World Points Race Championship (Germany)

Stocher stoked with win
By Valkerie Mangnall in Stuttgart, Germany

Defending champion Chris Newton of Great Britain started brilliantly but was unable to finish in the medals in the men's 40km points race. Newton won three of the first five intermediate sprints as he and Switzerland's dual scratch race world champion, Franco Marvulli, lapped the field, with the Briton leading 38 points to Marvulli's 31.

But it went wrong for the pair when eventual gold medallist Franz Stocher of Austria and Spanish silver medallist Joan Llaneras Rosello gained two laps. Newton hit the front again when he and Marvulli pulled a lap back but Stocher and Llaneras hit out to take another 20 points.

Meanwhile, Dutch rider Jos Pronk made up two laps of his own to move five points clear of Newton. He then sat on Newton's wheel for the closing stages of the 140-lap race so when Newton won the final sprint, Pronk placed second to take the bronze medal by just two points, 70 to 68.

Stocher collected 77 points to hold off Llaneras Rosello (74). "To now finally win gold after bronze in 2000 and 2001 plus silver in 2002 is simply wonderful," the Austrian said. "Especially as I've had a bad season. After the Stuttgart six-days, I caught a virus and haven't really been in form afterwards. To be honest, I was a bit afraid to fail in front of the crowd here."

Newton said the near-black boards of the track combined with signage painted on a white strip around the top half, made it difficult to keep track of his opponents. "It's hard to see across this track," he said. "It's a really dark track and the white, and everything just gets blurred. Once a rider's away you can't really see them but that's down to me, I should pay more attention."

1 Franz Stocher (Austria) 77 pts
2 Joan Llaneras Rosello (Spain) 74
3 Jos Pronk (Netherlands) 70
4 Christopher Newton (Great Britain) 68
5 Tomas Vaitkus (Lithuania) 57
6 Milan Kadlec (Czech Republic) 54
7 Robert Sassone (France) 52
8 Franco Marvulli (Switzerland) 51
9 Leonardo Duque (Columbia) 48
10 Andreas Muller (Germany) 45
11 Gregory Henderson (New Zealand) 43
12 Colby Pearce (USA) 35
13 Mark Renshaw (Australia) 32
14 Makoto Iijima (Japan) 30
15 Mark Ernsting (Canada) 24
16 Ioannis Tamouridis (Greece) 23
17 Jozef Zabka (Slovakia) 22
18 Jukka Heinikainen (Finland) 22
19 Juan Esteban Curuchet (Argentina) 21
20 Jean-Pierre Van Zyl (South Africa) 8
21 Jose Sanchez Sotelo (Mexico) 6
22 Andrei Minachkine (Russia) 5
23 Angelo Ciccone (Italy) 3
24 Jimmy Hansen (Denmark) 0
25 Abbas Saeidi Tanha (Iran) 0
26 Matthew Gilmore (Belgium) 0

1 lap behind

27 Jure Zrimsek (Slovenia) 5
DNF Guijun Shi (China)