 27-year-old Czech said. "It was a very long and hard road but I'm glad that finally I was able to achieve it."

She took the lead on the 30th lap of the 100-lap endurance race around the wooden oval and held off fast-finishing Mexican Sofia Navarro to win by a point.

It was Navarro's second silver medal in two days after she also finished runner-up in Friday's 10-km scratch race. Italian Giorgia Bronzini took bronze to match her result from 2011.

After four days of competition Britain lead the overall medals table with four golds, one silver and two bronzes ahead of Germany and Australia, who have two golds each, going into the final day on Sunday.



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