France's Kneiski bags men's scratch gold

Morgan Kneiski (photo) claimed France's second gold of the track championships after sneeking ahead of the field in the scratch final. Germany's Maximilian Levy took the keirin crown, ahead of Frenchman François Pervis.


AFP - Frenchman Morgan Kneisky upset the field in a chaotic men's scratch final to win gold here at the world track cycling championships on Thursday.

Dario Colla of Argentina took the silver with Austrian Andreas Mueller taking the bronze.

Britain's Mark Cavendish was left fighting a late battle to catch up with six leaders who had broken away around 12 laps into the 60-lap race and eventually lapped the field.

Australian Travis Meyer, whose older brother Cameron won the points race on Wednesday, helped drive the frontrunners throughout the race but in the end the 19-year-old had nothing in the tank when Kneisky made a late decisive move with less than a lap to go.

It is France's second gold of the championships, following their victory over Britain in the men's team sprint on Wednesday.

Cavendish, a four-time stage winner at last year's Tour de France, won the Milan San Remo one-day classic last week with his professional road team Columbia.

A defending two-time champion in the two-man Madison, the Isle of Man rider will look to make amends in Saturday's event.


Germany's Maximilian Levy defied a two-pronged British challenge to be crowned world keirin king here at the world track cycling championships on Thursday

British duo Matthew Crampton and Ross Edgar faded in the last lap as Frenchman Francois Pervis claimed silver and Dutchman Teun Mulder the bronze.

In the motor-paced power event Sergey Borisov of Russia was the first to accelerate, his move with three laps to go being countered by Crampton.

With two laps to go, Levy moved to the front, putting space behind him and the field before Pervis finally inched closer on the final bend.

Last year's champion Sir Chris Hoy, the reigning Olympic champion, is absent due to injury.

That left Britain's hopes resting on the shoulders of Jason Kenny, Edgar and Crampton. However, they did not have the perfect start in trying to make the final.

In their respective first round heats all three British riders failed to secure either of the first two places that paves the way to the crucial second round, forcing all three into repechages.

Kenny then had the misfortune to fall victim to a faster Crampton in their repechages heat, one in which fancied Kevin Sireau - who helped France to team sprint gold on Wednesday - flattered to deceive by finishing fifth.

Diminutive Scot Edgar, who took keirin silver behind Hoy at the Olympics, made no mistake by surging into an unassailable lead.

Levy, by contrast, had a comparatively easy path to the final, winning his first round heat to go straight into the second round, which he won to qualify for the final.

He becomes the first German since track great Jens Fiedler, in 1999, to lift the keirin crown.


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