World Cup Points Race (Manchester)
Chris Newton (Great Britain) stormed to victory in the first men's World Cup points race event of the track season in Manchester, ahead of Ho Ting Kwok (Hong Kong) and Roger Kluge (Germany). It was Newton's second win in a row at Manchester having taken the victory in the corresponding race last year. However, unlike in 2008 when he won by a massive 20 points, this year's event was far closer with his margin of victory just four points.
The first sprint went to Wai Cheung (Giant Pro Cycling) who collected five points, while danger man Michael Markov (Denmark) claimed two and Newton one. However, the experienced Newton claimed maximum points in the third and fourth sprints to open a healthy lead over Eloy Teruel (Spain) and Cheung and despite a brief rally from Christophe Riblon (France), Newton had only to consolidate his lead, claiming points in all but five of the sprints.
"I got my rough point in the race but had a little bit of a buffer at that point and the other guys were forced to chase the race, Newton told Cyclingnews. "From 40 laps out I could afford to pick off points when I needed them.
"The crowds were fantastic. You can hear them. Not much when you're flat out but when you're recovering you can and it helps to keep you going."
Heading into the final three rounds of sprinting Newton's lead was briefly threatened by Kluge who broke free and took the tenth sprint and the five points on offer. However in the next sprint a group of four riders went clear meaning that Kluge would need to take maximum points and hope that Newton wouldn't score in the remaining rounds. "I had okay legs," Kluge told Cyclingnews. "But I paid for my effort when I went away and the gap to Newton was too big. In the end I was hanging on a bit."
Second placed Kwok overtook Kluge in the standings in the final sprint, winning his first points race medal to add to his gold in last year's scratch race from the Melbourne round of the World Cup.
1 Chris Newton (GBr) Great Britain 37 pts